Ricardo A. Anzaldúa
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Freddie Mac’s Legal Division
PBI is proud to present its 2019 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award to the Legal Division of Freddie Mac and Ricardo A. Anzaldúa, Freddie Mac’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Freddie Mac began its formal pro bono efforts more than 25 years ago, when it partnered with Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV) to serve disadvantaged populations. Since then, Freddie Mac’s Legal Division has partnered with numerous local and regional community organizations and initiatives in the Northern Virginia area to provide extensive pro bono services in addition to its continuing pro bono relationship with LSNV, including projects with Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR), Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates, Tahirih Justice Center, and Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services, among others. The Pro Bono Program includes a broad array of projects serving individuals, hosting numerous pro bono clinics at Freddie Mac’s headquarters, providing corporate legal services to nonprofit organizations, and successfully litigating more than a dozen complex asylum and related immigration matters.
Ricardo A. Anzaldúa became Freddie Mac’s general counsel in January 2019, overseeing all legal and regulatory strategies, services, resources, and corporate governance matters. In this new role, Anzaldúa continues his longtime commitment to pro bono legal services, which began as a student at Harvard Law School where he worked on pro bono asylum cases. As a lawyer at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, Anzaldúa provided pro bono legal services with the Hispanic National Bar Association and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board. While serving in senior positions in the law department of The Hartford Financial Services Group (2007–2012), he joined the board of the Greater Hartford Legal Aid Foundation and continued to serve on the board until 2018, the last three years as its president. As general counsel of MetLife, Inc., from 2012 to 2017, he established a policy to enable legal department staff to perform pro bono during work hours. Anzaldúa was also recognized by Manhattan Legal Services for his leadership in providing legal aid to indigent New York City residents.
Over the years, Freddie Mac’s Legal Division has evaluated its pro bono program regularly to ensure that it continues to thrive by adapting to the changing needs and interests of its staff and partner organizations and prioritizing the needs of its local community. A Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) Challenge® signatory, Freddie Mac engages more than 60 percent of its 207 Legal Division employees—122 attorneys and 85 legal analysts, administrative staff and other legal professionals—in pro bono.
Notably, since 2014, Freddie Mac legal teams have successfully represented 12 immigrants detained in Virginia and Maryland and four juvenile immigrants seeking special visas to remain in the United States, devoting more than 2,000 hours to pro bono legal services through the division’s partnership with CAIR, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization that represents adult and juvenile immigrants at risk of detention and deportation. The division’s lawyers, legal analysts, and administrative staff have obtained asylum, special immigrant juvenile visas, and other relief for immigrants from El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, and Honduras. Freddie Mac teams are currently representing five immigrants through referrals from CAIR as well as Whitman-Walker Health.
Freddie Mac’s pro bono program forges strong bonds and facilitates teambuilding among its employees while creating a deep sense of commitment to the local community, which includes providing direct legal services as well as promoting pro bono and access to justice within the community and taking leadership roles in support of legal services.
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