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November/December 2021

PBI 2022 Annual Conference Registration is Officially Open

The silver lining of the global pandemic? Learning to be agile to meet the needs of those we serve. The PBI 2022 Annual Conference offers a few surprises while providing robust programming with flexibility. We recognize that the pandemic continues to impact communities in different ways, and some may not be able to attend the Conference in person. To accommodate your needs, PBI will present two experiences for the 2022 Annual Conference:

In-Person: Tuesday, March 8 – Thursday, March 10, 2022
Virtual: Wednesday, April 6 – Thursday, April 7, 2022

In-Person registration includes access to the additional Virtual programming in April. For those unable to attend In-Person, PBI offers a Virtual-only registration option.

  • In-Person programming will include staples such as Law Firm Pro Bono 101, Experienced Law Firm Pro Bono Leaders Roundtable, In-House Pro Bono: The Basics, In-House Pro Bono: Mature Crowdsourcing, The Public Interest Exchange, Public Interest: Hot Topics, as well as interactive sessions and workshops covering a variety of current and emerging topics that impact law firms, in-house departments, and public interest organizations. In addition, In-Person networking will include PBI’s Pro Bono EXPO; the Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award presentation will be a highlight of In-Person networking events.
  • Virtual programming will include select recorded In-Person sessions plus original webinars, networking opportunities, a Pro Bono Fair, and a special plenary.

Many sessions offer CLE credit and will be available on demand after the conference. PBI has partnered with Thomson Reuters and West LegalEdcenter to facilitate CLE credit.

New this year: We are offering group rates for both the In-Person and Virtual experiences! Visit the Annual Conference website, and contact for more information.

The PBI Annual Conference is the legal profession’s premier pro bono event tailored to the interests and needs of pro bono leaders at law firms, in-house legal departments, and nonprofit legal services organizations. We look forward to seeing you in 2022!

Building on 25 Years of Success

“Congratulations and thank you to PBI!  For 25 years, PBI has been a leader in working with LSC and our Nation’s legal aid providers to leverage the resources of law firms and corporate law departments to help meet the critical legal needs of Americans living in poverty.” – Ronald Flagg, President, Legal Services Corporation

Welcome to New Signatories and Members

PBI’s CPBO Challenge® initiative is celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year! CPBO staff and members of the CPBO Advisory Board are calling on General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers to sign onto the CPBO Challenge on behalf of their legal departments. We’ve recently welcomed eight new CPBO Challenge signatories:

Clif Bar & Company
Hydro Extrusion North America
Mondelēz International
TransUnion (US)
Trustmark Companies
Willis Towers Watson

New Law Firm Project Members

And in PBI’s 25th Anniversary year we also welcome new Law Firm Project members Archer Greiner and Pullman & Comley! After more than 25 years of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project initiative, isn’t it time that your firm join the approximately 100 law firms that benefit with the support that comes with membership? Learn more about the Project and the support and benefits PBI provides to members here.

Crime-Free Housing Ordinances

Adequate housing is a basic human right, yet there are many barriers to housing in the United States. The PBEye has been following the development of laws and policies that create or ease barriers to housing, including the response to growing housing insecurity during the pandemic, the impact of the end of the national eviction moratorium, the decriminalization of homelessness through the establishment of homeless courts, and the movement to secure a right to counsel for tenants in housing court. In our latest blog, we look at the impact of crime-free housing ordinances.

Crime-free housing ordinances vary widely state to state and within county and city jurisdictions, but generally bar renters’ housing access based on issues like prior criminal history and bad credit. These ordinances’ purported purpose is to provide protection for both landlords and tenants from potential criminal activity in their community. However, due to their wide variation of standards, the ordinances are easily weaponized against the recently or previously incarcerated, communities of color, the disabled community, survivors of and those living with domestic violence, and other vulnerable peoples. Find out more and download our paper, here.

Assisting Refugees with Resettlement in the U.S.

On August 31st, the Biden Administration ended all U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, marking an end to a 20-year war. Two weeks before the United States had withdrawn all troops, Taliban forces seized control of the country. In response, tens of thousands of individuals in Afghanistan gathered at central airports seeking to flee gendered, political, or religious oppression under Taliban rule. The Taliban’s rapid takeover complicated the evacuation process for many, leaving U.S. citizens, Afghans who assisted the U.S., and Afghans fleeing oppression stranded in Afghanistan. Moreover, Afghans who managed to leave Afghanistan, or are able to do so in the future, and seek to enter the U.S. still face obstacles.

As more refugees enter the U.S. fleeing persecution from the Taliban, pro bono assistance is needed now more than ever. Currently, over 123,000 individuals have been airlifted out of Kabul. As the Department of Homeland Security vets refugees from Afghanistan, a large influx of individuals is expected to require legal aid to navigate the complex U.S. resettlement process. Find out more, and ways you can help, in our latest blog. Read More.

Q4 Message from CPBO

In this season of giving thanks, the Corporate Pro Bono team would like to thank all of our Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® signatories for your commitment to increase access to justice through pro bono legal services. Whether your legal department became a Charter Signatory when CPBO launched the Challenge in 2006, or your department joined us as part of the 15th Anniversary outreach campaign in 2021, or anywhere in between, your pledge to encourage in-house pro bono makes a difference.

