The Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO®) project is designed to substantially increase the amount of pro bono work performed by in-house counsel and to enhance the pro bono culture of in-house legal departments through technical assistance to the in-house community, targeted research and publications, online information and services, and outreach and educational programming.
A trusted source for innovative ideas, PBI launched the CPBO project to provide consultation, resources, and insights that will help in-house legal departments make informed and enlightened decisions about pro bono to meaningfully advance access to justice in their communities.
The CPBO project has developed a number of initiatives to advance in-house pro bono, including the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative, the industry-standard goal for commitment to in-house pro bono, and the Clinic in a Box® program, a proprietary, highly successful in-house clinic model that serves nonprofits and small businesses.
Since its inception, the CPBO project has worked with more than 1200 legal departments and more than 40 Association of Corporate Counsel Chapters to develop their pro bono programs and create pro bono opportunities in an effort to close the access to justice gap. You can find many CPBO resources at www.cpbo.org.
Questions about in-house pro bono? Contact the CPBO project.
Clinic in a Box® Program – These half-day clinics provide in-house counsel the opportunity to earn CLE credit during a training session followed by advising nonprofit organizations or small businesses on select topics or a legal audit of the organization. These clinics are produced in collaboration with legal departments, Association of Corporate Counsel Chapters, local nonprofit organizations, and major law firms.
Industry Pro Bono Days – Annual industry pro bono days bring together volunteer attorneys and legal staff from different industries to provide pro bono legal assistance to address critical legal needs of underserved communities and promote in-house pro bono engagement and collaboration. Participating companies, often working in partnership with legal services organizations and law firms, organize and participate in pro bono events of their choice on a designated day each year.
Training and Presentations – The CPBO team regularly presents on various in-house pro bono topics and provides training or speaks at events, to support and advance in-house pro bono. From industry-wide association meetings to legal department retreats, there are opportunities for you to learn from and get involved with the CPBO project.
In 2006, at the urging of chief legal officers, the CPBO project launched an initiative enabling legal departments to identify, benchmark, and communicate their support for pro bono service. The Corporate Pro Bono Challenge (CPBO Challenge®) statement is now the standard for in-house pro bono. It is a simple, voluntary statement of commitment to pro bono service by legal departments, their lawyers, and staff. Today, there are more than 190 signatories to the CPBO Challenge initiative.
Specifically, the CPBO Challenge statement calls for chief legal officers to:
All CPBO Challenge signatories receive from the CPBO project, free of charge, information, guidance, and tailored support to strengthen existing pro bono programs or to start new ones.
By joining the CPBO initiative, legal departments elevate the importance of providing pro bono legal services to underserved, vulnerable communities and communicate their commitment to supporting their lawyers and staff in using their unique skills to close the justice gap.
To find current as well as historic data on in-house pro bono performance, read the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge Reports, and to learn more about the amazing work signatories have done to serve those in need, visit the PBI Signatory Showcase.
CPBO Advisory Board members volunteer their time to help guide and shape the work and direction of the CPBO project.
Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer
Cisco Systems, Inc.
Executive Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Marcus V. Brown
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Head of ESG
Capital One Financial Corporation
Ivan K. Fong
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Chief Legal Officer
Michael J. Holston
Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary
General Electric Company
James R. Jenkins
Retired, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Deere & Company
Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Chief Legal Officer
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Vice Chair and General Counsel – Legal, Regulatory and Compliance
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Operations, Legal and Administrative Affairs
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company
To support, enhance, and transform the pro bono efforts of in-house legal departments in the U.S. and around the world.