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February/March 2020

Special 2020 Annual Conference Preview Edition

Celebrating AIG

PBI will present to American International Group, Inc. (AIG**) and Lucy Fato, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, the 2020 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award at a special luncheon on Wednesday, March 18, during PBI’s 2020 Annual Conference. The award is given each year to an individual or organization that has provided exemplary pro bono service. Named for Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal Laurie D. Zelon, the award honors those who, like Justice Zelon, demonstrate leadership and extraordinary contributions to enhancing justice for all.

At PBI’s Annual Conference, Fato will join other senior legal experts to share their views on important pro bono and access to justice issues, including the role that leaders in firms and departments can play as pro bono and legal aid champions, the significance of pro bono within firms and companies, and the impact it has in their communities. Visit PBI’s Conference website for more information. To learn more about AIG’s Pro Bono Program, check out their Best Practice Profile by CPBO. Click here to read more about Fato and the 2020 Zelon Pro Bono Award.

Raise a Glass!

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Initiative. Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge signatories provided 5 million hours of pro bono in 2018, and more than 78 million hours over the past 25 years!

Join us, March 17th, at 5:00 pm, as we celebrate the many law firms that have signed the Challenge and have committed to raising awareness of pro bono at their firm, increasing attorney participation, and engaging firm leadership for sustainable success.

Conference Sessions You Won't Find Anywhere Else!

The PBI 2020 Annual Conference has something for every type of pro bono leader. Whether you are a seasoned pro bono pro or newcomer, a law firm, in-house, or public interest attendee, there are plenty of exciting sessions to choose from!

On Tuesday, March 17, the conference features tracked programming. These sessions will focus on pro bono topics that pertain specifically to either law firm, in-house, or public interest attendees, with session options in each track for registrants to choose from based on where you are in the pro bono spectrum. Highlights include “Innovative In-House Pro Bono Projects” for the in-house track; “Improving Partner Participation” for the law firm track; and “Leading with Heart: Coaching Nonprofit Leadership” for the public interest track. And, the conference provides peer-to-peer networking opportunities for colleagues in similar roles.

During much of the day on Wednesday, March 18, there will be a wide variety of programming open to all conference attendees. Look for sessions on specific areas of pro bono such as climate change and immigration, with sessions like, “Tapping into Pro Bono Energy: How Lawyers are Transforming Climate Change,” “Updates on the Ever-Changing Immigration Landscape, and “The Poverty Penalty.” These sessions will be led by experts in these evolving issues.

Additionally, on Wednesday, PBI will host programs on some of the most important skills and techniques necessary for successful pro bono practice. Sessions will focus on topics such as how to build positive pro bono partnerships, how to be more resilient, and how to effectively use media in your pro bono cases according to the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund.

Why stop there? The 2020 Annual Conference will also offer sessions on best practices for pro bono partnerships, trends in global pro bono, and crowdsourcing pro bono questions. Then, to wrap up the conference, on Thursday, March 19, you’ll find an interactive, 3-hour, pro bono simulation and discussion that will provide professionals with a broader understanding of the client perspective.

Fresh Perspectives

Don’t miss Wednesday morning’s plenary program: Perspectives on Pro Bono from Law Firm and Company Leaders. A panel of chief legal officers and managing partners will share their views on important pro bono and access to justice issues.

Moderating the panel is Jim Sandman, President Emeritus of the Legal Services Corporation, with panelists John Conroy, Principal at Baker McKenzie, and recipient of the 2020 Chesterfield Smith Award; Lucy Fato, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at AIG; Jon Harmon, Chairman of McGuireWoods LLP; and Dev Stahlkopf, Vice President and  Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft.

The panel will address the role that leaders in firms and departments can play as pro bono and legal aid champions, the significance of pro bono within firms and companies, and the positive impact that pro bono work has in pro bono leaders’ communities.

And the Chesterfield Smith Goes to...

Please join us in honoring John J. Conroy, Jr., Principal, Baker McKenzie LLP (Baker McKenzie), for his extraordinary dedication to pro bono, prior to the Conference Opening Plenary, “Perspectives on Pro Bono from Law Firm and Company Leaders.”

The Chesterfield Smith Award is named after the late Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Holland & Knight, who believed passionately and completely in equal justice for all, while standing firm in his conviction that public service and pro bono are absolutely essential elements in the lives of lawyers and in the work of great law firms. The award is not given annually, rather only when warranted by outstanding achievement.

A prominent international banking and finance lawyer, John has demonstrated a career-long commitment to initiatives that address critical societal issues, including access to justice, human rights, diversity, and environmental stewardship. He has served on the boards of numerous civic, educational, and charitable organizations, including Pro Bono Institute’s Board of Directors since 2011. Other organizations for which John has donated his time and talents are the Law Board of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, the U.N.-affiliated International Organization for Migration Business Advisory Board, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Women Advisory Board, the Midtown Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors, and After School Matters® Board of Directors, a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing after-school and summer program opportunities to nearly 19,000 Chicago high school teens each year.

