41. Enlisting In-House Counsel to Support Homeless Youth
Finding accurate, locally specific information about the rights of homeless youth can be challenging. To address that problem, Baker & McKenzie leads pro bono teams that create Homeless Youth Handbooks for each state. Learn how Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and the in-house legal team from Enterprise Mobility joined up with Baker & McKenzie to put good information in the hands of young Missourians who need it.
40. Podcasting Pro Bono: A Look Back at 2023
In this year-end episode, host Alicia Aiken sits down with producer Daniel Painitz to chat about Pursuing Justice’s coverage of hot topics in the news, issues of interest to in-house counsel, ethical storytelling, helping veterans and artists — and much more.
39. Serving the Public Good: Entrepreneur Edition
In the legal space, Pro Bono typically means working for free — volunteering your time and legal skills. What if there’s another way to serve the public good? In this episode, meet Daissy Dominguez and Samoane Williams and learn about the Justice Entrepreneurs Project, which creates law firms designed to meet working families’ legal needs with predictable, transparent fees.
38. A Pro Bono Clinic in Action
Join host Alicia Aiken for a field trip to a pro bono clinic run by Katten and Legal Aid Chicago at the Jose De Diego School in Chicago. Listen in as attorneys tackle tricky questions on the spot and hear how the clinic helps dozens of clients with family law, evictions, expungements, and more.
37. Volunteering for Senior Vets
The veteran population is aging rapidly, and many senior vets need legal assistance with end-of-life planning, including wills. Monica De Martin, Director ‒ Counsel, Internal Investigations at Société Générale and a veteran of the Australian Royal Navy, and Peter Kempner, Legal Director and Senior Law Project Director with Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS), talk about how pro bono assistance benefits these vets — and creates meaningful experiences for volunteers.
36. Encore: Disaster Strikes, Lawyers Respond
When hurricanes, floods, fires — and sometimes all of the above — strike, how can lawyers help individuals and communities respond and recover? In this encore episode, Alicia Aiken talks to seasoned disaster relief attorneys about how pro bono can make a difference in disasters, and how lawyers can prepare to pitch in.
35. Supporting Artists Through Pro Bono
The vast majority of artists working today are not well known or well paid. And those artists with fewer resources are often those with the greatest need for legal counsel, from protecting their intellectual property to drawing up contracts and more. In this episode, Amy Lehman, of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and Jordan Miner Romanoff, of BNY Mellon, discuss the many ways in which pro bono lawyers can help support artists — and the arts.
34. Practicing Trauma-Informed Lawyering
Trauma-informed lawyering isn’t just helpful for victims of violence. In this episode, Nefertiti J. Alexander, a litigation partner and expert on trauma-informed practice, shares how this approach can strengthen your relationship with all kinds of clients, both pro bono and commercial, by helping you understand how they engage with the world.
33. Centering the Client in Pro Bono Storytelling
Pro bono stories can be compelling, informative, and persuasive, but they can also carry risks for clients. In this episode, Maricarmen Garza of Tahirih Justice Center and Erin Kinsella of Practising Law Institute speak with Alicia Aiken about how the principles of ethical storytelling can help protect pro bono clients and shape better narratives.
32. Managing Vicarious Trauma: What Pro Bono Providers Can Learn
Many lawyers go into pro bono unaware of the vicarious trauma they can experience when helping clients in difficult situations. Hear from a pro bono leader and an expert in learning design about how thoughtfully designed training can help lawyers at all stages of their careers become more effective and resilient advocates. PLI is proud to offer programs, Pro Bono Memberships, and scholarships to support the essential public service work of the legal profession.
31. In-House Pro Bono Team Helps Unhoused Families
In-house counsel face structural challenges to getting involved in pro bono projects. In this episode, hear how Amazon’s in-house team joined forces with a Big Law firm and a social services organization to make a difference for unhoused people in Seattle.
30. Encore: Making Detroit Entrepreneurs Capital Ready
Entrepreneurship is one traditional path to building stability and strengthening communities in the United States, but many Black and Brown business owners lack access to the capital they need to sustain and grow their business ideas. In light of the ongoing conversations around righting the effects of historical discrimination (see Episode 28, on Bruce’s Beach), we revisit an earlier episode on helping small business owners in Detroit. This episode takes a close look at how pro bono Detroit lawyers are partnering with the grassroots group Osborn Business Association to support local entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their businesses and have access to the capital they need to grow and succeed.
