Pro Bono Institute (PBI) will honor three significant pro bono partnership projects through the Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) Pro Bono Partner Awards. Each honoree has a demonstrated and sustained impact addressing a critical legal need in a vulnerable community through pro bono legal work. CPBO, a project of PBI, created the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award to recognize innovative pro bono collaborations of in-house legal departments with law firms and public interest organizations.
The 2020 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award honorees are:
Bank of America, Duke Energy, Husqvarna Group, Wells Fargo, McGuireWoods, Moore & Van Allen, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and Legal Aid of North Carolina for the Charlotte Triage project, a collaborative program across the Charlotte legal community to expand the reach of legal services to all.
Charlotte, NC is grappling with economic mobility challenges and an especially vulnerable homeless population despite being one of the most prominent hubs of the U.S. financial services industry. According to the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, at least 71 percent of low-income residents in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region experienced at least one civil legal problem in the last year, but only 14 percent were able to get the legal help they needed.
To respond to this challenge the Charlotte Triage program, through the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, brought together dozens of local law firm and corporate legal department leaders, to raise awareness of the unmet legal needs in the community and drive intentional pro bono volunteerism within the Charlotte community with a focus on critical legal needs like housing, health benefits, criminal expunctions, and human trafficking. Since its inception, Charlotte Triage has now trained more than 400 volunteers and helped deliver legal services in more than 390 matters.
Amazon in partnership with K&L Gates LLP and Mary’s Place for their holistic approach to providing pro bono legal services at Mary’s Place shelters for their guests.
Seattle, WA faces severe challenges related to homelessness and lack of affordable housing. Helping neighbors in immediate need, particularly families fighting homelessness and hunger, is one of Amazon’s primary focus areas when it comes to supporting their neighbors. Amazon’s Legal Department has selected Mary’s Place, a Seattle-based 501(c)(3) organization that provides safe, inclusive shelters and services to support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness, as a focus of its pro bono efforts.
In 2018 the Amazon Justice League, in partnership with attorneys from the Seattle office of K&L Gates, began holding legal clinics to provide advice and guidance to guests at Mary’s Place shelters. Volunteer lawyers provide advice on myriad civil legal issues, including landlord/tenant disputes and evictions, financial issues and bankruptcy, expungement of criminal histories, personal injury, wills and probate, traffic violations, identity theft, restraining orders, employment issues, and medical issues. Amazon and K&L Gates attorneys also provide legal advice to the Mary’s Place organization and staff on issues of employment, tax, real estate, and corporate governance.
Amazon in partnership with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, and Bet Tzedek for their initiative to provide legal services to unaccompanied migrant and refugee children.
About the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award
Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), a project of Pro Bono Institute, created the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award to recognize innovative pro bono collaborations of in-house legal departments with law firms and public interest organizations. Pro bono partnerships that include at least one in-house legal department with one or more law firms and/or public interest organizations are eligible. The Corporate Pro Bono Advisory Board selects the award recipients.
The award honors legal departments and the organizations with which they partner in the provision of legal services to those in need. The award recipients are departments, law firms, and public interest organizations that have demonstrated an impact on their community through their partnership project, shown substantial involvement in the project by in-house lawyers, made tangible steps toward sustaining the relationship among the partners, developed innovative substantive or structural approaches in support of the partnership’s effort, and addressed a critical legal need or assisted a particularly vulnerable community or target population.
Over the years, the impact and innovation of the projects supported by the award recipients have been tremendously important both in the projects’ ability to address the legal needs of the communities being served and in the role the partnerships have played 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 devised programs that contribute to the legal profession’s efforts to close the justice gap and that create strong legacies of effective pro bono service.
About Corporate Pro Bono
Founded in 2000, Corporate Pro Bono is a global project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI). CPBO’s mission is to explore and identify new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. CPBO does so by supporting, enhancing, and transforming the pro bono efforts of in-house legal departments in the U.S. and around the world.
About Pro Bono Institute
Founded in 1996, Pro Bono Institute (PBI) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. With an unparalleled depth of knowledge, resources and expertise, PBI is the respected resource for all things pro bono. Through our work with law firms, in-house corporate legal departments, and public interest organizations, PBI is the global thought leader in exploring, identifying, evaluating, catalyzing, and taking to scale new approaches to and resources for the provision of legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems.