WASHINGTON, D.C. – Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) announced today that it has selected Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Morgan Lewis), and the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) to receive the prestigious 2013 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their impactful and sustained collaborative effort to serve the legal needs of veterans. The award, given by CPBO, a global partnership project of the Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), will be presented at the 2013 PBI Annual Dinner on November 7 in New York.
“It is truly an honor to recognize such a productive partnership between three separate entities working toward one common goal: access to justice,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “The work of HP, Morgan Lewis, and NVLSP to aid our veterans is nothing short of awe-inspiring.”
In 2008, Morgan Lewis and NVLSP filed suit on behalf of more than 4,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans that were denied disability benefits (Sabo v. United States). A partial resolution granted class members expedited access to review boards which created an urgent need for attorneys to counsel members of the class. In response, HP partnered with Morgan Lewis and NVLSP to assist veterans with their applications to have their claims reheard. The partnership utilized a knowledge management system that HP developed for the project that granted the volunteers access to confidential documents of clients that were unable to meet with them in person.
“Partnerships between corporate legal departments, law firms and public interest groups play a significant role in meeting the high demand for legal services for the countless number of individuals that need access to justice,” ACC President and CEO Veta T. Richardson said. “Hewlett-Packard’s innovative program is best-in-class and I commend them for their exemplary record of service to the community.”
Assisting veterans is a signature project of HP’s legal department. Now, after the suit’s permanent settlement, attorneys in the partnership continue to assist veterans who were members of the Sabo class and are eligible for Combat-Related Special Compensation. In addition, HP expanded its efforts to engage non-lawyers at the company in reviewing and summarizing files from the Board of Veterans appeals. Nearly 200 HP attorneys and other professional staff have donated thousands of hours to the legal needs of veterans.
“At HP, we strongly encourage our attorneys and staff to do pro bono work and stress its importance and lasting impact on the clients we serve,” HP Executive Vice President and General Counsel John Schultz said. “The partnership forged between HP, Morgan Lewis, and NVLSP gave us the opportunity to broaden our reach and explore innovative ways to provide legal services to those who otherwise might have gone without that guidance.”
The CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award recognizes the unique role partnerships between and among in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups play in increasing access to justice.
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments, and society. With the broadest technology portfolio spanning printing, personal systems, software, services, and IT infrastructure, HP delivers solutions for customers’ most complex challenges in every region of the world. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.
About Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
With 25 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Morgan Lewis provides comprehensive transactional, litigation, labor and employment, regulatory, and intellectual property legal services to clients of all sizes—from global Fortune 100 companies to just-conceived startups—across all major industries. The firm’s service philosophy is grounded in a disciplined approach to advancing our clients’ interests as effectively and efficiently as possible.
About the National Veterans Legal Services Program
NVLSP is an independent, nonprofit veterans service organization that has served active duty U.S. military personnel and veterans since 1980. NVLSP strives to ensure that the U.S. honors its commitment to its 22 million veterans and active duty personnel by ensuring they have the federal benefits they have earned through their service. NVSLP offers training for attorneys and other advocates, connects veterans and active duty personnel with pro bono legal help when seeking disability benefits, publishes the U.S.’s definitive guide on veteran benefits, and represents and litigates for veterans and their families before the VA, military discharge review agencies, and federal courts. For more information, go to www.nvlsp.org.
About Corporate Pro Bono
Corporate Pro Bono, the global partnership project of PBI and ACC, is designed to substantially increase the amount of pro bono work performed by in-house counsel and to enhance the pro bono culture of in-house legal departments through consultative services to the in-house community, targeted research and publications, online information and services, and outreach and educational programming. CPBO also works closely with ACC Chapters to focus their resources and agendas on pro bono service. For more information, visit www.cpbo.org.
About the Pro Bono Institute
Established in 1996, PBI is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. In doing so, PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. PBI administers a number of projects designed to enhance access to justice, including: the Law Firm Pro Bono Project®, Corporate Pro BonoSM, Second Acts®, Global Pro Bono, and Public Interest Pro Bono.
About the Association of Corporate Counsel
ACC is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations, and other private-sector organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. The association, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has more than 30,000 members in more than 75 countries, employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com.