Laura Stein, Senior Vice President – General Counsel
The Clorox Company
After the 2005 arrival of Laura Stein, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary, the pro bono efforts of the legal department at The Clorox Company (Clorox) transformed from largely individual pro bono matters worked on after hours to a formal pro bono program.
“Laura enabled and encouraged us to build strong relationships with legal service providers and to find ways to have a lasting impact on the community in which we work” says Adam Brink, trademark counsel and pro bono coordinator, who leads Clorox’s pro bono program.
In the intervening decade, Clorox’s pro bono participation grew to 50 percent of all U.S. legal staff in 2013 as legal team members collaboratively pursue the company-wide value to “Do the right thing.”
The pro bono program at Clorox, a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory, focuses its efforts on issues affecting low-income residents where the company is headquartered in Oakland, California. Clorox’s pro bono program includes projects assisting victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders, helping local artists with intellectual property issues, and aiding low-income residents in housing disputes through a negotiation clinic. These opportunities allow Clorox attorneys and staff to work on issues affecting the local community in areas of both interest and expertise.
- Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence
Since 2006, Clorox’s Oakland legal team has worked with the Family Violence Law Center (FVLC), providing in-court assistance to victims of domestic violence seeking restraining orders. Two senior Clorox attorneys have joined the Board of Directors of the FVLC to further enhance the impact of the organization.To address the lack of appellate precedent for California trial courts to follow, the Family Violence Appellate Project has made it their mission to appeal verdicts to bring clear and consistent application of the law in California domestic violence courts. Clorox attorneys have acted as moot judges to help Legal Aid attorneys prepare for oral hearings before the California Court of Appeals.
- Clinics for Underserved Populations
Project Clean Slate: Members of Clorox’s legal team assist the East Bay Community Law Center in operating legal clinics through Project Clean Slate, an effort to help people re-enter society after prison. Volunteers provide guidance on criminal record remedies so individuals can overcome barriers lingering criminal records pose to employment, housing, education, and civic participation.
- IP Guidance to Artists
In 2013, Clorox partnered with California Lawyers for the Arts to assist local artists with intellectual property-related issues. Roughly a third of Clorox attorneys specialize in intellectual property, and this partnership allows the department to leverage an existing skill set to support the local, low-income, artist community.