During his tenure as Baker McKenzie’s Global Chair and Head of the firm’s Global Strategic Initiatives, John spearheaded Baker McKenzie’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program, which promotes pro bono and community service, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability. At Baker McKenzie, pro bono is seen as a fundamental responsibility for all of its lawyers and has become an opportunity for the firm to give back locally, nationally, and internationally.

Baker McKenzie is a founding member of PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project and a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatory.

(TED) x (A2J) = Justice Talks

Justice Talks is a new, exciting format for lively presentations on current issues face by the pro bono and access to justice community. Listen to subject matter experts tell stories of poverty, criminal justice reform, human trafficking, and more.

Featured speakers include:

  • The Honorable Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Chief Judge of the DC Court of Appeals
    Perspectives from the Bench, The Importance of Local Pro Bono
  • Peter Edelman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy, Center on Poverty and Inequality, Georgetown Law
    The Criminalization of Poverty in America: Three Intertwined Crises
  • Damon Hewitt, Executive Vice President, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    Voter Suppression
  • Mark Holden, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Koch Industries, Inc. (Retired)
    Removing Barriers to Opportunity & Expanding Freedom for All – Why Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform is Important for America
  • WilmerHale, Voice of the Client
    The Role of Law Firms in Combatting Human Trafficking
  • Dr. Yvette Wilson-Barnes, Associate Dean, Student Affairs, City University of New York School of Law
    Diversity’s Greatest Commitment

Tracking the Role of Pro Bono Partners

DLA Piper’s*† Report on the Nature and Prevalence of Pro Bono Partner Roles Globally will be released on Monday, February 24. PBI congratulates DLA Piper on producing this update which traces the rise of the pro bono partner role around the world. Law Firm Conference attendees should be sure to attend a session outlining the results of this report, The Role of Pro Bono Partner, on Tuesday, March 17, at 2:45 p.m.

Meet, Mingle, Munch, and Much More!

Last year’s Expo was crazy…fun! Check out the Pro Bono EXPO and, yes, Happy Hour from 4:15 to 5:30 in the Cherry Blossom Ballroom on Thursday, March 19.

Table hosts will share emerging issues, strategies, and innovations; answer questions; and provide information about cutting-edge pro bono opportunities available to your law firm or legal department. This is a unique time to mingle, forge productive relationships and partnerships with public interest organizations from across the U.S. and develop new pro bono initiatives. We are excited to conclude our preview with these hosts:

AILA/Council Immigration Justice CampaignAlameda County Bar Foundation
Animal Legal Defense FundAppleseed Network
Immigration EqualityKIND
Lawyer’s ClearinghouseNational Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
National Veterans Legal Services ProgramNC Bar Foundation
NC Pro Bono Resource CenterNeighborhood Legal Services Program
Pro Bono PartnershipsRAICES
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc.The Florida Bar Foundation
United States Patent and Trademark OfficeVeteran’s Consortium Pro Bono Program

as of 2/20/2020

Pro Bono Goes Global

The Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities in 84 Jurisdictions, produced by Latham & Watkins*† in conjunction with PBI, has been updated! This user-friendly microsite is a compilation of reliable and locally sourced information covering jurisdictions around the world ranging from Angola to Vietnam. The survey describes the legal landscape and provides essential details about local legal programs, unmet legal needs, and the rules that govern pro bono representation.

David Ziyambi, Partner, Latham & Watkins, said “The Survey of Pro Bono Practices and Opportunities is a testament both to the dedication and hard work of our lawyers and professional staff and to the incredible team of local law firms and practitioners in the 80+ jurisdictions that contributed to the survey. We also wish to thank Pro Bono Institute, which has done, and continues to do, so much to encourage the practice of pro bono legal services globally.”

Stay tuned for an episode of the Pro Bono Happy Hour Podcast devoted to the Global Survey’s update and the future of global pro bono. Also, be sure to check out Latham’s session at the Conference, Trends in Global Pro Bono.

Advancing In-House Pro Bono

Check out a great—free—webinar Tuesday, February 25 at 12:00 p.m. (ET), hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel and moderated by the Director of Corporate Pro Bono, Alyssa Saunders: How Legal Ops Can Advance In-House Pro Bono. Learn about how Legal Operations professionals can use their management expertise to coordinate and optimize the legal department’s pro bono program, helping the program to reach new levels of efficiency, maturity, and impact.

* denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
** denotes a Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatory
† denotes a Law Firm Pro Bono Project® member