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Category Archives: Pro Bono & Diversity

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Cause and Effect: Why Women Leave the Legal Profession

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

There has never been a better time to capitalize on the talents of female in-house counsel yet, women face real barriers to advancement. High-performing female lawyers exiting the legal profession leave a “leaky pipeline” to senior legal positions. It is in these senior positions that women have the greatest effect on the bottom line; hence,… Continue Reading

A Pro Bono Counsel’s Reflection on Representing Clients of Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)

Posted in Litigation Shorts, Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest blogger: Jennifer E. Constantinou is Vice President – Litigation & Government Relations at Wyndham Hotel Group. She can be reached at Jennifer.Constantinou@wyn.com. In August 2011, a pro bono coordinator for Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) came to Wyndham Worldwide’s campus in Parsippany, New Jersey and gave a presentation on the surge of children… Continue Reading

Looking at Law Firms Operations From Top to Bottom May Provide a Pathway to Better Performance on Diversity

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest bloggers: Martin Ervin is the director of operations at Prince Lobel Tye LLP. Mark Roellig is executive vice president and general counsel at MassMutual Financial Group. Companies recognize and publicly acknowledge that in order to compete effectively, a commitment to diversity and inclusion is a business imperative. They have realized that in addition to… Continue Reading

In-house Lawyers Volunteer at Conservatorship Clinic at Bet Tzedek Legal Services

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest blogger: Michael Chang is vice president, legal and business affairs for Warner Bros. Consumer Products Inc. On Thursday, November 12th, 23 lawyers who work at corporate law departments across Southern California volunteered their time at a clinic, providing basic assistance to individuals who wish to file for a probate conservatorship without a lawyer in… Continue Reading

Diversity Lip-Service vs. Leadership: Strategies CLOs Can Implement Now

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest blogger: John Page is senior vice president, chief corporate social responsibility officer and chief legal officer at Golden State Foods Corporation. He is also immediate past board chair of ACC. So you’ve hired a diverse team and sought outside counsel from firms who also employ diverse lawyers. Great. However, let’s back up and examine… Continue Reading

Growing Diversity: Bridging the Gap Between Opportunity and Success

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest blogger: Khurram Nasir Gore is General Counsel and Chief Strategy Officer at Personal BlackBox Company, a public benefit corporation. He can be reached at Khurram.Gore@pbb.me. For more details on ACC’s research and benchmarking capabilities, contact research@acc.com. Recently, good fortune found me seated at a table of influential general counsel and law firm partners talking… Continue Reading

2nd Annual Diversity Summit – Gaining Comparative Advantage Through Cultural Competency Awareness

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Leslie Paige Wolfson is executive director of ACC New Jersey, which serves more than 1,300 in-house counsel in Northern and Central New Jersey. She can be reached at leslie.wolfson@acc-newjersey.com. In December 2014, ACC New Jersey held its second annual Diversity Summit, titled “Gaining Competitive Advantage Through Cultural Competency Awareness.” Communications expert Vince Varallo… Continue Reading

Beyond Gender: Negotiating for Yourself

Posted in Career, Contracts & Negotiations, Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Stephanie A. Scharf is a partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC. She represents clients in complex business disputes, corporate insurance litigation, tort and product liability and class action defense. She can be reached at Sscharf@scharfbanks.com. When Carnegie-Mellon professor Linda Babcock asked men and women to choose a metaphor to describe how they feel… Continue Reading

In-house Lawyers Volunteer at Advance Planning Clinic at St. Barnabas Senior Services

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

On Friday, September 19, 2014, more than thirty lawyers and law students volunteered their time at a clinic to help draft advance healthcare directive forms and statutory wills for senior citizens at St. Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS). The clinic was hosted by the ACC Health Law Committee, ACC Southern California Chapter (ACC-SoCal), Bet Tzedek Legal… Continue Reading

ACC-SoCal Members Teach Law Classes to At-Risk Youths as Part of 2014 Annual Street Law Program

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Christine Milo is a third-year law student at Southwestern Law School. Over the course of five, two-hour sessions throughout February, a diverse, cross-sectional group of attorney volunteers from the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC-SoCal) worked with students at Southwestern Law School to teach basic law classes: contracts, employment… Continue Reading

Pro Bono Junkies: Some Addictions Are Good

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Eric Henricks is an assistant general counsel with the Investments Practice Group at Nationwide Insurance. He is currently the chair of Nationwide’s pro bono committee and is a past chair of the Central Ohio ACC’s pro bono committee. I admit it. I am guilty. I blew off a chapter leader’s breakfast at the… Continue Reading

The Face of In-house Pro Bono: Perspectives From an Established Corporate Pro Bono Program

