The Force Multiplier Effect: Combining Partnership, Mentorship, Technology and More to Serve Nonprofits and Impact Community

PBI Signatory Showcase Interview with Koch Capabilities, LLC and Barnes & Thornburg LLP In February 2020, weeks before the pandemic began to ripple across the U.S., Koch Industries welcomed representatives from our panel of preferred law firms to Wichita. Koch General Counsel Ray Geoffroy felt strongly that Koch had a tremendous opportunity to accomplish so much good for society by leveraging our combined capabilities (internal lawyers and external panel firm lawyers) on a larger scale.  He challenged the law firms to partner with our Pro Bono Initiative and become a “force multiplier” to Koch’s efforts. Further, he set the expectation

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The Power of Law Firms and Law Schools Working Together on Pro Bono

by Kelsey Hunt, PBI Intern Strong and growing interest in pro bono at law schools suggests that there has never been a better time for collaboration between law firms and law schools. For example, 82 students at the University of Virginia School of Law’s 2023 graduating class completed the pro bono hours challenge of at least 75 hours of service. This law student interest in pro bono is more than just a flash in the pan; interest has been peaking over several years now. The University of Chicago Law School’s class of 2022 broke the school’s record by collectively recording

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Balancing the Scales: State Efforts for Local Legal Aid Funding

The Legal Services Corporation Act of 1974 changed the access to justice landscape by funding the first independent, national nonprofit – the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) – to financially support legal aid organizations that assist with civil legal matters. The Act underscored that “there is a need to provide high quality legal assistance to those who would be otherwise unable to afford adequate legal counsel.” Unmet civil legal need continues to grow, however, and without necessary funding, legal services organizations and pro bono lawyers cannot adequately provide services to low-income individuals. Both nationally and across the states, government officials, legal

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Legal Department Leaders Unite to Support Funding for Civil Justice

For the eighth year running, legal department leaders have once again rallied to support the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid in the United States. Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and its global in-house project, Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), along with the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA), put out a call to action to General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers, inviting them to sign a letter of support for increasing LSC’s Fiscal Year 2025 funding. The GCs and CLOs from 147 corporations signed the letter, calling on Congress to strengthen its investment in equal justice by increasing funding

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Mandatory Pro Bono Continues to Face Challenges

In an effort to address unmet legal needs, some jurisdictions have tried their hand at mandatory pro bono service and reporting, but these systems continue to face challenges. Whether it is New Jersey’s longstanding requirement that lawyers represent indigent defendants or a new proposal in California that would ask lawyers to tell the state bar the number of pro bono service hours they complete each year, the debate among lawyers, state bar associations, and others continues. Background: Pro bono service has historically been encouraged, but not mandated. First adopted in 1983, the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct

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Pledging to Do More In-House Pro Bono

Challenge, accepted! Pledge, taken! Target, aimed! Legal department leaders around the globe have more opportunities than ever before to publicly commit to engaging their legal teams in pro bono. In April 2024, the UK In House Pro Bono Pledge joined the global Corporate Pro Bono Challenge® initiative and the Australian National Pro Bono Target as a way for GCs and CLOs to demonstrate their commitment to pro bono.  These initiatives share a common purpose of motivating in-house pro bono participation. The Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) launched the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge initiative, in 2006

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When Virtual Still Works: Helping the Housing Crisis in More Rural Areas

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP Interview Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP has partnered with Legal Services of the Hudson Valley to staff a helpline for tenants facing eviction or related housing crises. Through the helpline, tenants can receive advice about their legal rights and assistance with completing pro se forms, such as answers and motions, to file in their cases. In 2023, over 500 clients were provided assistance through the helpline. We spoke with Laura Sinrod, Special Counsel and Resident Pro Bono Counsel in the New York office. As pro bono counsel, Laura is responsible for

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Medical-Legal Partnerships

By Hena Mehta, Sheehan Scholar Medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) are collaborations of attorneys and healthcare professionals to provide patients and clients with results that address their social needs. The premise behind an MLP is simple: healthcare workers provide their patients with effective treatment for their medical illnesses while attorneys address clients’ legal problems that negatively interfere with their health. By strengthening the connection between healthcare and law, MLPs create a streamlined method for clients and patients experiencing legal barriers in their complex medical treatment or related independent issues to have on-site attorneys and expert health professionals involved in their care plan.

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The Need for Pro Bono in Children’s Rights

By Daniela Ramirez-Ledesma, PBI Intern As provided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, every child in this world has the right to be protected from neglect, abuse, exploitation, and mistreatment and should grow up in a nurturing home with food, health care, and education. Sadly, this does not always happen, and over 600,000 children every year are abused in the United States. Children’s rights are fundamental in advancing human rights for all, but without the help of pro bono attorneys, children often are forced to live under unlivable circumstances and experience physical, emotional, and mental abuse

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DLA Piper Rebuilding Hope: Pro Bono for Ukraine’s Small Businesses

The war in Ukraine has dramatically impacted the country’s small businesses, which face challenges that include the disruption of supply chains, destroyed infrastructure, labor shortages due to migration, and difficulty in accessing capital.  New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s global pro bono initiative, is working with the Uzhorod National University Faculty of Law, a law school in Western Ukraine, to help establish and support a legal clinic that will enable Law School faculty and students to provide pro bono assistance to address the critical legal needs of Ukrainian small businesses. DLA Piper has collaborated with the law school in several ways including

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