Skadden Partners with Companies and Legal Aid Groups to Bring ‘Critical Mass’ to Pro Bono
Posted Sep 25, 2012 5:15 AM CST
By Molly McDonough
In an effort to make more effective use of the lawyer resources at its disposal, the Washington office of Skadden Arps has announced that it's partnering with in-house teams at LivingSocial, Northrop Grumman and Cisco Systems and with three legal aid groups to better assist low-income residents with legal needs.
Pro bono isn't new to the firm, but the Washington Post notes that this arrangement dubbed the "Impact Project" brings more formal structure to the effort on behalf of the Children's Law Center, Legal Aid Society of D.C. and Bread for the City.
Under this new alliance, lawyers from the firm and three companies join one of three teams (domestic violence, guardianship or housing) and are trained by staff attorneys from the legal aid organizations. An intranet is being established for shared documents and training materials.
"The whole effort is about bringing critical mass to these big problems ... Instead of bowling alone, we could make a major impact by bringing lawyers together in a concerted effort,” Skadden partner Cliff Sloan, the project's coordinator, tells the Post.
Mark Chandler, Cisco senior vice president and general counsel, noted that, "By creating structure, Skadden is making it easier for lawyers inside a company to participate in pro bono projects."
The Post reports that the Impact Project is part of a concerted effort by the legal community to respond to an increase in demand for legal aid at the same time that funding to service providers has been slashed.
Skadden Arps (news release): "Skadden D.C. Launches Children and Families Pro Bono 'Impact Project'"