Corporate Pro Bono:

Enhancing the Pro Bono Culture
of In-house Legal Departments

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

Questions about in-house pro bono? Contact the CPBO project.

Clinic in a Box® ProgramThese 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.

  • EmPOWERing Pro Bono Day was launched in 2020 and has engaged more than 100 volunteers from power and gas companies to serve hundreds of clients.
  • Financial Institution Pro Bono Day was launched in 2019 and has engaged hundreds of volunteers annually from dozens of companies in the financial industry to serve thousands of clients in need of assistance.

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.

Contact the CPBO project to learn more about in-house pro bono.

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:

  • Promote and support pro bono service by their legal department staff;
  • Use their best efforts to encourage their staff, including at least one-half of their legal staff, to support and participate in pro bono service; and,
  • Encourage the outside law firms with whom they work to acknowledge publicly their support for pro bono by becoming signatories to the PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge initiative.

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.

Corporate Pro Bono Challenge initiative FAQs

Join the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge initiative

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.


Dev Stahlkopf
Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer
Cisco Systems, Inc.

Laura Stein
Executive Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs and General Counsel
Mondelēz International


Marcus V. Brown
Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Entergy Corporation

Matthew Cooper
General Counsel, Corporate Secretary and Head of ESG
Capital One Financial Corporation

Ivan K. Fong
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

James R. Jenkins
Retired, Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Deere & Company

Michele Lee
General Counsel

Todd Machtmes
Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Hossein Nowbar
Chief Legal Officer

Michael O’Connor
General Counsel
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tonya Robinson
Vice Chair and General Counsel – Legal, Regulatory and Compliance

Thomas Sabatino
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Rite Aid

John Schultz
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Operations, Legal and Administrative Affairs
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Vandana Venkatesh
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer
Verizon Communications, Inc.

David Zapolsky
Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy & General Counsel


To support, enhance, and transform the pro bono efforts of in-house legal departments in the U.S. and around the world.