Media Release


PBI Honors Jane Sherburne and BNY Mellon for Commitment to Pro Bono

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Pro Bono Institute (PBI) has selected Jane Sherburne and BNY Mellon’s legal department as the 2012 Laurie D. Zelon Pro Bono Award winner for their outstanding commitment to pro bono and public service. The award will be presented at PBI’s Annual Conference Reception on March 29.

Senior Executive Vice President and BNY Mellon General Counsel Jane Sherburne has been a driving force in support of pro bono service throughout her legal career. Sherburne has lent support to the efforts of numerous public interest organizations, serving on the boards of the National Women’s Law Center, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and The Legal Aid Society.

In 2010, Sherburne tasked BNY Mellon’s Legal Department with formalizing its pro bono efforts in line with the company’s global footprint and commitment to service in the communities in which its employees live and work. With Sherburne’s strong support and leadership, BNY Mellon launched a global pro bono legal program that unites the efforts of its Legal Department in four U.S. cities, as well as Hong Kong and London.

“We are excited about creating an in-house pro bono program that builds on our company’s ‘Powering Potential’ commitment to helping those with the greatest needs,” said Jane Sherburne, BNY Mellon senior executive vice president and general counsel. “Our program enables in-house lawyers to meet their professional obligation to serve those who can’t afford legal representation in a way that complements our philanthropic objectives and builds strong bonds across our legal team.”

“Seeing BNY Mellon launch and implement a global in-house pro bono program has been incredibly gratifying,” said Esther F. Lardent, president and CEO of PBI. “Under Jane’s direction, the program has really begun to flourish, and we look forward to its continued success.”

The Legal Department supports a variety of pro bono projects assisting people in need around the world. Those projects include providing legal services to micro-entrepreneurs starting new businesses in New York, assisting foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong with employment and immigration matters, working with U.S. veterans with combat-related disabilities to secure benefits, helping 9/11 victims navigate the Victims Compensation Fund, helping the disabled retain Medicaid and Medicare benefits and participating in national election monitoring programs in the U.S.

With guidance and assistance from Corporate Pro Bono, a partnership project of PBI and the Association of Corporate Counsel, BNY Mellon has dedicated the time and resources needed to construct a strong structure to enable the entire Legal Department to participate effectively and efficiently in the program. BNY Mellon’s program is led by 19 attorney and non-attorney staff members who serve on committees and/or as regional and national coordinators. The pro bono team selected themes and projects; and consulted with potential legal service organizations and law firm partners; as well as created project notification processes, tracking mechanisms and an internal microsite, or communications hub for the pro bono program.

About BNY Mellon
BNY Mellon is a global financial services company focused on helping clients manage and service their financial assets, operating in 36 countries and serving more than 100 markets. BNY Mellon is a leading provider of financial services for institutions, corporations and high-net-worth individuals, offering superior investment management and investment services through a worldwide client-focused team. It has $25.8 trillion in assets under custody and administration and $1.26 trillion in assets under management, services $11.8 trillion in outstanding debt and processes global payments averaging $1.5 trillion per day. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.

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 Bono℠, Second Acts®, Global Pro Bono, and Public Interest Pro Bono.