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Mark R. Daniel is vice president and group managing counsel – patents at Merck.  He was instrumental in establishing the pro bono program at Merck in 1994 and currently serves as the Chair of the Merck Pro Bono Committee.  He received the Equal Justice Medal from Legal Services of New Jersey in 1997… Continue Reading

Three Lessons from First Impressions

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Erin Correale is a Director and Associate General Counsel at UBS Financial Services Inc., in the UBS Wealth Management Americas business division.  Erin is the Chair of the UBS Wealth Management Americas Pro Bono Legal Program, and a founding member of the Pro Bono Council for Sanctuary for Families in New York. As a… Continue Reading

Legal Leaders for Diversity and Inclusion: Embracing Leadership

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Bloggers: David Allgood is executive vice president and general counsel, Royal Bank of Canada; treasurer of the ACC Board of Directors and a member of the Legal Leaders for Diversity Steering Committee. Kenneth J. Fredeen is general counsel, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Toronto, Ont., Canada and a member of the Legal Leaders for Diversity Steering… Continue Reading

Giving Back and Team ACC

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

There is something fulfilling about working in a team, toward a common goal. In my many interviews with ACC members and at our conferences, I hear this as one of the reasons our members love their jobs. Different from firm work where assignments can be stand-alone and siloed, in house, you are a critical cog… Continue Reading

Is Mandatory Pro Bono a Solution to the Justice Crisis?

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Esther F. Lardent is president and chief executive officer at the Pro Bono Institute. The US legal system is facing a crisis of unparalleled proportions: With the spike in the US poverty population resulting from the Great Recession, and the precipitous drop in funding and staffing of legal services programs, it is likely… Continue Reading

Calling All Good Global Citizens

Posted in ACC Annual Meeting, Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Julia Alanen is project coordinator, global pro bono at the Pro Bono Institute A growing number of legal departments are enhancing their pro bono and corporate social responsibility schemes by adding a global element. Some legal departments use global pro bono to engage their attorneys in offices abroad by offering them coveted pro… Continue Reading

Diversity Chat at the Attorney General of Ontario

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

 Guest Blogger: Howie Wong is general counsel and corporate secretary at Toronto Community Housing, the largest landlord in Canada. Prior to joining Toronto Community Housing in 2005, Howie was a M&A lawyer for 19 years with Gowlings, a national Canadian law firm. I paused at the hanging goblins and smiling jack-o’-lanterns in the lobby. Did I get… Continue Reading

Diversity at Royal Bank of Canada Law: No Flash, Just Pure Substance

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Howie Wong is general counsel and corporate secretary at Toronto Community Housing, which is the largest landlord in Canada. Prior to joining Toronto Community Housing in 2005, Howie was an M&A lawyer for 19 years with Gowlings, a national Canadian law firm. David Allgood’s office is surprisingly spartan. Search as you will, but… Continue Reading

In-house Pro Bono: Smaller Legal Departments and Remote Offices Can Participate Too

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Corporate Pro Bono is the global partnership project of the Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and ACC. We all know that lawyers have a professional responsibility, if not a professional or personal interest, to provide pro bono legal services. However, for some in-house counsel — those in smaller legal departments or remote offices — finding pro… Continue Reading

A Table for More: Rediscovering Diversity

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Guest Blogger: Howie Wong is general counsel and corporate secretary at Toronto Community Housing which is  the largest landlord in Canada. Prior to joining Toronto Community Housing in 2005, Howie was a M&A lawyer for 19 years with Gowlings, a national Canadian law firm. “Diversity refers to human qualities that are different from our own and… Continue Reading

In-house Practice Rules: States Must Remove the Restrictions on Pro Bono Efforts

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

By Corporate Pro Bono   ACC has long championed the fight against onerous in-house counsel registration requirements. As a result, many jurisdictions now permit non-locally barred in-house attorneys to practice law for their employer-client as long as they are in good standing in another state. Unfortunately, this exception does not always extend to providing pro bono… Continue Reading

Street Law Honors Award Recipients at Annual Dinner

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

Street Law, a nonprofit organization that provides education programs about law, democracy, and human rights and a partner with ACC on the corporate legal diversity pipeline initiative held their annual dinner last week in Washington, D.C. What an evening it turned out to be! The ballroom was packed and charged with energy. The award winners inspired us with… Continue Reading

PRO BONO–A Noble Endeavor . . .

Posted in Pro Bono & Diversity

. . .or How We Rationalize Our Maintenance of Artificially High Legal Costs I want now to focus on another sacred cow of the profession–“pro bono”. I am not against insuring that everyone has access to legal services, I just don’t believe we should deprive people of the dignity of being able to pay for… Continue Reading