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Financial Institution Pro Bono Day 2023

April 27, 2023, marked the fourth annual Financial Institution Pro Bono Day (FIPBD), organized by Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), the global in-house project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI), in partnership with dozens of legal departments in the finance and insurance industries.  Pro bono leaders from legal departments, often in partnership with legal services organizations and law firms, organized 72 pro bono opportunities and trainings on this day for FIPBD.

FIPBD serves to spotlight the need to increase access to justice by providing legal services to low-income, marginalized communities, and promote in-house pro bono engagement and collaboration with law firms and legal services organizations.

More than 1,300 in-house attorneys and legal staff volunteered in pro bono events that addressed issues such as: driver’s license restoration; asylum interview preparation for Afghan immigrants; legal assistance for nonprofits and micro-entrepreneurs; brief advice hotlines; life planning documents for seniors; preparation of eviction defense; uncontested divorce filings for low-income individuals; restoration of voting rights for felony offenders; DACA renewals; naturalization applications; intake clinics; military discharge upgrade; visa assistance for immigrant juveniles; and many more. Additionally, more than 200 law firm volunteers worked alongside their in-house partners.

The volunteers served approximately 700 clients, with an expectation that many more clients will receive services as a result of trainings that were held as part of FIPBD.  At several events, volunteers developed new resources for a nonprofit or NGO that will use the resources to serve additional beneficiaries.

More than 40 legal departments participated in FIPBD. Companies organizing FIPBD 2023 events included Accenture**, American Express, American International Group (AIG)**, Ares Management, Bank of America**, Bloomberg**, BMO Financial Group**, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon)**, Brighthouse Financial, Capital One**, Citigroup, Inc.**, Citizens Bank, CUNA Mutual Group, Discover**, Fannie Mae**, Fidelity, Freddie Mac**, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG**, MassMutual**, PNC Bank**, Raymond James, Société Générale, State Farm**, TD Bank, U.S. Bank**, Vanguard**, Visa, and Wells Fargo. We thank these legal departments and the many firms and legal services organizations with whom they partnered to organize these pro bono service opportunities. Highlighting the collaborative nature of this event, additional legal departments that volunteered at FIPBD events organized by others included Apple Bank**, AT&T**, John Hancock, Key Bank, Nasdaq, NERA Economic Consulting, Payactiv, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., The Guardian, and Zurich North America**.

FIPBD events were impactful for clients and meaningful for volunteers.  Many clients provided positive feedback to the pro bono organizers.  For example, a small business client wrote, “Thank you SO much for this clinic today! It was extremely valuable for my company.”  In another clinic serving individual clients, “the clients were thankful to have advocates on their behalf listen to them and potentially provide a pathway forward” on their legal issues.  Volunteers expressed gratitude for the opportunity to assist their clients and interest in repeating or deepening their pro bono engagement, including the following feedback:

  • “The volunteer attorneys were thankful for a great event.”
  • “The volunteers indicated that they would definitely do it again.”
  • “Our volunteers enjoyed the experience and having the opportunity to help our community.”
  • “The volunteers consider it a ‘fantastic and meaningful experience’ and we had record participation this year.”
  • “One volunteer commented about the difficult and stressful nature of the predicament their client was in but was grateful for the opportunity to help and for the support from” the legal services organization.
  • “Everyone really enjoyed the clinic.  It had a clear, direct benefit and was a very reasonable time commitment.  Our colleagues have already expressed interest in doing additional clinics throughout the rest of the year.”
  • “The response has been overwhelmingly positive from our volunteers. They loved working in teams and seeing clients face to face (even via zoom).”
  • “My favorite part was the volunteering activity because we were able to both help and bond with our colleagues.”
  • “The volunteer event –it reinforced the importance of volunteering/community service with an exercise where everyone could effectively participate.”

CPBO thanks everyone who worked so hard to make #FIPBD2023 a success.

List of Events

Alabama Minnesota Wisconsin
California Missouri National (U.S.)
District of Columbia New York International
Florida North Carolina Asia-Pacific
Illinois Pennsylvania Canada
Kansas Texas Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)
Massachusetts Virginia United Kingdom


Alabama

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank Bradley Arant Boult Cummings* Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham, Inc.

Free Will Clinic for Seniors
This free will clinic connected qualified low-income clients from Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham with volunteer attorneys to assist the client in preparing (i) a will, (ii) advance health care directive; and (iii) general power of attorney. PNC volunteer attorneys were paired with a Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP attorney in Birmingham to work as a team to assist the client in the preparation of the estate planning documents.


California

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Severson & Werson Justice & Diversity Center

Legal Audit Clinic
At this limited-scope Legal Audit Clinic, volunteers provided a legal audit wellness check for California nonprofits that serve low-income individuals, persons of color, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved communities.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America O’Melveny & Myers* Community Legal Aid SoCal

Remote Eviction Defense Clinic
This project was in response to the expiration of the California state rental assistance program and the ensuing eviction crisis. participated in a remote Eviction Defense Clinic where O’Melveny and Bank of America lawyers teamed up to assist low-income tenants. The clinic was run by Community Legal Aid SoCal (“Legal Aid SoCal”), which hosted the clinic, including providing training, mentorship, and screening. Volunteers assisted low-income tenants facing eviction by helping to prepare answers to Unlawful Detainer complaints, under the supervision of Legal Aid SoCal. The threat of housing instability is among the most stressful events a person can experience and has a cascading effect on every aspect of a person’s life.  The clinic work helped to provide more time for the clients to remain in their homes and likely even the ability to fight their evictions.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP* Bet Tzedek

Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic
Bank of America partnered with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP for a Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic with Bet Tzedek. Volunteers assisted clients in completing forms for a Conservatorship petition with the probate court to secure conservatorships over their loved ones. For over 14 years, Bet Tzedek’s Self-Help Conservatorship Clinic has been serving family members anxious to ensure uninterrupted care for their adult children with severe developmental disabilities, or for their parents suffering from dementia or other conditions preventing appropriate self-care.


District of Columbia (metro area)

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Capital One DC Bar Pro Bono Center

DC Bar Small Business Clinic
At this free legal clinic, entrepreneurs met with volunteer attorneys for brief legal information, including how to start a small business, employment law, intellectual property, real estate, taxation, and government contracts.


Florida

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup, Raymond James Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC* Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

FIPBD Voter Rights Restoration Clinic
The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) presented a CLE (seeking certification from Florida and possibly New York) on Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution covering restoration of voting rights to convicted felons. Volunteers then conducted research on convicted felons’ case files to determine prior records and any outstanding sentencing requirements (including unpaid court costs and fees) to aid the FRRC in assisting in getting convicted felons’ voting rights restored.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase Greenberg Traurig* Bay Area Legal Services

Nonprofit Organization Brief Advice Clinic

Bay Area Legal Services arranged for a number of local nonprofit organizations to meet with Chase and GT personnel and ask any questions or seek advice relative to their respective organizations.  This advice may be both legal and non-legal.  Chase and GT personnel were available to help these nonprofit organizations with their questions and also point them to resources that may be of assistance to their respective missions.  GT also had a lawyer available who has specialized knowledge of nonprofit law.


Illinois

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, BMO Chapman & Cutler LLP Legal Aid Chicago

Criminal Records Relief Clinic
Volunteers received documentation from Legal Aid Chicago that will be used to draft the applications, which were completed through the CRR App.  After that, volunteers called their clients to explain next steps, and then sent the drafted documents to Legal Aid Chicago for filings. CLE training was provided.


Kansas

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank/Midland Loan Services Stinson LLP* Kansas Legal Services

Uncontested Divorces
Attorneys from Stinson LLP’s Structured Finance & Securitization practice group partnered with members of the legal team at Midland Loan Services, a PNC Real Estate business, to kick off their joint participation in Kansas Legal Services’ new pro se uncontested divorce clinic. Together, the attorneys participated in family law training in preparation for their participation in this new clinic, set to launch next month.


Massachusetts

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
MassMutual PAIR Project; Rosie’s Place

Law Division Offsite

MassMutual hosted an offsite meeting for individuals in the Law Division, which featured a panel discussion with several recent clients who were successfully granted asylum, and with MassMutual’s partner immigration organization, PAIR Project. As part of this event, volunteers also put together bags of donations for Rosie’s Place, a local social services provider with whom MassMutual has worked on pro bono matters.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP The Lawyers Clearinghouse

Nonprofit Organization Wellness Consultation
Volunteers worked in teams to assess whether a small Massachusetts-based nonprofit corporation complies with Massachusetts state law, IRS requirements and best practices with respect to corporate governance, financial management, and operational policies. Training was provided by Morgan Lewis and volunteers received a comprehensive screening tool to guide their discussion with organizations and note areas for potential follow-up by the host organization, The Lawyers Clearinghouse.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citizens Bank Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP The Lawyers Clearinghouse

Written Information Security Program (WISP) Clinic
The WISP clinic was held in partnership with Boston-based organization The Lawyers Clearinghouse and hosted at the Boston office of law firm Morgan Lewis. Volunteers worked in teams to assist nonprofit organizations with creation or review of Written Information Security Program (WISP) materials. Massachusetts law requires any corporate entity operating in the Commonwealth that handles residents’ personal information to establish and enforce a WISP.


Minnesota

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Wells Fargo Jones Day

Combating Global Human Trafficking Seminar
Jones Day presented on the initiative that will provide pro bono opportunities for the Wells Fargo Legal Department.


Missouri

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM)

Health Care Directive/POA Clinic
Attorneys and paralegals assisted LSEM clients with completing essential Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney forms, including providing notarization of the forms upon completion of the clients’ appointments.


New York

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom* New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Bylaws Clinic
Volunteers participated in a bylaws review clinic to assist nonprofit organizations.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Junior Achievement New York (JA)

Career Speaker Series &/or JA in a Day
In JA Career Speakers Series, a volunteer guest speaker visits the classroom and shares information about his or her career, work, and education experience. The speaker may bring props, samples of his or her work, or other visuals to help engage students. Activities and implementation design will vary based on grade level.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America McGuireWoods* Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS)

Senior Wills Pro Bono Clinic
The VOLS Senior Law Project serves low-income New Yorkers age 60+ by partnering with pro bono attorneys to provide wills, powers of attorney, and other essential life planning documents free of charge. A mandatory training session was required in advance of participation.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP* New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

General Immigration Legal Clinic: Overview of Potential Immigration Relief
Volunteers (attorneys and staff) assisted clients in completing intakes. Under the supervision of a NYLAG attorney, volunteers assisted asylum-seekers, unaccompanied minors, and recently arrived migrants in learning about their rights and options in our legal system, getting essential advice, and receiving referrals to other services.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG)

Mobile Legal Help: General Housing Matters Screening Clinic
Volunteers assisted clients in completing intakes. Under the supervision of a NYLAG attorney, volunteers assisted with eviction defense matters, repairs, lease and rent issues, rent subsidies, and landlord harassment. The clinic took place at Legal Hand Crown Heights.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
BNY Mellon City Bar Justice Center

Naturalization Clinic
Volunteer attorneys worked with clients on naturalization applications during this clinic.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Ares Management LLC; Barclays & Bloomberg Latham & Watkins* Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project Clinic (NELP)

Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project Clinic (NELP)
The above noted institutions partnered with the City Bar Justice Center’s Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project to staff a remote legal clinic and provide brief legal services to NYC-based entrepreneurs of limited economic means who seek to achieve financial stability through entrepreneurship. Volunteers addressed questions related to entity formation, contracts, intellectual property, and other small business-related matters during the course of the clinic.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
American International Group (AIG), Accenture New York Lawyers for the Public Interest; Catholic Migration Services

NYC Rent Freeze Application Clinic
Volunteers helped to keep low-income seniors and people with disabilities in their homes by helping them apply for a vital benefit program that freezes their rent. The New York City Rent Freeze Program, which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) program, helps those eligible to have their rent frozen and stay in affordable housing.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America McGuireWoods Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS)

Preparation and Execution of Life Planning Documents for Clients of Limited Means Clinic
VOLS Senior Law Project led a mandatory 2 hour CLE training session on the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, powers of attorney, and other advance directives. Volunteers were then assigned a client and partnered together to work on estate planning documents for their client during in-person appointments. VOLS attorneys were available to mentor and support volunteers during the clinic. This opportunity was available to attorneys and paralegals.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
American Express Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton* Start Small Think Big

Trademarks First Look Workshop
Amex colleagues teamed up to conduct trademark searches with their clients and counsel them on the results of the searches and to think through broader issues relating to brand-building, marketing, etc. Cleary Gottlieb IP lawyers provided CLE Training over Zoom and served as roving experts to help answer the stickier questions.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citizens Bank Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA)

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) Clinic
Working in partnership with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and hosted by Morgan Lewis, groups of volunteer attorneys worked together to issue spot and provide limited advice to emerging artists and nonprofit groups on their arts-related legal issues during brief counseling sessions.


North Carolina

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
U.S. Bank; TD Bank; Brighthouse Financial McGuireWoods North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center

Driver’s License Restoration CLE & Advice Letter Clinic
This CLE trained volunteers on how to advise clients on how to remove barriers to having their driver’s licenses restored. After the CLE, volunteers worked together in teams to review client records and draft advice letters to clients.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Bradley Arant Boult Cummings Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC)

Lawyer on the Line (Housing Legal Clinic)
The clinic assisted Legal Aid-eligible clients by providing brief advice by phone regarding housing issues. Each team of two volunteers contacted people who have applied for assistance from LANC because they live in apartments and/or houses that are in need of repair. Volunteers helped answer their questions and seek resolution from their landlords.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Wells Fargo McGuireWoods Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Pro Bono Training
The Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy trained Wells Fargo and McGuireWoods legal professionals on how to help unaccompanied minors obtain Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). SIJS a path to permanent residency for immigrant children.  This special status is intended to help protect children who have suffered abuse, neglect or abandonment at the hands of one or both parents. In order to qualify for this status, an authorized state court must find that reunification with one or both of the child’s parents is not viable due to the abuse, abandonment, or neglect and that it is not in the child’s best interest to return to their home country or last country of habitual residence. In engaging with this training, pro bono volunteers will further Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy’s goal of supporting Charlotte’s immigrant communities and ensuring their safety, security, and stability.


Pennsylvania

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Vanguard Group, Inc. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP Philadelphia VIP

Estate Planning Clinic
Volunteers participated in this virtual clinic to assist low-income homeowners preserve family wealth and plan for end-of-life care through estate planning with simple wills, powers of attorney, and advance healthcare directives.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank Dentons* Pennsylvania Innocence Project

PA Innocence Project: Volunteer Training
This session was a training for attorneys and legal professionals to learn how to work on Pennsylvania Innocence Project matters. This training was open to attorneys and legal professionals in every state.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank Duane Morris* Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE)

Pardons in Pennsylvania: Helping Low-Income Philadelphians with Criminal Records Obtain a Fresh Start

An estimated 100,000 low-income people living in Philadelphia have turned their lives around since having been involved with the criminal justice system. In some neighborhoods, nearly 60% of adults have criminal records. With 87% of employers and 80% of landlords checking criminal records as part of the application process, these Philadelphians are denied jobs, housing, credit, education, and other opportunities.

Duane Morris in collaboration with PNC Bank, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE), Blank Rome and Comcast held a pardon CLE and legal clinic to assist nine Philadelphians in drafting their Pennsylvania pardon applications. Volunteers learned about the pardon process, including how to represent a client in an Application for Clemency. Then, volunteers teamed up to assist a PLSE client draft their pardon application.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank Blank Rome* SeniorLAW Center

SeniorLAW Center Will Clinic
Volunteers reviewed clients’ wills, living wills, and healthcare and financial POAs and had them signed, witnessed, and notarized.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank McGuireWoods Jewish Family & Community Services

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) Program Training
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) was created by Congress to provide safe refuge in the United States for minors who have been victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment.  The process to achieve a visa through SIJS is two-fold:  First, the child must receive a family court order finding the child was abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both parents, and that it would not be in the child’s best interest to be returned to his/her country of origin.  Second, the child must file a petition with US Citizenship and Immigration Services officially requesting SIJS.  As part of FIPBD, Pittsburgh-based attorneys received training that enabled them to represent unaccompanied minors in future family court proceedings.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank Dentons* Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

TLDEF Name Change Clinic
The clinic was designed to help transgender and non-binary clients navigate the legal process of a name change.


Texas

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America McGuireWoods Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP) & Legal Aid of Northwest Texas (LANWT)

Virtual Driver’s License Restoration Clinic
The clinic focused on restoring driver’s license privileges for low-income clients whose licenses have been suspended due to unpaid traffic fines and fees or other legal barriers. Volunteers worked in teams to assist in drafting and filing required pleadings. A training session was held in advance of the clinic.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase; Citigroup, Inc. Dallas Attorney Volunteer Program (DVAP)

Virtual Legal Intake Clinic
At this virtual legal intake clinic, participants were assigned individuals to interview about their legal matter in order to place them with volunteer attorney representation. There was the option for clinic attorney volunteers to take on cases following the interviews.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Discover, Capital One, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Key Bank, Bank of America, Zurich North America Davis Wright Tremaine* Texas Appleseed

Research Bail Policies and Practices for Texas Appleseed
This was a limited scope research project with Texas Appleseed. The project began with a training by Gabriella McDonald, the Deputy Director of Texas Appleseed, followed by a few hours of research relating to the fines and fees schedules in different courts in Harris County. This research is critical to understanding the complete bail landscape in Harris County. Almost three-fourths of the individuals held in Texas county jails have not been convicted of any crime but are being detained awaiting trial, usually because they cannot afford the bond amount set in their cases. Indeed, in most counties, no risk assessment tool is used to determine the likelihood that each defendant would commit a new crime or fail to appear in court if released. This research will help Texas Appleseed pursue the implementation of more equitable bail policies.


Virginia

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Capital One Maggie Walker Community Land Trust

Maggie Walker Community Land Trust Life Planning Clinic
Capital One Volunteers provided life planning documents: Will, Power of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directive to Maggie Walker Community Land Trust employees & clients. MWCLT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to develop and maintain permanently affordable homeownership opportunities for low and moderate-income households in the greater Richmond Metro Area.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Freddie Mac, Capital One Legal Services of Northern Virginia

Pro Bono Wills Clinic
This clinic assisted pro bono clients in drafting a will.


Wisconsin

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
CUNA Mutual Group ABA Free Legal Answers

Wisconsin Free Legal Answers
In-house attorneys and law specialists researched and answered questions submitted to the Wisconsin State Bar through the ABA Free Legal Answers program.


National (U.S.)

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, BMO Financial Group Chapman & Cutler LLP HIAS

Afghan Employment Authorization Document Clinic
Volunteers prepared the required forms for an initial asylum seeker employment authorization document. Clients met in breakout rooms with an interpreter, who assisted in filling out the forms.  From there, volunteers coordinated with the clients to get photos and signatures, and then submitted the application. CLE training was provided.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Accenture, State Farm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP* Welcome Legal Alliance, Human Rights First

Afghan Newcomers Interview Preparation Clinic
In the next few months, thousands of our new Afghan neighbors across the country must submit applications for permanent status to lawfully remain in the United States beyond the terms of their current parole. Accenture and State Farm hosted a virtual clinic where volunteers helped Afghan neighbors prepare for their asylum interviews.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Insurance Company Goodwin Procter LLP* Lawyers for Civil Rights

BizGrow Virtual Legal Clinic for Small Business Owners
Partnering with Goodwin’s Neighborhood Business Initiative, volunteers staffed a Virtual “Office Hours” held in partnership with the Boston Public Library’s Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center and Lawyers for Civil Rights. This is a critical resource for small business owners, who need this support now more than ever. The project had three in-house counsel to staff the virtual “Corporate table,” two lawyers to staff the “IP Table,” and one lawyer who has leasing expertise.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Goodwin Procter LLP Project Citizenship

Citizenship Clinic
Volunteers assisted legal permanent residents fill out their naturalization applications.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase Goodwin Procter LLP

Clean Slate Clinic
Volunteers helped community college students to clear their records of “old” criminal convictions. The end goal was to help remove barriers to employment, housing, education, and community, and give them an opportunity to maximize their education and turn their lives around.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
SMBC, Wells Fargo, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Apple Bank, Zurich North America, Payactiv, U.S. Bank, and Discover Davis Wright Tremaine The Alliance for Children’s Rights

Educational Tip Sheets for Alliance for Children’s Rights
Volunteers drafted one-page educational tip sheets to help clients of the Alliance for Children’s Rights. More than 1,500 youth “age out” of the Los Angeles foster care system each year without any parental mentoring or family to support them in the transition. Of the many obstacles these youth face, untangling legal barriers to housing, education, and employment is a vital first step. The one-page tip sheets focus on the business and legal considerations to purchasing cars, investing, and how to address specific tax issues that result when others claim the youth as dependents. Cathy Yacoub, the Pro Bono Director at Alliance for Children’s Rights, kicked-off the event, after which the volunteers broke into small teams to draft the one-pagers together.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Greenberg Traurig LLP GlamourGals

GlamourGals
Greenberg Traurig and Citigroup worked together to help spread cheer by supporting GlamourGals with its Annual My Dear Friend Spring Campaign to send handwritten cards to isolated seniors.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Citi, Bank of New York Mellon, and Bank of America Jones Day Rotary Action Group Against Slavery

Global Compendium Pro Bono Anti-Trafficking Project
Participants helped compile a global compendium of the key human trafficking and modern slavery laws. The Global Compendium is organized in a standardized format for each country and available for those working to combat human trafficking via the internet at no cost. The volunteers prepared research memos of the human trafficking laws of nine countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Angola, Chad, Czech Republic, Jordan, Mozambique, Senegal, Slovenia, and Somalia. The research memos will be used to draft country chapters for the Global Compendium of Human Trafficking Laws. The Global Compendium is hosted by a Rotary action group at: https://ragas.online/human-trafficking-laws/.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup, Discover, Capital One, American Express, Apple Bank, SMBC, NERA Economic Consulting, and Zurich North America Davis Wright Tremaine Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS)

Help Older Adults Avoid Financial Fraud
In partnership with NERA Economic Consulting, volunteers provided in-person critical financial education training to older adults at local senior centers in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. To participate, volunteers were required to attend a one-hour pre-event training by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Office for Older Americans.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Fidelity Goodwin Procter LLP Immigration Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)

IIBA DACA Clinic
Volunteers assisted young adults who were eligible for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) complete their DACA renewal applications and associated forms. DACA allows “dreamers” – non-citizens who came to the U.S. as children and meet several guidelines – to request consideration of deferred action of removal proceedings for a period of two years, subject to renewal. This has been life changing for young people who essentially grew up in the U.S., and who dream of going to college legally, as well as getting driver’s licenses, social security cards, and work authorization.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Capital One Hunton Andrews Kurth* National Veterans Legal Services Program

Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Protection (TSGLI) Program Training
The virtual pro bono training focused on the education of the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program. TSGLI is a financial benefit for service members who experience traumatic injuries while serving in the military. It provides short-term financial assistance in the form of a one-time, lump sum payment ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bloomberg Goodwin Procter LLP Access Justice Brooklyn

Pro Se Uncontested Divorce Clinic
The clinic helped low-income women file uncontested divorce petitions. Clients are typically individuals who may have lived apart from their spouse for a number of years, and have successfully litigated or negotiated custody, visitation and support issues, but have not taken the final step of filing for divorce because they could not afford a lawyer, or they were afraid to sever their legal relationship with their spouse. Working in pairs, lawyers assisted and guided the clients through the process of obtaining a pro se divorce.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
JPMorgan Chase Simpson Thacher & Bartlett* Safe Passage Project

Safe Passage Intake Clinic
Volunteers from JPM Chase partnered with a Simpson Thacher attorney to conduct a virtual intake interview of a Safe Passage unaccompanied minor client.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
PNC Bank Alston & Bird* The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program

Veterans’ Discharge Upgrade Clinic
Volunteers reviewed veterans’ discharge papers to put together an application with supporting information in an effort to get the discharge method upgraded.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP Tahirih Justice Center & Cabrini Center at Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston

Virtual Pro Bono Immigration Clinic
Volunteers learned about the Afghan refugee crisis and the U.S. options to assist Afghan refugees, including preparation of Temporary Protected Status Applications and Employment Authorization Documents. A mandatory training session was held in advance of the clinic.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Goodwin Procter LLP Volunteer Lawyers Project

