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2018 Annual Dinner – Transforming Pro Bono – Together

Click here to see photos from the evening’s celebration!
Download the 2018 Annual Dinner program here.
Click here to watch videos from the Dinner.

Pro Bono Institute hosted its 2018 Annual Dinner, themed “Transforming Pro Bono — Together,” on October 4 at Gotham Hall in New York. What a fantastic evening! Dinner Co-Chairs David G. Leitch, Global General Counsel, Bank of America*†, and David R. McAtee II, Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AT&T Inc.†, welcomed 400 pro bono leaders to celebrate and recognize the tremendous pro bono efforts and accomplishments of law firms and legal departments.

Regina M. Pisa, Partner and Chairman Emeritus, Goodwin Procter, welcomed guests to Gotham Hall and introduced the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, which provides high-quality music instruction and music therapy to New Yorkers regardless of age, income, or level of ability. An ensemble of students and faculty presented a dynamic and energetic West African drumming performance to launch the festivities.

Dinner Co-Chair David Leitch then introduced the John H. Pickering Award presentation. Reginald J. Brown, Partner, WilmerHale*†, presented the Pickering Award to Covington & Burling LLP* for demonstrating Mr. Pickering’s core values: a meaningful commitment to pro bono from the most senior lawyers and associates alike. Timothy C. Hester, Partner and Chair, Covington & Burling, accepted the award and introduced Brian Ferguson, a pro bono client of the firm, to share the impact of the firm’s pro bono efforts in his case.

In 2002, Ferguson was wrongfully accused and convicted of a homicide he did not commit. He was sentenced to life in a maximum-security penitentiary without the possibility of parole. After Ferguson’s unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, Covington & Burling stepped in as habeas counsel and developed new evidence demonstrating that Ferguson’s trial counsel had been constitutionally deficient due to his failure to investigate a report that another individual had confessed in front of three people to the murder. After 10 years of investigation, motions, and oral arguments, Covington’s team of lawyers secured a new trial. Ultimately, Ferguson’s conviction was vacated, and he was released in 2013. Ferguson said, “I promise you there is a person sitting in a cell today whose life will be changed by someone sitting in this room. Thank you for what you will do tomorrow.”

After another rousing and entertaining performance by the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Dinner Co-Chair David McAtee introduced the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Awards. Elisa D. Garcia, Chief Legal Officer, Macy’s, Inc., presented the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award: Smaller Law to Vania Wit, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, United Airlines†, who accepted on behalf of General Counsel Brett J. Hart and United Airlines’ Legal Department in partnership with Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Cabrini Green Legal Aid for their project to help low-income individuals recover vehicles and assets seized by the police.

Marianne D. Short, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, UnitedHealth Group†, presented the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award: Large Law to Michael O’Connor, General Counsel, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, who accepted on behalf of MassMutual’s Law Department in partnership with the Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic for their strategic collaboration to expand pro bono programs that improve access to justice for the underserved residents of Hampden County.

Throughout the evening, guests heard inspiring stories that highlighted PBI’s work to transform access to justice – together, and underscored the reason we provide pro bono legal services: to serve those in need and make a meaningful impact on their lives.

* Denotes Charter Signatories to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
*Indicates CPBO Challenge® Charter Signatory
†Indicates CPBO Challenge 100 Signatory


Global General Counsel
Senior Executive Vice President
and General Counsel

Benefit Committee

Robin M. Bergen
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Richard R. Hays
Alston & Bird
Steven R. Rodgers
Intel Corporation
W. Tolliver Besson
Paul Hastings
Caroline J. Heller
Greenberg Traurig
Thomas J. Sabatino, Jr.
Aetna Inc.
Christian F. Binnig
Mayer Brown
Timothy C. Hester
Covington & Burling
Faiza J. Saeed
Cravath, Swaine & Moore
Arthur R. Block
Comcast Corporation
Michael Holston
General Electric Company
John F. Schultz
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
Reginald J. Brown
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
Valerie Ford Jacob
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Stephen J. Sferra
Littler Mendelson
Bradley J. Butwin
O’Melveny & Myers
Maureen R. Jeffreys
Arnold & Porter
Craig Silliman
Verizon Communications Inc.
James J. Clark
Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Gregory B. Jordan
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
Neil A. Sternthal
Thomson Reuters
Crowell & Moring Brad S. Karp
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Jonathan C. Su
Latham & Watkins
Lisa Dewey
DLA Piper
Atif Khawaja
Kirkland & Ellis
Alexander “Sandy” Thomas
Reed Smith
David Flavell
PepsiCo, Inc.
Kimberly C. MacLeod
Hunton Andrews Kurth
J. Henry Walker
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton
James E. Franklin III
American Express Company
Enu A. Mainigi
Williams & Connolly
J. Tracy Walker IV
Bruce Goldner
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Jami Wintz McKeon
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Ashley Watson
Merck & Co., Inc.
Jeffrey T. Green
Sidley Austin
Michael J. O’Connor
Massachusetts Mutual
Life Insurance Company
T. Clark Weymouth
Hogan Lovells
Adam S. Hakki
Shearman & Sterling
Stephen D. Otero
Capital One
Valerie & David Williams
Brett J. Hart
United Airlines
Daniel M. Petrocelli
O’Melveny & Myers
David M. Hashmall
Goodwin Procter
Regina M. Pisa
Goodwin Procter

2018 Awardees

John H. Pickering Award

Large Law Department

MassMutual’s Law Department
in partnership with the
Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic

Smaller Law Department

United Airlines’ Legal Department
in partnership with
Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Cabrini Green Legal Aid

 Special Thanks to PBI’s 2018 Annual Dinner Sponsors







Aetna Inc. Hewlett Packard
Enterprise Company
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Hogan Lovells
Alston & Bird Hunton Andrews Kurth
American Express Company Intel Corporation
American International
Group, Inc.
Latham & Watkins
Cahill Gordon & Reindel Littler Mendelson
Comcast NBCUniversal Paul Hastings
Debevoise & Plimpton Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,
Wharton & Garrison
DLA Piper
Pfizer Inc.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Reed Smith
General Electric Company Sidley Austin
Goodwin Procter Wilmer Cutler Pickering
Hale and Dorr


Bank of New York Mellon Corporation Drinker Biddle & Reath
Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott Jones Day
Bevan, Mosca & Giuditta Keinbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton
Bressler, Amery & Ross Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft Morrison & Foerster


3M Company Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
Advance Publications Inc. McCarter & English
Amazon McDermott Will & Emery
Amin, Turocy & Watson Microsoft Corporation
Baker McKenzie Moore & Van Allen
Carter Arnett Munger, Tolles & Olsen
Deere & Co. PayPal, Inc.
Duane Morris The Prudential Insurance Company of America
Elliott Greenleaf Quarles & Brady
Entergy Corporation Eve Runyon
Estes Thorne & Carr Salesforce
Faegre Baker Daniels State Farm
Fenwick & West Stevens & Lee
Foley & Lardner Visa Inc.
Haynes and Boone Walmart Inc.
The Hertz Corporation Zeichner Ellman & Krause
Legal Executive Leadership  



Beveridge & Diamond Nutter McClennen & Fish
Day Pitney Reese Marketos
Dentsu Aegis Network Thomas L. Sager
FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. Snell & Wilmer
Guntin & Gust Tong, Rea, Bentley & Kim
Holland & Knight Wilson Law Group
Lewis & Crichton Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker