Public Interest Perspectives: An Introductory Training for Private Attorneys in Public Interest Placements

  • 9/16/2009
  • Mark O'Brien
  • Pro Bono Net
  • Source: Misc Natonal Sites

The Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCO) and the Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP) conducted this free national online training on September 9, 2009 for attorneys beginning volunteer public interest placements. The event was hosted by Baker & McKenzie.

A recording of the training is available here or at the attachment link above. The training is 2 hours and viewers will need to enter their name and email address to access the recording. The PowerPoint and a short video, Poverty USA, that was shown during the training are available here.

The training provides an overview of the differences in law firm and nonprofit practice settings, insight on working with low-income clients, and background on the economic challenges presently being confronted by the public interest community. It is designed for all attorneys taking temporary, extended public interest placements. While it focuses on practice in civil legal services organizations, the information is relevant to most public interest settings.

Program Faculty:

• Margaret C. Benson, Executive Director, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services

• Tiela Chalmers, Executive Director, Volunteer Legal Services Program of the San Francisco Bar Association

• Steven Grumm, Director of Public Service Initiatives, National Association for Law Placement (NALP)

• Bruce Iwasaki, Senior Partner, Lim Ruger & Kim, LLP; and former Executive Director, Legal Aid, Foundation of Los Angeles

• Harlene Katzman, Pro Bono Counsel, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP

• David Lash - Managing Counsel of Public Interest and Pro Bono Services, O'Melveny & Myers, LLP; and former Executive Director, Bet Tzedek

• Steven H. Schulman, Pro Bono Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP

• Jonathan Smith - Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

• John Tull - former Executive Director, Southern Arizona Legal Aid; and former Vice President for Programs, Legal Services Corporation

• Angela Vigil - North American Director, Pro Bono & Community Service, Baker & McKenzie; and former Director, Children's Law Pro Bono Program, Northwestern University School of Law

Attendees are also encouraged to join, a website and resource for private law firm attorneys who have been deferred from their firm in order to work with a legal services or public interest organization. "Associate Fellows" can find resources to help them assess and integrate into their new public interest communities, gain essential lawyering skills, and share their thoughts and ideas on the experience of being a law firm Fellow in legal services. is coordinated with a grant from the New York Community Trust and support from the City Bar Justice Center. Participating organizations include the New York Immigration Coalition, the DC Bar Pro Bono Program, the Public Interest Law Initiative, The Public Interest Clearinghouse, the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, NALP and PSLawNet, The Volunteer Legal Services Program, and Equal Justice Works.

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