Volunteer Lawyers Project Answer & Discovery Clinic
Volunteers helped individuals whose landlords have served them with a Notice to Quit generate their Answer and Discovery forms using a tool made for pro se litigants. They assisted with drafting the primary forms, including notices of transfer to Housing Court and check box Motions to Dismiss. No experience was necessary as VLP provided training videos and staff supported during the clinic.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Wells Fargo McGuireWoods National Veteran’s Legal Services Program (NVLSP)

Know Your Rights Intake Clinic
Volunteers were trained on how to handle intake for servicemembers who may be eligible for representation by NVLSP in a variety of issues, including eligibility for medical retirement, special combat related compensation and Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program.  Volunteers then scheduled individual appointments with clients over the course of two days and conducted interviews and compiled memos to assist NVLSP with evaluating potential representation.   This is the third clinic of this kind serving this population that McguireWoods and Wells Fargo have worked on together.


International

Asia-Pacific

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America J Life Foundation

Foods & Goods Distribution
Food and goods distribution to low-income families in Hong Kong with J Life Foundation.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Bank of America Linklaters HELP for Domestic Workers

HELP for Domestic Workers Pro Bono Day
Pro Bono Day to understand more about the NGO and its needs and equip lawyers in the region with legal skills required for related pro bono services which may include but are not limited to reviewing cases to identify potential modern slavery, human trafficking and exploitation issues.


Canada

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
BMO Financial Group Baker McKenzie* Pro Bono Ontario

Free Legal Advice Hotline
The Hotline is available to callers for up to 30 minutes of free legal advice and provides ongoing assistance to qualifying Ontarians who otherwise cannot afford a lawyer. Volunteers took calls remotely and further training and instruction were be provided to everyone who signed up.


Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Simmons & Simmons LLP, London

Access to Justice (Training Session)
An online training session for volunteers who would like to take part in the Access to Justice Program (“A2J”). The A2J program was set up in response to the legal aid cuts in the UK in area of social welfare law – Citi has been supporting the program for the last five years. The program is run and supervised by Diane Sechi, a senior pro bono lawyer at Simmons, who is an experienced social welfare lawyer. Volunteers on A2J support vulnerable individuals in pursuing a disability welfare benefits appeal at the Social Security Tribunal. Volunteers review the bundle, meet with the client, prepare written submissions and attend the hearing with the client. The training session covered how to volunteer and the key pieces of law you need to know in order to volunteer.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Linklaters*

Missing Maps ‘Mapathon’
Each year, disasters around the world kill nearly 100,000 and affect or displace 200 million people. Many of the places where these disasters occur are literally ‘missing’ from open and accessible maps and first responders lack the information to make valuable decisions regarding relief efforts. Missing Maps is an open, collaborative project in which you can help to map areas where humanitarian organizations are trying to meet the needs of people who live at risk of disasters and crises. The aim of Missing Maps is to map the most crisis-prone parts of the developing world – areas which currently lack digital maps. Access to accurate maps is vital for humanitarian aid organizations to deliver lifesaving services, including Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières. Missing Maps is a remote and flexible humanitarian project. Volunteers created online maps of unidentified communities – by mapping the outlines of buildings whilst analyzing satellite photography of residential areas – so people in need can be located. How it worked following an initial training session: (1) Remote volunteers traced satellite imagery into OpenStreetMap, (2) Community volunteers added local detail such as neighborhoods, street names, and evacuation centers, and (3) Humanitarian organizations use mapped information to plan risk reduction and disaster response activities that save lives.

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Citigroup Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP* The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana

ACLU of Louisiana Justice Lab: Storytelling Training and Q&A Session
The ACLU of Louisiana has designed a program to address police violence titled “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial” which is a collaborative effort that aims to enlist law firms and in-house counsel volunteers––both inside and outside of Louisiana–– to assist with the investigation of racially discriminatory policing practices. Citi has an existing relationship with the ACLU for this program whereby in-house Citi legal colleagues would volunteer to reach out to potential plaintiffs, document the stories of such plaintiffs and/or helping identify elements relevant to potential US Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims. Following the success of last year’s collaborative session over FIPBD, ACLU of Louisiana have kindly agreed to provide another training and Q&A session for Citi volunteers which volunteers joined us for over FIPBD in anticipation of a number of storytelling cases expected to follow from the ACLU.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Linklaters Frankfurt

Legal Aspects on Payment Providers: What Pupils Should be Aware of
The presentation focused on the benefits and risks of a first own bank account/credit card; debt trap in relation to online shopping/instalment buying; compulsory execution and responsible spend control.


