The fund highlights ACC chapters across the United States who are bringing innovative pro bono services to the public
WASHINGTON (May 11, 2020) –– The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Foundation announces the 2020 recipients of its yearly Pro Bono Jumpstart (PBJ) Fund. PBJ grant recipients will launch new, innovative pro bono efforts by ACC chapters in Wisconsin, Southwest Ohio and Nevada. This year the PBJ Fund expanded to include diversity and pipeline activities, and will support the expansion of Streetlaw programs in New England and Florida.
The ACC Foundation supports the mission of ACC, the global legal association representing more than 45,000 in-house counsel in 85 countries. The Fund will award a total of up to US$50,000 to ACC chapters with programs that “jump start” pro bono and diversity pipeline efforts in their areas.
"Across the United States, the 2020 Pro Bono Jumpstart Fund awardees are demonstrating their clear moral commitment to diversity and access to counsel,” said Jennifer Chen, director of the ACC Foundation. “In-house counsel are eager to contribute their knowledge and time to this important cause, even in a period of shrinking budgets and organizational uncertainty. ACC Foundation is proud to promote them however we can, whatever the challenges.”
Below are descriptions of the selected grantees projects:
ACC Wisconsin plans to expand their Mobile Legal Clinic (MLC), a collaborative project by the Milwaukee Bar Association and the Marquette University Law School. MLC is a specially equipped vehicle with two office spaces and WiFi, from which two lawyers can provide legal counsel to people without the time or resources to formally hire a lawyer. ACC Wisconsin hopes to increase MLC service in Milwaukee and in other cities across the state.
ACC Southwest Ohio announced a partnership with the Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio (PBPO), which connects in-house counsel to small nonprofits. The volunteers offer business and transactional legal services, with the aim of mitigating risk and developing a repertoire of best practices. PBPO is the only comprehensive provider of non-litigation pro bono services to nonprofits in Ohio.
ACC Nevada will apply the grant funding to its Marijuana and Sex Trafficking Records-Sealing Project. Nevada state law allows people with misdemeanor marijuana convictions on their criminal record, or victims of sex trafficking with any misdemeanor on their record, to apply for a “records-sealing,” allowing them to re-enter society without the burden of their former convictions. ACC Nevada and the Legal Aid Center, in coordination with self-help centers and family courts across the state, will host a workshop for interested in-house counsel, which will also include introductions to prospective pro bono clients.
ACC Tampa Bay has partnered with the Street Law Campaign, a nonprofit that provides classroom and community programming on topics of law and government, with a focus on educating youth. These programs introduce high school students, including disadvantaged students, to the legal profession, including in-house practice, and culminate in a legal career conference.
Please contact Dan Weber ([email protected]) or Carlo Massimo ([email protected]) to assist in connecting you with representatives from the local chapters to discuss their initiatives in greater detail.
About the ACC Foundation: The ACC Foundation – a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – supports the efforts of the Association of Corporate Counsel, serving the needs of the in-house bar through research, leadership and professional development opportunities, and support of diversity and pro-bono initiatives. The ACC Foundation partners with corporations, law firms, legal service providers, and bar associations to assist in the furtherance of these goals. For more information, visit https://www2.acc.com/foundation/.
About ACC: The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global legal association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations and other organizations through information, education, networking, and advocacy. With more than 45,000 members in 85 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 and follow ACC on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.