CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award

The CPBO project of PBI created the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award to recognize innovative pro bono collaborations of in-house legal departments  in partnership with law firms and public interest organizations. The award focuses on pro bono projects that address a critical legal need or particularly vulnerable community with demonstrable impact on the community or group served. The award is given for a partnership project that has substantial involvement by in-house lawyers and includes innovative, substantive and/or structural approaches to solving a legal challenge.

The CPBO project may present two awards annually and recognize partnerships based on the size of the department to better honor exceptional partnerships involving legal departments of all sizes: (1) to a partnership that includes at least one legal department of 50 or more lawyers; and (2) to a partnership that includes legal departments with 49 or fewer lawyers.

The CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award is selected by the CPBO Advisory Board and is presented annually at the PBI Annual Dinner.

Recipients of this award must include at least one legal department working in partnership with one or more law firms and/or public interest organization partners.

The criteria for selection are:

  1. a legal pro bono project that has a demonstrated impact on its community/target group;
  2. substantial involvement by in-house lawyers;
  3. tangible steps toward making the partnership sustained;
  4. innovative, substantive and/or structural (e.g., delivery model) approaches to the effort; and
  5. addresses a critical legal need and/or particularly vulnerable community/target group.








  • LARGE LAW – UnitedHealth Group Incorporated in partnership with Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
  • SMALLER LAW – Alcoa Corporation and Arconic, Inc. in partnership with Meyer, Unkovic & Scott


  • Entergy Corporation, the Louisiana Civil Justice Center, and the Orleans Parish Civil District Court


  • LARGE LAW – BNY Mellon in partnership with White & Case, and The National LGBT Bar Association
  • SMALLER LAW – Best Buy in partnership with Volunteer Lawyers Network


  • American International Group, Inc.’s Global Legal, Compliance, Regulatory, and Government Affairs department, and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project


  • Hewlett-Packard Company, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and the National Veterans Legal Services Program


  • Ford Motor Company Office of the General Counsel, in partnership with Dykema Gossett PLLC, Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc., and Michigan Community Resources


  • Verizon Communications Inc. in partnership with DLA Piper LLP


  • Accenture plc, Caterpillar Inc., and Merck & Co., Inc. in partnership with Baker & McKenzie and PILnet (formerly the Public Interest Law Institute)


  • Aetna Inc., with Lawyers for Children America and Bet Tzedek Legal Services in cooperation with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


  • The Williams Companies, Inc. in partnership with Hall, Estill, Hardwick, Gable, Golden & Nelson, P.C., and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.


  • 3M with Children’s Law Center of Minnesota


  • Microsoft Corporation and Volunteer Advocates for Immigrant Justice with collaborating law firms Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Heller Erhman LLP, Holland & Knight LLP, Perkins Coie LLP, Preston Gates & Ellis LLP, and Riddell Williams P.S.


  • U.S. Bank with Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Central Minnesota Legal Services, Inc., and Volunteer Lawyers Network, Ltd.


  • State Farm Insurance Companies with Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.


  • Abbott Laboratories with Baker & McKenzie and Midwest Immigrant & Human Rights Center