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PBI 2021 Annual Conference

Following the success of the PBI 2020 Virtual Conference, PBI will again deliver educational sessions designed for seasoned professionals as well as newcomers to pro bono, networking opportunities, and special events with pro bono visionaries — all with a new, user-friendly, integrated, online platform.

The sessions throughout the PBI Annual Conference will cover a wide variety of topics, including pro bono services during a pandemic, new challenges to civil rights and liberties, as well as recurring areas of interest for pro bono professionals, such as maintaining attorney engagement, trends and innovations, and more. If you miss a “live” presentation, registrants can access many recorded sessions on demand after the conference.

PBI has partnered with Thomson Reuters and West LegalEdcenter to facilitate CLE credit for many sessions.



Thanks to the PBI Annual Conference Sponsors!

To sponsor the PBI 2021 Annual Conference, please contact
Danny Reed, Director of Development, at
202.729.6691 or

Unable to host the PBI 2020 Annual Conference last March due to the coronavirus pandemic, PBI postponed the presentation of last year’s Chesterfield Smith Award and Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award. We were honored to combine the 2020 awards presentation with the 2021 awards presentation. Join us in celebrating the following honorees.


John J. Conroy, Jr.
Principal, Baker & McKenzie LLP

The Chesterfield Smith Award is named after the late Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Holland & Knight, who believed passionately and completely in equal justice for all, while standing firm in his conviction that public service and pro bono are absolutely essential elements in the lives of lawyers and in the work of great law firms.

An accomplished international banking and finance lawyer, John has demonstrated a career-long commitment to initiatives that address critical societal issues, including access to justice, human rights, diversity, and environmental stewardship. He has served on the boards of numerous civic, educational, and charitable organizations, including Pro Bono Institute’s Board of Directors since 2011. READ MORE



American International Group, Inc. and
Lucy Fato, AIG’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel

A charter signatory to PBI’s Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative, AIG has supported pro bono efforts by its global team for more than 10 years. AIG’s pro bono program enjoys a high level of support from its leadership, including Brian Duperreault, AIG’s Chief Executive Officer, and Lucy Fato, AIG’s Executive Vice President & General Counsel, and includes a pro bono committee of seven lawyers with a chairman, Deputy General Counsel Eric Kobrick, who has served in that role since the inception of the program. In 2012, the department formalized its program, developing an infrastructure that has led to expanded pro bono offerings in the U.S. and around the globe and a significant increase in pro bono engagement. In the past five years alone, AIG volunteers have provided approximately 20,000 hours of pro bono legal services to a broad range of clients, including domestic violence survivors, veterans, nonprofit organizations, and low- to moderate-income micro-entrepreneurs. READ MORE



The Honorable Jonathan Lippman
Of Counsel Latham & Watkins

The Esther F. Lardent Hall of Fame for Excellence in Pro Bono Award was established in 2016, in memory of Pro Bono Institute’s founding president, and recognizes individuals and organizations that have shown an extraordinary commitment to pro bono and have made a profound impact on advancing the aspirational goal of access to justice for all.

Those recognized have demonstrated a significant commitment to pro bono over a substantial period of time, demonstrated exemplary leadership promoting access to justice, or served as a thought leader and inspiration to the legal profession.

The Honorable Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, is Of Counsel in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department. He provides strategic counsel to clients on New York Law and appellate matters nationwide, and is a leader of the firm’s pro bono practice.

Judge Lippman served as Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from February 2009 through December 2015. As the state’s Chief Judge, he championed equal access to justice issues in New York and around the country and took the leadership role in identifying permanent funding streams for civil legal services. Chief Judge Lippman made New York the first state in the country to require 50 hours of law-related pro bono work prior to bar admission and established the Pro Bono Scholars and Poverty Justice Solutions Programs to help alleviate the crisis in civil legal services. He strengthened the state’s indigent criminal defense system, addressed the systemic causes of wrongful convictions, created Human Trafficking Courts across New York State, and led efforts to reform New York’s juvenile justice, bail and pre-trial justice systems. READ MORE


Discover Financial Services Legal Organization
Wanji Walcott
Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and General Counsel

A signatory to the PBI Corporate Pro Bono Challenge®initiative, Discover Financial Services Legal Organization formalized its pro bono program in 2012. The program developed organically out of pro bono work that Legal Organization members were doing at the time, and includes financial literacy training for veterans, help for victims of domestic violence, and assistance for first responders.

Discover Financial Services is a leading digital bank and payments services company. Walcott is responsible for leading Discover’s legal team, advising the Executive Committee, and supporting the Board of Directors. READ MORE