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Axiom Partnership Extends Pro Bono Net's Reach Beyond Law Firms

Axiom Partnership Extends Pro Bono Net's Reach Beyond Law Firms

"Legal staffing and services provider Axiom has announced a partnership with Pro Bono Net, becoming the first non-law firm to join up with the national nonprofit web platform.

The arrangement will allow the company’s U.S. lawyers to use the organization’s web platform to easily access a curated set of pro bono opportunities.
Axiom head of talent John Erban noted that while Big Law attorneys benefit from institutional support connecting them to pro bono projects, that isn’t as common in corporate legal departments—and is especially uncommon among alternative legal service providers.

“This is a very nice, efficient way for our lawyers to access that work,” he said.
While Axiom doesn’t provide its attorneys credit for pro bono efforts as most large firms do, Erban noted that its lawyers receive paid time off as part of their employment agreements and that time can be put toward volunteer opportunities.

Pro Bono Net focuses on work in several areas: community disaster relief, justice for older Americans, justice for immigrants and justice in New York state. Its digital platform is designed to eliminate friction in finding volunteer work.
The organization has a pedigree deeply rooted in Big Law. It was founded in 1998 by leaders of the pro bono programs at Latham & Watkins and Davis Polk Wardwell. Co-founder Michael Hertz now serves as the CMO at White & Case, while Mark O’Brien has been there since the founding.

“For 20 years, Pro Bono Net has been the national leader in developing meaningful collaborations to facilitate access to justice,” O’Brien, now executive director, said in a statement. “A central part of our strategy to increase that access is strengthening and supporting the work of legal advocates and volunteers. We’re thrilled to partner with Axiom to continue to increase the pool of advocates available to help vulnerable populations.”

Erban said the move is part of Axiom’s wider corporate social responsibility campaign, noting the company is also focused on addressing diversity issues within the legal profession.

“Law is one of the least diverse industries in the world,” he said. “As a supplier, we have an obligation to be part of the movement that solves that systematically.”

While the company recently released a report comparing its own employment diversity statistics favorably with the industry, based on data from the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement, Erban said there is more to do, including new affinity and employee resource groups. Axiom is also eyeing additional partnership opportunities with nonprofits..."

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Topics:
  • Pro Bono/Legal Services
  • Technology
  • Nonprofit/Community Development