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Letting In-House Counsel Serve Their Communities Through Pro Bono Services

Monday, November 05, 2012

The concept of “convergence” is big in our communications industry. Usually when we talk about convergence, we are referring to the technological kind—the integration of formerly distinct communications services to meet consumers’ needs.

As the general counsel of Verizon Communications Inc., I am proud to work for a leader in technological convergence. Our global networks support a developing ecosystem of devices and applications that not only allow people to communicate with each other, but also to securely deliver heath care, conserve energy, and boost education. Sharing the fruits of our success with our communities—the locales where we work and live—is part of our corporate credo.

This comes in many different forms, from charitable support from our Verizon Foundation to encouraging all of our employees to volunteer in their communities. Verizon’s legal department, for example, has embarked on an ambitious pro bono effort, which has provided thousands of volunteer legal hours to returning veterans, underprivileged students, and victims of domestic violence.

But our ability to help those in need in our communities is restricted by state legal practice rules that discourage in-house attorneys from providing pro bono assistance.


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Kate Powers is an associate in the litigation department at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where she served as a Notes Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. She currently volunteers with Her Justice in New York. Read More

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