The challenge is part of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project, whose goal is to fully integrate pro bono into the practice, philosophy and culture of firms. Under the project, larger law firms provide the institutional support, infrastructure and encouragement essential to fostering a climate supportive of pro bono service and promoting partner and associate participation. The project is affiliated with the Pro Bono Institute, a nonprofit organization housed at the Georgetown University Law Center.
Baker & Daniels' commitment to pro bono springs from its strong commitment to community service, The Pro Bono Wire reported in announcing the Indiana-based firm's support of the challenge. Project officials applauded Baker & Daniels' public interest and pro bono work in a range of areas, including:
- Representation of domestic violence victims in protective order proceedings;
- Child advocacy in guardian ad litem and CASA proceedings;
- Immigration and asylum representation and training and an ongoing collaboration with the Chicago-based National Immigrant Justice Center;
- Appellate representation of pro se defendants before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals;
- Development of a pro bono appellate program in the Indiana state appellate courts;
- Representation of death penalty defendants in capital litigation projects;
- Representation of the Indiana National Guard to form a foundation to support an ING memorial and tribute and to develop an ongoing project to provide pro bono representation of guard members and their families;
- Development of a patient advocacy initiative with Indiana University's Schools of Medicine, Law, Nursing and Social Work and the Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation;
- Legal support of Indiana University School of Medicine's collaboration with Moi Medical School, which serves 35,000 AIDS/HIV patients in Kenya;
- Intellectual property representation on behalf of several social entrepreneurship initiatives in Third World countries; and
- The development of a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender legal advocacy working group to address GLBT advocacy issues and provide a platform for advocacy.
"Our firm has a long-standing institutional commitment to public service and organizations working on issues relating to access to justice," said Carl Pebworth, a Baker & Daniels partner who oversees the firm's pro bono strategies. "We are actively attempting to leverage our collective experience and resources to improve and expand access to justice for the underserved.
"We have adopted a formal policy on pro bono and public service, and we have a committee charged with facilitating this kind of work," Pebworth added. "We hope that attorneys throughout their tenure at the firm will do pro bono work. We value all kinds of public service."
Founded in 1863, Baker & Daniels LLP is one of Indiana's largest law firms. With more than 350 lawyers and affiliated company professionals, Baker & Daniels serves clients in regional, national and international business and litigation matters from offices in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend and Elkhart, Ind.; Washington, D.C.; and China. For more information about Baker & Daniels, visit www.bakerdaniels.com.