29. Bonus Episode: George Fatheree III
In this bonus episode, hear how the partner who led the unprecedented land return of Bruce’s Beach to its rightful owners (covered in Episode 28) developed his pro bono vision and skills from early in his career, working on a range of matters including advocacy for Holocaust victims, disability rights, and arts and culture.
28. Pro Bono and Reparations: The Bruce’s Beach Story
Bruce’s Beach, in Southern California, represents the first example in the United States of reparations to a family harmed by the racist use of eminent domain. This agreement — and the family’s recent sale of the land back to L.A. County for $20 million — was made possible by careful, skilled pro bono representation. Hear from George C. Fatheree III, partner at Sidley & Austin and lead counsel for the Bruce family’s descendants, about this unprecedented matter — and why he found it personally and professionally compelling.
27. Appellate Justice for Domestic Violence Survivors
What can be done when survivors of domestic violence face judges who are unprepared to handle their cases? Hear from Ben Weinberg, Pro Bono Partner at Dentons in Chicago, about how an Orders of Protection Appellate Project is helping pro bono clients get a second chance at getting justice from the courts.
26. Justice Delayed, Part 2
What happens when a BigLaw firm brings its resources to bear on a wrongful conviction case? In Part 2 of this dramatic story, hear from a Milbank LLP partner and counsel about their successful pro bono advocacy for a wrongfully imprisoned client who was denied release even after his murder conviction was overturned.
25. Justice Delayed, Part 1
As a teenager, Mark Purnell was convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. After years of self-advocacy, his case caught the attention of pro bono counsel. Hear about their dramatic fight for his exoneration.
24. Ten Things New Associates Should Know About Pro Bono
New associates have a lot of questions about pro bono. Sometimes, they might not even know what questions they should have. In this special episode, three attorneys offer a “top 10” list of advice and insights for those who are getting started — or looking to jump-start their pro bono practice.
23. Eviction Court and the Right to Counsel Movement
What if your pro bono work could fundamentally restructure the delivery of justice for your whole community? In this episode, two attorneys with deep experience in advocating for the Right to Counsel — and tenants’ rights in New York City Housing Court, in particular — discuss how pro bono has made a real difference in access to justice, from Gideon to today.
22. Encore: “This is NOT our area of expertise”
Following Episode 21 on pro bono assistance to disasters, host Alicia Aiken revisits our inaugural episode, which tells the story of how a corporate attorney at Schulte Roth & Zabel stepped up to help Partners In Health get clearance to deliver aid after a devastating earthquake in Haiti. This encore episode features a previously unreleased conversation with PIH co-founder Ophelia Dahl.
21. Disaster Strikes, Lawyers Respond
When hurricanes, floods, fires — and sometimes all of the above — strike, how can lawyers help individuals and communities respond and recover? In this episode, Alicia Aiken talks to seasoned disaster relief attorneys about how pro bono can make a difference in disasters, and how lawyers can prepare to pitch in.
20. “Be curious. Try stuff. Stay connected.”
What does it mean to design a fulfilling life in the law? And how does pro bono fit in? In this month’s episode of Pursuing Justice: The Pro Bono Files, host Alicia Aiken talks to Michigan Law professors Bridgette Carr and Vivek Sankaran and Jessica Morton of Democracy Forward about taking stock and forging your own path — and how pro bono can help.
19. The Multiplier Effect of Nonprofit Board Service
Nonprofit board service is “a different way of bringing your legal talent to your volunteer work,” says host Alicia Aiken. In this month’s episode, she interviews Judy Siegel of the Pro Bono Partnership, and Raphael Stern of Lawyers Alliance for New York, on what lawyers should know about the benefits of serving on a board.
18. Keeping Tenants in Their Homes
The stakes are high for low-income tenants facing the threat of eviction. In this month’s episode of Pursuing Justice: The Pro Bono Files, learn why pro bono representation is essential for renters facing outsized rent hikes, uninhabitable properties, and other challenges to their housing.
17. Unaccompanied Kids in Immigration Court
Unaccompanied immigrant children, often fleeing dangerous situations in their countries of origin, need legal representation when they appear in immigration court. Want to get involved and make a profound difference in the life of a child? This month we talk with three lawyers about the critical role of volunteer lawyers in these kinds of cases, and the training that is available to get you started.
16. Taking On A Pro Bono Asylum Case
Are you (or your law firm) thinking about taking on a pro bono asylum case? Hear how three commercial litigators at Forman Watkins, with the guidance and support of the Mississippi Center for Justice, worked on two pro bono asylum cases. What drew them to take on this kind of pro bono case? What were their “takeaways”? What was the experience like for them both personally and professionally?
15. Turning Crisis into Opportunity
Running a pro bono program costs money ‒ and Indiana’s statewide legal services program faced a serious financial challenge. Find out how Indiana’s pro bono stakeholders pulled together and, with a law firm’s help, turned a financial crisis into an opportunity.
14. Transforming Education in New Mexico
What does an adequate public education look like? And what happens when a state fails to provide an adequate education to its Latino, Native American, and other children? Meet three lawyers who worked as part of a team of civil rights lawyers and pro bono attorneys in the consolidated education adequacy case Yazzie/Martinez v. State of New Mexico, a landmark decision that is laying the groundwork to transform public education in New Mexico.
12 & 13: Real Talk About Pro Bono
In this special two-part episode, we turn the tables and interview the host of Pursuing Justice, legal services veteran Alicia Aiken, and engage in some “real talk” about her unique combination of experiences with pro bono work. How have her ideas about what works (and what doesn’t work) in representing pro bono clients changed?
11. Bad Paper
Over half a million veterans have received less than honorable discharges ( known as “bad paper” ) since 1980 . This prevents them from accessing veterans’ services, housing assistance, heath care, and educational benefits , often with devastating results. Veterans with bad paper are seven times as likely to become homeless, twice as likely to commit suicide, and more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. How can lawyers help?
10. Making Detroit Entrepreneurs Capital Ready
In this episode, Pursuing Justice talks with native “Detroiters” about their city, historical discrimination, and the current obstacles minority-owned small business owners face in getting credit and capital to develop and grow their businesses.
9. Helping Small Businesses Through Transactional Pro Bono
In this episode, Pursuing Justice talks with transactional lawyers in Detroit about how they provide pro bono legal help to the small businesses in their community, and how these lawyers have pivoted to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
8. Pro Bono in a Pandemic: A Law Firm Goes All In
As soon as it became clear that COVID-19 was going to have a major impact on the United States, Brad Karp, Chairman of the law firm Paul, Weiss, started thinking about how he could help people get through what was coming. From the firm's headquarters in New York City, Brad emailed 1,000 Paul Weiss lawyers to ask one simple question, "Who wants to work on a pro bono project to help people and small businesses affected by COVID-19?"
7. Driving Change in Puerto Rico
Pro bono work is usually focused on the power of legal representation. How does one organization use pro bono legal help to promote fundamental change? Can pro bono lawyers be mobilized to amplify the voices of the marginalized?
6. Crossing Boundaries
How does the world of private practice work successfully with that of nonprofits? Ultimately both sides want to do good and find the best results for their pro bono clients in desperate need of representation and resolution. Pursuing Justice sits down with Brenna DeVaney, Director of Skadden’s global pro bono practice; Jennifer Kroman, Director of Cleary Gottlieb’s pro bono practice; and Annie Pineda, Director of Pro Bono at The Bronx Defenders, to glean best practices for building successful working relationships.
5. A Mother's Worst Nightmare
A single mother is raising four sons when her newborn stops gaining weight. She brings the child to the hospital for a diagnosis, but someone makes a call to the child abuse hotline. Later that night, she answers her door – and the nightmare begins.
4. Mentoring for Pro Bono Excellence
Big Law lawyers are among the best-resourced counsel out there, and they are eager to provide pro bono assistance for those that need it most. But legal issues faced by women dealing with poverty and domestic violence are a far cry from the legal needs of corporations and multinational organizations. Pursuing Justice explores how one organization is mentoring Big Law lawyers to harness their amazing potential as pro bono lawyers.
3. Paying Off Others' Debts
Imagine waking up tomorrow and being sued for tens of thousands of dollars to pay your ex-husband’s debt — a debt you had no part in creating.
2. Turning an Idea into a Movement
Millions of low-income Californians face pressing legal problems without access to legal help. Julia R. Wilson, CEO of OneJustice, describes how the nonprofit she leads provides legal assistance to rural communities.
1. "This is NOT our area of expertise"
A natural disaster strikes Haiti. A plane full of medical volunteers and supplies sits on a tarmac hundreds of miles away waiting for clearance. What’s stopping them from delivering this much-needed cargo? And how does a corporate attorney in New York solve the problem?