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was particularly challenging in a way her
usual legal work might not be, because
she was always aware of the fine cultural
line they were walking with their advice.
“Our goal was not to impose our
[legal] system on their country. Our goal
was to help them develop their own legal
system based on the norms and values
and legal history there,” Andrews says.
She and other team members worked
hard not to be American-centric in their
advice, knowing that their ultimate goal
was to help create a legal framework
based on the Kosovars’ own legal history
and social norms.
But why take so much time out of
building her budding legal career to
help create a legal system that could
take years to get off the ground? Large
law firms are notorious for demanding
long hours from attorneys as the price
of advancing up the ladder to partner.
A relatively young attorney, Andrews
says she saw the Kosovo program
as an opportunity to gain the kind
of substantive legal and leadership
experience she might wait years to get
in her daily law practice—experiences
that could help her in her professional
goals. As a result of her experiences,
Andrews traded her position as a law
firm associate for one as the program
manager of New Perimeter, and now
she helps to direct and choose new
international pro bono efforts in
which other DLA Piper attorneys
A Different Time,
Although individuals gain a variety of
skills from these experiences, why do
firms like PricewaterhouseCoopers and
DLA Piper support these efforts? One
expert says it’s just smart business in
Ellen Mignoni, a senior vice president
at APCO Worldwide, a public affairs
Should Your Company Join
the Global Pro Bono Fray?
Professional service firms and companies that haven’t established
corporate pro bono-type programs should consider doing so, for a lot
of reasons, according to Ellen Mignoni, senior vice president of APCO
Worldwide, a public affairs and strategic communications firm.
As businesses become more connected to the ever-growing global
marketplace, having such programs is essential to being a good
corporate citizen and to attracting and retaining new talent. But before
embarking on a corporate philanthropy program, Mignoni suggests
examining the following:
1. Be clear on the reasons for starting a pro bono or philanthropic
project. What does the corporation/employer hope to accomplish?
2. Will this really help your recruiting efforts and improve employee
retention? Have current employees expressed interest in becoming
more active in volunteering their time? Could such a program build
employee support for the employer?
3. Is there senior-level support for a program?
4. Are the programs that are being considered consistent with corporate goals?
5. Are there ways to combine a pro bono program with employee
6. Will the programs be “fun”? For corporate-sponsored pro bono
activities to succeed, they need to reflect the heart and soul of