Pursuing Justice: The Pro Bono Files
Bad Paper

Bad Paper

November 11, 2020

Over half a million veterans have received less-than-honorable discharges (known as “bad paper”) since 1980. This prevents them from accessing veterans’ services, often with devastating results. On this episode of PLI's Pursuing Justice hear how Matt Caplan, a partner with Cooley LLP, and Holly Christian, a pro bono manager and staff attorney with Swords to Plowshares dedicate their time to helping veterans secure their benefits.

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Making Detroit Entrepreneurs Capital Ready

Making Detroit Entrepreneurs Capital Ready

October 7, 2020

The United States is having a national conversation about historical discrimination against people of color. Many lawyers are also working on the question of “How do we address the economic inequalities caused by discrimination?” Entrepreneurship is one traditional path to building stability and strengthening communities in the U.S., but many Black and Brown business owners lack access to the capital they need to sustain and grow their business ideas.

This episode of Pursuing Justice takes a close look at how pro bono Detroit lawyers are partnering with the grassroots group Osborn Business Association to support local entrepreneurs who want to strengthen their businesses and have access to the capital they need to grow and succeed.

Link to podcast page on pli.edu

Helping Small Businesses Through Transactional Pro Bono

Helping Small Businesses Through Transactional Pro Bono

September 2, 2020

The question we are looking at today is: Should businesses get free legal help? When put like that, your gut reaction might be 'No'.

But, the sudden changes caused by COVID-19 have shone a light on how important small businesses are. In fact 89% of US businesses have fewer than 20 employees. Their impact on our lives is not small at all. COVID-19 might have caused many of us to see small business in a different way, but there are lawyers who have been noticing and recognizing small businesses’ value to the community for a long time. These lawyers have worked for decades to strengthen neighborhoods by building partnerships with community leaders and local entrepreneurs.

In this episode, PLI's Pursuing Justice talks with transactional lawyers in Detroit about how they provide pro bono legal help to the small businesses in their community, and how these lawyers have pivoted to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pro Bono in a Pandemic:  A Law Firm Goes All In

Pro Bono in a Pandemic: A Law Firm Goes All In

April 30, 2020

As soon as it became clear that COVID-19 was going to have a major impact on the United States, Brad Karp, Chairman of the law firm Paul, Weiss, started thinking about how he could help people get through what was coming. From the firm's headquarters in New York City, Brad emailed 1,000 Paul, Weiss lawyers to ask one simple question, "Who wants to work on a pro bono project to help people and small businesses affected by COVID-19?"

Brad and his colleagues, Robert Atkins and Jean McLoughlin, discuss what happened next with host Alicia Aiken. 

Please note: CLE credit is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.

Driving Change in Puerto Rico

Driving Change in Puerto Rico

December 4, 2019

Pro bono work is usually focused on the power of legal representation. How does one organization use pro bono legal help to promote fundamental change? Can pro bono lawyers be mobilized to amplify the voices of the marginalized?

Pursuing Justice sits down with Ariadna Godreau Aubert to explore how Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico is working with pro bono lawyers to educate and partner with communities to advocate for a more responsive legal system.

Please note: CLE is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.

Crossing Boundaries

Crossing Boundaries

November 27, 2019

How does the world of private practice work successfully with that of nonprofits? Ultimately both sides want to do good and find the best results for their pro bono clients in desperate need of representation and resolution. Pursuing Justice sits down with Brenna DeVaney, Director of Skadden’s global pro bono practice; Jennifer Kroman, Director of Cleary Gottlieb’s pro bono practice; and Annie Pineda, Director of Pro Bono at The Bronx Defenders, to glean best practices for building successful working relationships.

Please note: CLE is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.

A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

November 20, 2019

A single mother is raising four sons when her newborn stops gaining weight. She brings the child to the hospital for a diagnosis, but someone makes a call to the child abuse hotline. Later that night, she answers her door – and the nightmare begins.

Having to send your child away while the authorities investigate you is a mother’s worst nightmare. In this case, it was just the beginning, as the mother later discovered that she had been placed on a child abuse list which would restrict how she could earn a living or even participate in her sons’ activities. It took dedication and special experience to resolve these multiple issues.

Please note: CLE is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.
Mentoring for Pro Bono Excellence

Mentoring for Pro Bono Excellence

November 13, 2019

Big Law lawyers are among the best-resourced counsel out there, and they are eager to provide pro bono assistance for those that need it most. But legal issues faced by women dealing with poverty and domestic violence are a far cry from the legal needs of corporations and multinational organizations. Pursuing Justice explores how one organization is mentoring Big Law lawyers to harness their amazing potential as pro bono lawyers.

We speak with Immigration, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking expert Hamra Ahmad, Legal Director at Her Justice, to share best practices on training and mentoring lawyers looking to jumpstart their pro bono practice. Based in New York, Her Justice focuses on recruiting and mentoring volunteer lawyers to provide free legal help to address legal issues faced by women living in poverty.

Please note: CLE is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.

 

Paying Off Others’ Debts

Paying Off Others’ Debts

November 6, 2019

Imagine waking up tomorrow and being sued for tens of thousands of dollars to pay your ex-husband’s debt — a debt you had no part in creating.

Dorothy thought her difficult divorce was far behind her, but years later, her ex-husband had amassed a debt which threatened to evict her from her own home. Facing a committed collection lawyer, she felt overwhelmed until a smart pro bono team found a creative way to solve this legal problem and save her home.

Please note: CLE is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.

Turning an Idea into a Movement

Turning an Idea into a Movement

October 30, 2019

Millions of low-income Californians face pressing legal problems without access to legal help. Julia R. Wilson, CEO of OneJustice, explains how the nonprofit she leads has provided legal assistance to more than a quarter-million residents of the Golden State.

Because lawyers are largely based in cities, pro bono services are predominantly dedicated to urban areas, often leaving rural communities to fend for themselves. OneJustice brings life-changing legal help to those in need by transforming the legal aid system—an important mission in a state as varied as California. The statewide nonprofit’s success has been built on making what it calls “an innovation lab on legal services” that has helped forge a network of 100+ nonprofit legal organizations, law firms, law schools, and businesses to deliver pro bono assistance.

Please note: CLE is not offered for listening to this podcast, and the views and opinions expressed within represent those of the speakers and not necessarily those of PLI.

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