Posted on March 7, 2014

In 2013, over 575 attorneys volunteered for new matters with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta! To see a full list of those who have volunteered, click here. Interested in volunteering? Click here for a current list of volunteer opportunities!

To: Todd Williams and Carly Regan of Turner Broadcasting
From: Urban Recipe
We cannot thank you enough for your labors through Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta for Georgia Avenue Community Ministry (now dba Urban Recipe!). Your work was timely and expert and you were most patient with my bumbling. I am also very aware that your gift to us of your time and expertize was a huge contribution to our work, as we do not have in-house lawyers and do not have the budget to afford the sort of valued guidance you gave to us. So we are most appreciative.

To: Melloney Douce of Rolta and Katy McConnell of Kilpatrick Townsend
From: Living Room, Inc.
We are truly grateful that gave so generously of your time – even cutting into your vacation in Europe to work on our policy. You have helped strengthen us as an organization, and have enabled us to focus on our mission related work. Thank you!

To: Ashley Halfman of Miller & Martin
From: Prevent Child Abuse Newton
I just want you to know what all of your efforts have meant to me, our former board members, and the community. Saying thank you seems such a poor phrase in this instance, but it is heartfelt.

To: Payal Cramer of McKenna Long & Aldridge
From: Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse
The generosity of you and McKenna Long & Aldridge allows organizations such as Side by Side to maintain our focus on serving those in need. We are so blessed to have a resource like Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and your firm to help ensure that we are following best practices and protecting the organization from undue risk in areas in which we lack expertise.

To: Adam Ney and Michael Kerman of Sutherland
From: Sober Living America
Once again, we cannot thank you enough. Sober Living America is now providing housing and recovery services to over 150 people daily, and you make that possible! We are truly grateful to you guys and Sutherland, the work you do in the nonprofit community is outstanding.

Posted on June 20, 2012

The Coca-Cola Company – ABA Business Law Section’s 2012 National Public Service Award
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP – State Bar of Georgia ABC Pro Bono Business Law Award
Timothy B. Phillips –Atlanta Business Chronicle Corporate Counsel Award for Community Champion

Henry Walker and Debbie Segal of
Kilpatrick Townsend accept pro bono award

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta would like to congratulate The Coca-Cola Company, Kilpatrick Townsend, and Timothy Phillips on their 2012 pro bono awards.

Each year, the ABA Business Law Section’s National Public Service Award recognizes an individual business lawyer, a law firm, and/or a corporate law department for demonstrating significant pro bono services. Executive Director Rachel Epps Spears nominated The Coca-Cola Company for the award based on its sustained commitment to proving pro bono legal services to the poor through a variety of programs, including Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta (PBP-Atl). The Coca-Cola Company played a pivotal role in founding PBP-Atl in 2005 and since that time, 55 Coca-Cola attorneys and paralegals have advised clients of PBP-ATL on almost 150 legal matters. In 2011 alone, Coca-Cola attorneys worked on 25 different pro bono projects for nonprofits. Coca-Cola’s attorneys and paralegals have provided free legal advice to nonprofits such as the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta, Fugees Family (an organization that teaches life skills to refugee children through soccer), and Voice Today (a nonprofit that works to protect and heal women from sexual abuse).

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta would also like to recognize Kilpatrick Townsend on receiving the State Bar of Georgia A Business Commitment Pro Bono Business Law Award. Over 140 attorneys in Kilpatrick Townsend’s Atlanta office have volunteered on over 240 different pro bono projects through PBP-Atl. Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys have volunteered their time for nonprofits such as Caminar Latino (a domestic violence intervention program for Latino families), Foster Childrens’ Foundation and Embraced Atlanta (an organization that provides orthopedic and prosthetic devices to low-income individuals, Enchanted Closet (a non profit that provides prom dresses to teens).

Elizabeth Finn Johnson of The Coca-Cola Company accepts pro bono award

Finally, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta congratulates Timothy Phillips for winning the 2012 Atlanta Business Chronicle Corporate Counsel Award for Community Champion. This award recognizes a corporate counsel who has performed excellent corporate work and made significant contributions in pro bono work. As Senior Counsel and now Interim Chief Counsel with the American Cancer Society, Tim has taken on more pro bono matters through PBP-Atl than any other volunteer. He has advised over 30 nonprofits on legal issues related to their tax-exempt status including Georgia Justice Project, Habitat for Humanity DeKalb and Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network. Notably, the other finalists for the Community Champion Award are also outstanding PBP-Atl volunteers and supporters: Elizabeth Finn Johnson of The Coca-Cola Company and Teri McClure of United Parcel Service.

“We see our volunteers give generously of their time and expertise every day. It’s wonderful when they get recognition from others for the important work that they do,” said Rachel Epps Spears.

Posted on June 20, 2012
Volunteers loading soap to be shipped.

Hotels in the United States discard an estimated 2.6 million bars of soap every day. Around the world, there are over 45 million people with limited or no access to clean water or soap, leaving them susceptible to life-threatening illnesses.

Three years ago Derreck Kayongo and his wife Sarah, former Kenyan refugees, recognized the potential in what Americans throw out every day to save the lives of refugees and vulnerable populations. From their dreams and dedication emerged The Global Soap Project. What started as a small venture in the Kayongo’s Atlanta basement, is now an organization partnered with more than 300 hotels. With the help of these hotels, The Global Soap Project generates over 100 tons of recycled soap for suffering communities in nine countries.

The organization collects soap in mass quantities from hotels and is then processed by volunteers at Global Soap Project’s warehouse in Georgia. At the warehouse, a machine is used to filter out dirt and particles from the soap, and finally, the soap is sent to a laboratory and screened for pathogens before being shipped around the world.

The Global Soap Project’s work has garnered much deserved international attention. Kayongo was recently recognized as a Top 10 Finalist for the 2011 CNN Hero Award. Along with the help of volunteer attorneys through Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, the organization has been able to focus their attention on helping those in great need.

“With their help, we’ve been able to improve the structure of our volunteer program and soap making operations. They’ve saved us considerable time and money – two resources that are critical to our success,” says Sam Stephens, executive director of The Global Soap Project.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has worked with The Global Soap Project on a wide variety of projects. For example, Ashley Herd of Meyer Moser Lang advised the organization on hiring an executive director, and Alex Fonoroff and Sabina Vayner of Kilpatrick Townsend are currently assisting Global Soap Project with international trademark protection. Stacey Turner of Georgia Power, Sloane Perras of Aaron’s and Luanna Petti have also donated their time and talents to help the Global Soap Project.

Posted on February 22, 2012

In the Spring of 2000, Bill Maness, Recreation Director at The Gym at Peachtree, noticed a group of Latino children getting off the school bus across the street from Peachtree Presbyterian Church. He learned that these children had parents who spoke little to no English and could not help them with their homework. He invited the students to come to the church for after school tutoring and invited their parents to come for English as a Second Language classes. A year later, LaAmistad was born.

LaAmistad

Today, LaAmistad serves 75 students and 40 families on a daily basis, helping the students achieve their highest academic potential through its after school program and helping parents better communicate with their children through its parent educational initiative. LaAmistad is more than a community program; it is a source of comprehensive support for families that for various circumstances do not have the means to attain their highest degree of success.

Cat McAfee, Director of LaAmistad, tells us about the substantial impact of the organization on the participating families: “LaAmistad families love the program because they receive so much support. We act as advocates in the school when needed and assist the parents in communication with the teachers.”

LaAmistad’s programs have led to measurable results. Participants have received a total of 32 school-sponsored awards in various academic subjects and 15 middle school students in the program participated in the Latino Youth Leadership Conference where they learned about future educational and leadership opportunities. Twenty-five Latino parents have learned to read, write and speak English in order to better equipped to attend to their family’s needs.

LaAmistad participated in one of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta’s Nonprofit Legal Check Ups in December and since then the organization has been matched with volunteer attorneys Leticia Alfonso of AT&T and Rupert Barkoff of Kilpatrick Townsend. Leticia is reviewing LaAmistad’s client application and liability waiver forms and Rupert is drafting a license agreement for other organizations to implement LaAmistad’s model in communities nationwide.

Posted on November 29, 2011

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta volunteers provided more than $2.3 million worth of legal services to Atlanta nonprofits last year. The time and talents of our attorney volunteers make a big difference to the nonprofits they serve. Below are some “shout outs” to our volunteers from their appreciative nonprofit clients:

To: Elizabeth Weller of Turner Entertainment Networks
From: Living Water for Girls
“Thank you so much for connecting Living Water for Girls with Turner Broadcasting. I met with a Liz Weller, Vice President/Deputy General Counsel at Turner Entertainment Networks on this past Saturday, and of course, this would not have been possible without your assistance. She is brilliant and offered sound guidance for our future endeavors.”

To: Jarrod Loadholt of Troutman Sanders
From: Carroll County Family Connection
“I can’t tell you how wonderful Jarrod has been. He was quick to check the documents as I completed them and was always available to take my calls. He is an incredible attorney and he made this process so easy. Thank you for making this possible for our organization.”

To: Laura Bogan of The Home Depot
From: Margot Swann of Visions Anew Institute
“I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the time and effort you put into advising us about employee status. Knowing when to classify employees and/or volunteers as exempt or non-exempt is very helpful. I understand you had to do a good bit of research in order to advise us.”

To: Andrew Morris of Sutherland
From: PEDS
“On behalf of PEDS, I want to express our appreciation to Pro Bono Partnership for connecting us to Andrew Morris. Andrew has been a terrific help to us. His help drafting agreements is enabling us to expand our capacity and resources dramatically.”

To: Judy Powell and Tywanda Lord of Kilpatrick Stockton and Jill Warner of McRae Brooks Warner
From: The Atlanta Women’s Foundation
“Words are not adequate to express how much we appreciate your assistance with our efforts to trademark two of our Community Initiative Programs. We are so grateful to you for rolling up your sleeves and giving your legal efforts to this matter.”

Posted on November 22, 2011

Imagine sending your child to a school with a student teacher ratio of 6:1, where students from all socioeconomic backgrounds are excelling, and are well above the national average in every subject, and to top it all off, the school is free. While that may sound too good to be true, it isn’t. Thanks to the work of Dean Leeper, the founding principal of the Kindezi School, several Atlanta families have chosen the charter school for their child.

Kindezi School Students

Unfortunately, not every family can enroll their children. In fact, the waitlist for Kindezi School, which currently offers grades K through three, is over 300 kids. In order for a child to be admitted to study at the Kindezi School- he or she must win the lottery—literally.

The reason behind the demand is simple: the school has adopted a Differentiated Learning Plan for every student. Teachers spend hours of daily one-on-one time with students in order to determine how each child learns most effectively and adjust the curriculum accordingly.

“Some students need a lot of love and discipline. We can give them that support,” noted Leeper.

The Kindezi School puts an emphasis on both the arts and leadership. Teachers integrate the arts into math, social studies, science, and language arts. The school believes that this integration facilitates a deeper and more engaged learning experience. Further, the school focuses on teaching students to examine the importance of leadership and service inside the classroom, in their local community, and as global citizens.

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has matched the Kindezi School with several volunteer attorneys. For example, Joey Silver of DLA Piper assisted with the incorporation process and Happy Perkins and Jules Frauenhofer of GE Energy, along with several King & Spalding attorneys, handled the 501(c)(3) application process. Katie Manley and Windsor Adams of Paul Hastings advised the school on labor and employment issues and Jeremy Hilsman of Kilpatrick Townsend is currently providing assistance reviewing a lease.

Posted on August 16, 2011

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta volunteers provided more than $2.3 million worth of legal services to Atlanta nonprofits last year. The time and talents of our attorney volunteers make a big difference the nonprofits they serve. Below are some “shout outs” to our volunteers from their appreciative nonprofit clients:

A cake celebrating Jeannette Rankin
Foundation’s new bylaws

To: Nicholas Farrell of Hillenbrand and Matt Madison of Troutman Sanders
From: The Jeanette Rankin Foundation
“It was several months ago when you embarked on this project as a volunteer attorney with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. I want to extend my sincere thanks to you for your work on our new bylaws to have them conform to normal standards for non-profit organizations as well as Georgia law. Thank you for your guidance through this process.”

To: Kevin Glidewell of Turner Broadcasting System
From: BikeAthens
“On behalf of the Bike Athens Board of Directors, please allow me to express our appreciation for the pro bono assistance you and your team has provided us in the matter of obtaining state and federal trademark protection. Throughout the process you were forthcoming and responsive to the questions we raised. It has been a pleasure working with you. If you ever find yourself in Athens please let us know, as we would love to share a bicycle ride with you”

To: Richard Rimer of Troutman Sanders
From: Renovacion Conyugal
“I just wanted to let you know that we just received the official certificates from the Trademark Office for the 3 marks that Richard Rimer from Troutman Sanders presented in our behalf. We are so happy! We never dreamed that we could have this possibility. This is one of the many wonderful things that Pro Bono makes a reality for small nonprofits like us. You are making a difference! Richard has been fantastic! We have never gotten this without his dedication and genuine interest for us.”

To: John Jett of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
From: Compassion House
“Thank you so much for all of the hard work and expertise you put into developing the Privacy Policy for Compassion House! We are blessed by your generosity and skill. This will be a valuable addition to the work we do here. It is a good feeling to know that we are doing things correctly and that we have received such good legal counsel.”

To: Carolyn Wingfield of AT&T and Frank Riggs of Troutman Sanders
From: East Atlanta Community Association
“Thank you for your time and diligence on EACA’s Neighbor in Need initiative. Your work has set the organization on firm ground, so that it can continue its work in improving seniors’ quality of life. Your advice and direction has put our passion on stable ground. With your expertise, EACA can confidently fulfill its mission for years to come.”

Posted on February 13, 2011

Over 100 attorneys gathered at AGL Resources on January 25, 2011 to celebrate another successful year for Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. For the sixth year in a row, PBP-Atl held an appreciation reception for its donors and volunteers and also presented special recognition awards.

PBP-Atl’s Board Chair, Frank Landgraff of GE Energy, started off the evening by thanking PBP-Atl donors, including the following donors who gave $25,000 or more in 2010: The Coca-Cola Company, GE Energy, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, SunTrust Foundation, Sutherland and UPS Foundation. Executive Director Rachel Epps Spears then presented a new volunteer recruitment video produced and donated by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Ms. Spears thanked all of PBP-Atl’s volunteers who contributed free legal services valued at over $2.4 million to nonprofit organizations in 2011. Frabel glass peach sculptures were then presented to the following attorneys, law firms and corporations in recognition for outstanding volunteer achievement:

  • The Home Depot, Corporation of the Year
  • Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton, Law Firm of the Year
  • Volunteers of the Year:
    Elizabeth Finn Johnson of The Coca-Cola Company
    Jared Brandman of The Coca-Cola Company
    Jim Coil of Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton
    Dan Rollman of DLA Piper

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta also gave special appreciation awards to Turner Broadcasting System for the donation of the new videos and to United Parcel Service for its $50,000 grant to PBP-Atl through the UPS Foundation, which is the largest single donation that PBP-Atl has ever received.

“Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta would not exist without our volunteers and donors,” said Spears. “This event gives us the opportunity to thank them and to highlight the extraordinary work of some of our outstanding volunteers.”

Posted on November 3, 2010

According to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence, 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner every year in the United States. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner.


S.H.A.R.E. House Quilt

In response to this tragic situation, battered women’s shelters such as the S.H.A.R.E House, in Douglasville, Georgia, have made it their mission to offer a safe place for victims of domestic violence. The S.H.A.R.E. House’s 24-hour emergency shelter provides 25 beds to battered and homeless women and children, as well as three meals per day.

The S.H.A.R.E. House is devoted to bringing a sense of order and stability into the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence. The organization offers seven transitional apartments to help get women get back on their feet and take back their lives. Women who participate in the transitional program can receive job-readiness training, enroll in school, and take advantage of employer connections. Support groups, such as parenting classes and life-skills classes, are offered to battered women, and children who come from violent homes are also provided counseling.

Of the work that Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has done for this deserving organization, S.H.A.R.E. House executive director Teresa Smith has said, “we greatly appreciate the knowledge and support that the volunteer attorneys have provided to S.H.A.R.E House. Their compassion for our needs as a nonprofit and willingness to work with us and guide the organization on issues when legal services are not available have been outstanding.”

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta has matched the S.H.A.R.E. House with several volunteer attorneys to strengthen the legal health of the organization. Currently, Diane Prucino of Kilpatrick Stockton is advising the S.H.A.R.E. House on an employment-related matter; and Tamera Woodard of Schiff Hardin is making revisions to the employee handbook. John Lewis of the Coca-Cola Company and Jill Wasserman of King & Spalding advised the S.H.A.R.E. House during a recent Nonprofit Legal Check–Up organized by Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. The organization is currently seeking assistance from a volunteer attorney with revising its client handbook and addressing liability concerns.

Posted on June 20, 2010

When VOICE Today founder Angela Williams spoke to three hundred women attending a retreat last year at Callaway Gardens and asked for volunteers to share if they had suffered from sexual abuse, over half of the women stood up. Many of these women broke the silence on their abuse for the first time that day and subsequently made a commitment to healing and restoration.


Angela Williams (founder) &
Tom Scales (executive director)

VOICE Today’s mission is to break the silence and cycle of sexual abuse through protection, prevention, and healing. VOICE Today offers educational workshops that teach adults how to actively and proactively protect children from sexual abuse. Parents learn how to talk to their children about sexuality and personal boundaries. Understanding personal boundaries prepares a child to recognize the difference between OK behavior and not OK behavior. VOICE Today promotes engaging in this communication early on so that even young children will know if someone is acting inappropriately.

In addition to teaching prevention skills, VOICE Today’s workshops teach adults how to detect signals of abuse. An abused child is more likely to tell a nurse, teacher, or classmate about the abuse than his or her own parents, often because the perpetrator is someone the child’s family knows and trusts. VOICE Today strives to take the burden of reporting abuse off of the child by emphasizing adult intervention. VOICE Today empowers adults to be alert to symptoms of abuse in their own children as well as other children in their community.

VOICE Today also hosts workshops and support groups for survivors of sexual abuse to promote restoration and healing. Because the full-time VOICE Today volunteers are survivors of sexual abuse, they know firsthand what it is like to endure the abuse and live with its devastating effects.

It is the vision of VOICE Today to change the world into a place that is safe for children and compassionate to survivors. While child abuse is a worldwide problem, awareness and prevention programs are virtually unheard of in many other countries. VOICE Today has promoted its cause in Mexico and is currently working with a ministry for exploited children in Bulgaria. VOICE Today is also collaborating with students at the Savannah College of Art and Design to create educational books and dolls based on the books’ characters.

Pro Bono Partnerhip of Atlanta has matched VOICE Today with Chris Bussert and Sabina Vayner of Kilpatrick Stockton and Mialeeka Williams of The Coca-Cola Company who are currently advising VOICE Today on trademark, copyright, and website issues, and Mona Maerz of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, who is working with the organization on waivers and releases.