Chadbourne & Parke has long embraced its responsibility to the community at large and encouraged involvement in pro bono and other public service activities. Chadbourne attorneys provide pro bono services in a wide range of activities — providing free legal services to those who cannot pay for them and mentoring high-school students in moot court/mock trial competitions, serving on the boards of legal service provider organisations and the like.
Chadbourne partners serve as directors of The Legal Aid Society, CAMBA Legal Services, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Advocates for Children and MFY Legal Services. Several partners are fellows of The New York Bar Foundation.
The firm is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge and is a founding member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project. It has been number one for firms of its size in The Legal Aid Society’s Associates’ Campaign for several years running.
The firm welcomes pro bono partnership arrangements with in-house legal departments. It is a charter member of CorporateProBono.or, a website that facilitates such partnerships.
Chadbourne has a partner as chair of the Pro Bono Committee, a full-time pro bono co-ordinator and a pro bono committee comprised of partners, counsel and associates from all offices (including overseas offices) and all practice areas. Attorneys may choose from regularly circulated lists of matters and training programmes proposed by a wide variety of legal service providers, subject to the approval of the chair of the Pro Bono Committee.
The firm encourages attorneys to perform at least 20–50 hours of pro bono work annually. Up to 100 hours of pro bono work count as billable hours, while an additional 200 hours can be counted towards the firm work expected of associates. Pro bono service is considered an important factor in performance reviews and when determining associate bonus eligibility.
Some of the firm’s outstanding pro bono activities include: a one-year fellowship and a 12-week externships at The Legal Services Center of The Door (a multi-service youth development centre); a partnership with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone on major development projects in Harlem; pursuing high-profile impact litigation; a partnership with Housing Conservation Coordinators on several housing cases; successful work on behalf of asylum seekers/political refugees through Human Rights First; and the Appellate Advocacy Program, through which junior litigation associates prepare and argue criminal appeals before the Appellate Divisions of the First and Second Departments.
Chadbourne’s internal Pro Bono Awards Program acknowledges the highest level of attorney pro bono commitment through its Outstanding Service and Commitment Awards, in the form of $1,000 contributions to the legal service providers chosen by the awardees. In addition, all attorneys who perform 100 or more hours of pro bono service are named to the Pro Bono Honor Roll and receive an engraved memento.
For more information on pro bono click here.
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The June 2013 edition of Chadbourne & Parke’s Project Finance Newswire is available now.
The New York State Department of Labor recently published proposed regulations addressing employer deductions from employee wages.