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CPBO Honors Exemplary Pro Bono Partnership; Verizon Communications and DLA Piper Receive Award for Innovative Pro Bono Partnership

Saturday, October 22, 2011

  • Organization: DLA Piper, Verizon
  • Source: National

Corporate Pro Bono announced today that Verizon Communications and DLA Piper have been selected to receive the CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their collaborative effort to address veterans, education, and domestic violence issues through pro bono work.

The award, given by CPBO, a joint venture between PBI and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), will be presented at the 2011 Pro Bono Institute Annual Dinner in New York on November 3.

Verizon and DLA Piper attorneys represent individuals and communities in need in 20 states and the District of Columbia. More than half of Verizon’s roughly 400 domestic attorneys have participated in the partnership, and the company just expanded the program to cover its attorneys abroad, which recently added a Verizon attorney from Sweden.

“We are pleased to see this type of innovative cooperation and long-term commitment to pro bono on a national level,” Pro Bono Institute President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “This partnership exemplifies the spirit of collaborative pro bono and what can be achieved when firms and corporations use their resources strategically to help close the justice gap.”

Together Verizon and DLA Piper attorneys assisted veterans applying for Combat Related Special Compensation, a special benefit for veterans injured during hazardous duty. Both organizations have also partnered with CPBO for several Clinic in a BoxSM events, with more than 95 Verizon attorneys providing legal assistance to more than two-dozen nonprofits. Verizon and DLA Piper have used technology to support their partnership and maximize participation across their offices by establishing an eRoom resource library and broadcasting training across the country.

Randy Milch, executive vice president and general counsel for Verizon, said, “Since we started our pro bono program, hundreds of Verizon’s attorneys have participated and used their skills to provide services to those in need. Our partnership with DLA Piper is a cornerstone of our program. By working together with DLA Piper, we have been able to tackle so many projects neither of us could have done alone. We are deeply honored to receive this award.”

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this award from PBI and the ACC,” said Elizabeth Dewey, U.S. pro bono partner for DLA Piper and director of New Perimeter. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments from our pro bono partnership with Verizon thus far and look forward to continuing to collaborate with our clients and nonprofit organizations to help those less fortunate throughout the world.”

Verizon and DLA Piper, with the assistance of Corporate Pro Bono, also led the effort to change the multijurisdictional practice rules that placed burdensome restrictions on corporate attorneys looking to do pro bono in Virginia. The restrictions were removed in April and paved the way for Verizon and DLA Piper to staff a Wills on Wheels Clinic at which attorneys prepared end-of-life documents for seniors in need.

“The pro bono projects that DLA Piper and Verizon have created to assist veterans and neighboring communities are commendable,” said ACC President & CEO Veta T. Richardson. “These companies are a successful example of in-house counsels’ efforts to select client firms that expand the scope and value of their work by developing programs that make a difference.”

The CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award recognizes the unique role partnerships between and among in-house corporate legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups play in the provision of legal services.

About Verizon Communications Verizon Communications Inc., headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with more than 106 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 196,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

About DLA Piper (www.dlapiper.com) DLA Piper has 4,200 lawyers in 30 countries and 76 offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. In certain jurisdictions, this information may be considered attorney advertising. DLA Piper has demonstrated a strong commitment to pro bono service, both in the United States and throughout the globe. Domestically, the firm organizes its pro bono efforts around Signature Projects designed to commit significant resources to tackle systematic issues. Through New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s non-profit affiliate dedicated exclusively to international pro bono work, the firm addresses critical issues in developing and post-conflict countries around the world.

About Corporate Pro Bono Corporate Pro Bono, a partnership project of the Pro Bono Institute and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), is designed to substantially increase the amount of pro bono work performed by in-house counsel and to enhance the pro bono culture of in-house legal departments through technical assistance to the in-house community, targeted research and publications, online information and services, and outreach and educational programming. Corporate Pro Bono also works closely with ACC chapters to focus their resources and agendas on pro bono service. About the Pro Bono Institute Established in 1996, PBI is a global 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. PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. About the Association of Corporate Counsel The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is the world’s largest organization serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations around the globe. ACC promotes the common interests of its members, provides resources to help save time, money and effort, contributes to their continuing education and provides a voice on issues of global importance. With more than 28,000 members in more than 75 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.

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