28 June 2010
Marcia T. Maack
Assistant Director of Pro Bono Activities
Welcome Summer Associates!
On behalf of the Pro Bono Committee, I want to welcome you and encourage each of you to get involved in our pro bono program. We are very proud of the breadth of our program and the seriousness of our commitment to helping those in need.
In 2009, we devoted more than 51,000 hours to pro bono work and exceeded our Pro Bono Challenge goal of dedicating 3 percent of client chargeable hours to pro bono. More importantly, however, our lawyers all over the world worked to make a real difference in the lives of the underserved. They helped refugees escape persecution, victims of domestic violence seek safety, disabled individuals secure disability benefits, families faced with eviction avoid homelessness, and children in foster care find permanent homes. They fought for the rights of death row prisoners and represented indigent criminal defendants in their trials. They helped microentrepreneurs establish small businesses and non-profit organizations fulfill their missions. Our lawyers sought to protect the environment, to help the poor and disadvantaged in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty, to build supportive housing in the United States, and to create improved health care in Africa. Lawyers and staff also participated in numerous community service projects.
At Mayer Brown, we believe that a commitment to pro bono work is something lawyers should carry with them throughout their professional lives. For that reason, two years ago the firm instituted a requirement in our U.S. offices that all incoming first and second year associates take on a pro bono matter within their first year with the firm. With this requirement, we hope to instill a culture of undertaking pro bono work by setting a positive tone early in an attorney’s career.
There are many opportunities for summer associates to get involved in pro bono work and we hope that you will take advantage of them. As always, you should not hesitate to contact me or Marc Kadish, the Director of Pro Bono Activities and Litigation Training, if you have any questions about our program.
And please save the date – on July 14 we will hold our annual Pro Bono Awards Program to honor those lawyers who have made extraordinary contributions to our society and recognize those who worked to meet our Pro Bono Challenge goal. We hope to see you there!