(Not yet a signatory?  There is still time to sign on to the Challenge!  To learn more, please see the CPBO Challenge initiative FAQs and the CPBO Challenge sign-up form.)

As the year winds down, we would also like to remind our signatories to collect participation data from your department members (both lawyers and staff) for 2021. The CPBO Challenge® initiative is the only industry-wide benchmark for in-house pro bono, setting an aspirational goal that at least 50 percent of attorneys and staff in the legal department will participate in pro bono annually. This metric is easy to track, and both encourages and promotes pro bono service throughout a company’s legal department. This is a target, not a requirement.

The 2022 Challenge Survey will report on pro bono participation by lawyers and staff from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. Participation means any participation in a pro bono project during the time-period, as we track percentage of the department involved in pro bono rather than hours. If your legal department does not currently collect participation data, an easy approach to obtain data for the 2021 CPBO Challenge Survey is to send members of your department a single-question survey asking: “Did you participate in pro bono in 2021? Yes or no.”

The biennial CPBO Benchmarking Survey is sent to Challenge signatories and other departments with pro bono programs, in order to assist in-house counsel and others with understanding the current state of in-house pro bono. The survey includes questions about program structure, the types of pro bono matters handled, metrics, partnerships, and more.

To learn more about these surveys, check out our most recent reports: 2021 CPBO Challenge Report (covering the year 2020) and 2020 Benchmarking Report. All data is kept confidential by CPBO and is reported anonymously and in the aggregate.

CPBO welcomes any feedback and ideas for the future about how to make the survey process easier and more seamless for your department.

Additionally, if your department has not already done so, we appreciate if you can please confirm which pro bono leaders from your department should receive the CPBO Challenge and Benchmarking surveys in March 2022 by emailing CPBO Project Assistant Lily Constine at

Thank you again for your dedication and commitment to pro bono and access to justice.

Jo-Ann Wallace, President of NLADA Insurance Program

“PBI’s pro bono pledges have been a game-changing, galvanizing force for increasing pro bono in the private sector. Thank you for all of your efforts and congratulations from NLADA on 25 years of expanding access to justice!”
–Jo-Ann Wallace, President of NLADA Insurance Program

The Chief Legal Officer’s Point of View: Sustainability, Racial Justice, and In-House Pro Bono

On October 21, 2021, at the 2021 Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting, Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) hosted a panel discussion about how leaders of corporate in-house departments engage their teams to strengthen their sustainability, racial justice, and in-house pro bono missions. Todd Machtmes, Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Salesforce**, Sandra Phillips Rogers, Group Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, and Chief Diversity Officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; and Allon Stabinsky, Senior Vice President and Chief Deputy General Counsel of Intel** served as panelists. PBI President & CEO Eve Runyon moderated the conversation.

The panel discussed several critical issues that impact mature in-house pro bono programs. For starters, there has been a shift in corporations towards demonstrating sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices to investors, redefining how some corporations engage with their communities in a meaningful way. Additionally, the impact of the pandemic paired with the recent calls for racial justice has provided companies with a unique opportunity to use pro bono to advance initiatives that aim to better their local community and the broader planet as a whole. As a result, more and more companies are looking at the intersection of these various issues and considering the role pro bono plays in addressing them. Find out more in our blog.

FIPBD 2022 Planning is Underway

Planning for Financial Institution Pro Bono Day 2022 is now underway!  Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and its Corporate Pro Bono project (CPBO) are looking forward to the third Financial Institution Pro Bono Day (FIPBD) on Thursday, April 28, 2022. This event brings together volunteer attorneys and legal staff from financial institutions, often in partnership with legal services organizations and law firms, to provide pro bono legal assistance to address critical legal needs of underserved communities. The 2021 FIPBD took place virtually on January 14, 2021, where more than 630 pro bono volunteers from 37 financial institutions contributed to the day’s events. Pro bono events in the past have addressed issues ranging from homelessness, to transgender name changes, to life planning for veterans, to green card assistance for domestic violence survivors, to advancing racial justice and serving communities of color, and many more. View the full 2022 FIPBD Flyer here.

CPBO held a kickoff call with financial institutions interested in participating in the 2022 FIPBD earlier this month, and will periodically send out information and hold monthly “Office Hours” for financial institutions. In the meantime, we encourage financial institution legal departments to start lining up their legal department, law firm, and legal services organization partners, and begin planning their pro bono events for FIPBD 2022.

Once financial institutions identify their law firm and legal services organization partners for FIPBD 2022, we will hold a planning call for partners.

If your legal department in the financial or insurance industry would like to participate and you have not already let us know, please contact CPBO Director Alyssa Saunders at and CPBO Project Assistant Lily Constine at

If your law firm or legal services organization would like to participate and you have not been contacted by a financial institution, please notify PBI President & CEO Eve Runyon at


David Stern, Executive Director, Equal Justice Works

“Congratulations PBI on an amazing 25 years!  You have created a community in Big Law and corporate law departments that has fostered innovation and collaboration. Your annual survey proves that PBI’s work has created positive trends in pro bono. And PBI has been a great connector between the private sector and the legal aid community.” – David Stern, Executive Director, Equal Justice Works

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