The PBI 2018 Annual Conference brought together more than 300 attendees from law firms, legal departments, and public interest organizations from around the world on February 21-23 in Washington, D.C. Sessions spanned ongoing needs in the pursuit of access to justice, such as family law and poverty law, to trending and emerging threats to civil rights and liberties and human-made and natural disasters.
Law firm representatives kicked off the conference on February 21 with “Law Firm Pro Bono 101” while in-house pro bono leaders chose from two concurrent sessions for mature and new programs. New for 2018, public interest attendees enjoyed offsite programming in the morning before afternoon programming onsite. In-house and law firm attendees met with peers during Regional Joint Networking Exchanges followed by a joint opening lunch program featuring a panel discussing The State of Pro Bono. Concurrent sessions filled the afternoon and the day wrapped up with Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Networking Sessions for in-house and law firm individuals with similar responsibilities to meet and collaborate.
On February 22, PBI President and CEO Eve Runyon welcomed all attendees with breakfast. Attendees then went to concurrent sessions until noon when the 2018 Laurie D. Zelon Award was presented to Gregory B. Jordan and the Legal Department of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.**(PNC). PNC was recognized for their commitment to “helping to build strong communities and create financial opportunities for individuals, families and businesses.” PNC has engaged its legal staff in pro bono across every legal department office: Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.
The Conference continued with afternoon sessions followed by the Pro Bono EXPO and Happy Hour, a unique networking opportunity and catalyst for new pro bono relationships and initiatives at which representatives of public interest organizations hosted tables. Click here to see a full list of public interest table hosts.
On the evening of February 22, attendees gathered at the National Museum of Women in the Arts for a special fireside chat with the legendary Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Greg Jordan of PNC engaged the Justice in conversation while a standing-room-only audience listened in rapt attention. PBI Board of Directors member David Williams, Deloitte LLP** and Board Chair Jim Jones, Center for the Study of the Legal Profession Georgetown and Legal Management Resources LLC gave remarks as well. Mark Gittelman, PNC led guests in a champagne toast to end the evening.
On February 23, the Conference concluded with a final, timely morning workshop and break-out sessions on the intersection of pro bono and disaster preparedness.
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