United Kingdom

Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
UK In House Pro Bono Group (18 financial institutions, including: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Société Générale, Visa, and BNY Mellon) Weil, Gotshal & Manges* Micro Rainbow

Careers Carousel for Refugees & Asylum Seekers
Micro Rainbow provides housing, legal and employability support to LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers. This was an online employability workshop entitled ‘Careers Carousel’ for their clients based in the West Midlands/Leeds. Volunteers spoke to clients in small groups so clients could learn about different careers in law and finance.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
UK In House Pro Bono Group (18 financial institutions including: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Société Générale, Visa, and BNY Mellon) Weil, Gotshal & Manges Dress for Success

Dress for Success Event
Volunteers held a CV workshop, conducted mock interviews, and provided career information to women who are long-term unemployed and have faced difficult circumstances. The aim was to equip the women with the skills and confidence to re-enter the workplace and secure meaningful employment.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
UK In House Pro Bono Group (18 financial institutions including: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Société Générale, Visa, and BNY Mellon) Weil, Gotshal & Manges Hatch Enterprise

Hatch Enterprise – Upskill & Connect: Legal Lunch & Networking Event
For innovative entrepreneurs to meet, connect and network with lawyers and business professionals to seek guidance and information to grow their enterprise. The Legal Clinic brought together lawyers and business professionals with different areas of expertise to provide on-the-spot guidance and information to entrepreneurs with a legal/tech/operational challenge. Volunteers were sent the queries in advance along with the names of the businesses and high-level info on the nature of the business’ activities.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Norton Rose Fulbright, London* Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) UK

Kids in Need of Defense UK (KIND), Insight Afternoon with Training
KIND is a charity which provides free legal help to children and young people (and their families) to navigate the UK immigration system and does this by partnering with lawyers and law firms. NRF worked with a few lawyers from Citi to partner with NRF to help advise KIND. Volunteers were given a chance to meet some of the KIND team and the NRF lawyers who are helping advise KIND and gain an insight into how they could help provide legal advice in conjunction with NRF to help the charity’s clients in their journey.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
UK In House Pro Bono Group (18 financial institutions including: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Société Générale, Visa, and BNY Mellon) Weil, Gotshal & Manges LawWorks

Legal Training for Not-for-Profit Organizations
Legal Training LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay and with the not-for-profit organizations that support them. LawWorks canvassed interest from its not-for-profit network to understand which areas of law they would like to receive training on, e.g. charity governance, IP, data protection, employment, etc. Volunteers gave one hour of their time and delivered online training in their specialist area.

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Financial Institution Law Firm Partner Legal Services Partner
Citigroup Clifford Chance, London

Refugee Support Scheme Taster Session
As part of its work to support access to justice for asylum seekers in the UK, Clifford Chance prepares country of origin information to assist decision makers in the asylum process to better understand the legal, political, social, cultural and religious background of the asylum seeker’s country of origin. For the past eight years, the firm has worked with Refugee Action and a number of small refugee organizations. As part of this work, Clifford Chance also prepare Country of Origin topic guides on jurisdictions which have a trend of asylum applications in the UK on a similar basis. This event was a taster session where Clifford Chance sought up to eight dedicated in-house volunteers to assist with the preparation of topic guides on the basis of gender and sexuality in a number of jurisdictions, including Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Iran for broadly a period of 2 months. The Taster session is to be followed by a more formal introduction and training. The work will involve researching using publicly available resources (such as UNHCR and Human Rights Watch reports) and drafting information relating to the relevant issue in jurisdictions which have larger numbers of people claiming asylum. These guides are provided to caseworkers at Refugee Action and other refugee organizations to assist in preparing asylum applications.


* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member