More than 300 participants from law firms, legal departments, and public interest organizations joined us for the 2014 PBI Annual Conference on March 5-7.
We once again offered our Law Firm Pro Bono 101 session for new and newish pro bono leaders, but added new sessions on key topics in pro bono including “Getting the Resources You Need to Move Your Pro Bono Program Forward” and “Law Firm Mergers and Pro Bono.”
The Conference also featured a Law Firm Welcome Lunch hosted by PBI Board Chair Jim Jones; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld Chair Kim Koopersmith; and Baker & McKenzie Director of Pro Bono and Community Service Angela Vigil. Our panelists discussed the state of pro bono in large law firms as these organizations continue to wrestle with changes in the legal market resulting from the recession.
There was also a session for newcomers to in-house pro bono and one for those with more experience working in legal departments with more mature programs. The in-house track also hosted a “Hot Topics” session that allowed participants to join roundtable discussions on major issues in in-house pro bono such as leveraging partnerships and designing and participating in clinics.
A common theme of the Conference was collaboration as in-house pro bono continues to gain more momentum and law firms, legal departments, public interest and legal aid organizations, and other stakeholders find ways to partner to deliver more and better pro bono work.
PBI presented the 2014 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award to Executive Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith and the Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs of Microsoft during the Annual Conference Reception. The reception was hosted at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on March 6 and featured remarks from Smith, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Kids in Need of Defense President Wendy Young.
Click the links below to read remarks and see photos from the Reception, watch video of PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent’s 2014 State of Pro Bono speech, and to learn more about our award winner. We give special thanks to our generous 2014 PBI Annual Conference Sponsors.
Remarks from the 2014 PBI Annual Conference reception: