October 2015 Volunteer Spotlight - John Ogden
Recently the NY City Bar’s Pro Bono Committee presented a program for attorneys who are solo or in small law firms / legal departments i.e. those without pro bono coordinators. These attorneys face special challenges based on time and resource availability. The goal of the program was to identify avenues for them to have a pro bono practice. The program material can be found through this link, in the NYC Pro Bono Center library.
John Ogden moderated that program. Pro Bono Net shares some of his thoughts and are very proud to feature him as our Volunteer Spotlight this month. Pro Bono Net thanks John for taking the time to share his experience and welcome his insights. A key theme of the panel was that volunteers "outside big law" can do pro bono and can do it well and we believe John is a fantastic and inspiring example!
|Name and background information:
I am of Counsel in the Montvale NJ office of NY law firm Falcon & Singer P.C. which has 6 attorneys. My primary focus is corporate/commercial and litigation. I have spent the majority of my career as an in-house counsel, including 20 years as U.S. General Counsel for a European-based manufacturing and engineering group of companies. During that time I was an active leader in professional associations and non-profits. I also spent several very rewarding years as General Counsel, on a pro bono basis, of Arts Horizons, Inc., a 501(c) (3) entity which brought visual and performing arts to underprivileged schools and neighborhoods in the tristate area. I then vigorously promoted pro bono while I was Executive Director of the Greater NY Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Currently I am active with the NY City Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee. While the committee is comprised primarily of “Big Law” attorneys and the pro bono service providers with which they partner, it has been very supportive of efforts on behalf of smaller legal organizations. Working with organizations engaged in best practices helps identify aspects of small law pro bono which can be optimized.
|What kind of pro bono work are you involved in?
I have performed a variety of pro bono roles including mergers of non-profits, general legal work for non-profits, staffing clinics for consumer debt and superstorm Sandy matters. I also performed litigation on behalf of Sandy victims. Currently I am working on the merger of two substance abuse treatment organizations.Currently my main focus is appearing in court on behalf of domestic violence victims.
Can you share a highlight from a memorable case?
Why did you decide to do pro bono volunteer work?
Did you learn any new skills during your experience?
What is your advice to other interested small, solo and medium sized attorneys interested in pro bono work?
Interested in submitting a volunteer profile? Email us to find out how!
Interested in volunteering? Start searching for pro bono opportunities by interest area (e.g. family, asylum), community served (e.g. domestic violence victims, children) or location right now by using our interactive NY Pro Bono Opportunities Guide!