Randy Milch, former executive vice president, public policy, and general counsel of Verizon Communications Inc.** and host of Legal Talk Network’s In-House Legal podcast recently spoke with Ivan Fong, the senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel at 3M Company** about embracing opportunities. Fong leads 3M’s global legal department as well as its compliance and government affairs team. He is also a longtime advocate for in-house pro bono and has encouraged the growth of pro bono culture within in-house legal departments.
Fong’s professional trajectory has propelled him through both the private and public sectors. As part of their discussion, Fong and Milch considered this unique path with Fong providing advice for those considering moving their career in-house. Both strong proponents of pro bono, the two also discussed the incredible gap in access to justice in the U.S. and the importance of engaging in pro bono service to help meet this need, with Fong remarking that “practicing law is a privilege and part of our responsibility to ensure access to justice is to give back to the community.” Fong also highlighted other benefits, including the experiences gained from engaging in pro bono. Both through participating in professional training and helping the thousands of people who face legal issues every day, attorneys walk away with experiences that are truly rewarding, both personally and professionally. Pro bono also helps the corporate community set a good example and build reputation.
Specifically about 3M’s commitment to pro bono, Fong said the legal department’s pro bono work aligns perfectly with the company’s community affairs and community giving efforts, as well as the larger corporate value of “supporting communities in which our employees work and live.”
The PBEye applauds Fong and the entire 3M legal department for their incredible commitment to pro bono, and thanks Milch for ensuring that pro bono continues to be an important part of the dialogue on in-house practice.
**denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
Hat tip to PBI Intern Maria Vlasie for her assistance with this post.