On November 2, 2022, the Pro Bono Institute® (PBI®) will honor Chubb North America Legal and Compliance and Philadelphia VIP with the 2022 Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO®) Pro Bono Partner Award, which recognizes a pro bono partnership that has had a lasting and meaningful impact in meeting a critical legal need in a vulnerable community. This year, the award will recognize Chubb and VIP’s longstanding partnership in providing legal services to low-income clients in the Philadelphia area through the implementation of an innovative client service model that combines a legal clinic with one-on-one client representation. This new workshop model was the byproduct of a collaboration by Chubb and VIP to identify a model that would provide pro bono services with effective and long-lasting impact while at the same time maximizing the Chubb volunteers’ strengths and the VIP staff’s expertise. Since its creation, the workshop model has been implemented in four high-need areas: probate, estate planning, divorce, and nonprofit startup, and has paved the way for more than 40 Chubb volunteers, with the critical support of VIP, to provide in-depth pro bono services to more than 40 clients who otherwise would not have received the essential legal help they needed.
The success of the workshops in the four areas is a testament to Chubb’s commitment to both providing pro bono services to those without means and continually seeking to improve the ways in which those services are provided. The Chubb-VIP partnership serves as a model for other in-house legal departments looking to provide meaningful pro bono services in a way that makes the most of the strengths of the in-house attorneys and staff while also providing them with the necessary support and resources.
The CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award is awarded annually in recognition of innovative pro bono collaborations of in-house legal departments with law firms and public interest organizations. The honor is awarded to partnerships that have demonstrated an impact in their community through their partnership project, substantial involvement in the project by in-house lawyers, tangible steps toward sustaining the partnership, innovation in substantive or structural approaches to the partnership’s effort, and response to a critical legal need or assistance of a particularly vulnerable community or target population.
“This exceptional partnership between Chubb and Philadelphia VIP has evolved the “workshop” model to provide longer-term representation that meets the legal needs of the underserved in the Philadelphia community,” said Eve Runyon, President and CEO of Pro Bono Institute. “Their program is sustainable, and replicable for other in-house programs searching for ways to more fully engage and be impactful in their communities.”
“It is truly an honor to be recognized by Pro Bono Institute,” said Scott Sanpietro, Chubb’s North America General Counsel. “Pro bono service is an important part of Chubb’s North America Legal and Compliance culture. Giving back and helping those in need is who we are and what we do. It is even more special to be getting this award alongside an important partner to our pro bono program, Philadelphia VIP, as it represents how corporate legal departments and legal services organizations can work together to provide innovative services to clients.”
Over the years, the impact and innovation of the projects supported by the Pro Bono Partner Award recipients have been tremendously important in addressing the legal needs of the communities being served and in supporting and furthering pro bono work, especially within the in-house community. Through these partnerships, legal departments, law firms, and public interest organizations have made significant contributions to the legal profession’s efforts to close the justice gap and create strong legacies of effective pro bono service.