Senior Public Relations Manager
Senior Public Relations Manager
PILLSBURY ESTABLISHES TWO PRO BONO FELLOWSHIPS AS PART OF ENHANCED PROGRAMJuly 12, 2011
New York—Pillsbury today announced the establishment of two pro bono associate fellowships as part of its newly revamped program to ensure attorneys actively participate in pro bono projects during every stage of their careers.
Named after Henry Stimson, one of the firm's illustrious New York co-founders, the Stimson Fellowship is available to one incoming Pillsbury associate who wishes to spend his or her first year in-house at a non-profit organization. The fellowship recipient is awarded a stipend of $85,000 and full benefits for the year-long assignment. At the conclusion of the project, the associate will then join his or her assigned practice group as a First-Year.
"The Stimson Fellowship was very popular among associates several years ago, so we decided now was the right time to revive it," said San Francisco partner Tom Loran, head of Pillsbury's Pro Bono practice. "As both state and federal government agencies have been forced to slash social services, education and arts funding in response to declining tax revenues, non-profits organizations are being asked to take up the slack. But few non-profits have the funding necessary to have a full-time attorney on staff to advise them or their clients, many of whom are unaware of the legal redress available to them. By re-establishing the Stimson Fellowship, we want to give our first-years the opportunity to gain valuable legal experience that they might not otherwise obtain and help support our local communities at the same time."
The firm has also established for the first time the Pillsbury Mid-Level Pro Bono Fellowship, for which third, fourth or fifth year associates can apply. Under this Fellowship, the recipient spends 50 percent of his or her time on a pro bono project and the other 50 percent on traditional client work. The recipient receives the same salary as the others in his or her class and is eligible for the same bonus credits and promotion opportunities.
"Mid-level associates often have the most to contribute to a pro bono client because they have now acquired a significant amount of legal knowledge and experience and at the same time may still be looking to build on the skills they already have or explore a new area of the law," said Loran. "We also observed that many of our mid-year associates are reluctant to devote substantial amounts of time to pro bono work because they worry that some partners won't view them as serious about their careers or growing business. By offering a fellowship to mid-level attorneys we hope to send the message to associates and partners alike that pro bono work is integral to being a successful attorney today."
As part of its revamped pro bono program, Pillsbury now mandates that every partner, counsel and associate must perform at least 25 hours of pro bono work a year. It has also eliminated the 100-hour cap on the amount of pro bono work that can be credited toward associate billable and bonus hour requirements.
"We are inspiring our attorneys to focus on delivering the best client service possible in the most comprehensive manner, and that includes serving the indigent and needy on pro bono matters. Performing pro bono service is not only the right thing to do for our communities, but helps remind us why we became attorneys in the first place: to help people solve difficult problems working within the rules of society," said Pillsbury Firm Chair Jim Rishwain.
The firm will begin its application and selection process this fall for its 2012 Fellowships. Pillsbury is a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute's law firm challenge, which requires that at least three percent of a law firm's overall practice must consist of pro bono work Pillsbury is also an active member of the Legal Aid Society, Volunteer Lawyers Service Program, and Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights among others, which partners law firm attorneys with pro bono clients in need based on their experience and background.
For more about Pillsbury's pro bono efforts and its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, visit http://www.pillsburylaw.com/socialresponsibility.
About Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Pillsbury is a full-service U.S. law firm with international reach. Our lawyers represent many of the world's most successful companies and organizations in energy & natural resources, financial services, real estate & construction, and technology, among other sectors. In addition to Pillsbury's industry focus, we help clients stay abreast of new opportunities or potential risks through issue-specific multidisciplinary teams centered around emerging legal and business trends.