Posted on March 7, 2014

To celebrate another successful year, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta held its ninth annual appreciation reception for donors and volunteers. Over 100 attorneys gathered at Alston & Bird on February 18, 2014 to recognize the incredible work accomplished by PBPA volunteers this past year. After PBPA client Dolph Goldenburg of Living Room spoke about the importance of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta to his organization and the nonprofit community, Executive Director Rachel Epps Spears thanked all of the volunteer attorneys who contributed free legal services valued at over $2 million to nonprofit organizations in 2013. PBPA Board Chair Rick McMurtry of Turner Broadcasting handed out Frabel glass peach sculptures to the following attorneys, law firms and corporations in recognition for outstanding volunteer achievement:

Southern Company and Georgia Power, Corporation of the Year
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Law Firm of the Year

Volunteers of the Year:

  • Mindy Simon of Emory University
  • Joe Freeman of Cox Communications
  • Michelle Johnson of Nelson Mullins
  • Jim Johnson and Julie Murphy of Sutherland
  • Mark Johanson of Ogletree Deakins
  • Geoff Weirich of Paul Hastings
  • Nedom Haley of Baker Donelson

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta also gave the Happy Perkins Award to Debbie Segal, retired pro bono partner for Kilpatrick Townsend, in appreciation of her many contributions to Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.

Generous contributions by the following businesses covered the expenses of the appreciation event:

  • Presenting Sponsor
    • Thomson Reuters
  • Sustaining Sponsor
    • RR Donnelly
  • Supporting Sponsor
    • Wells Fargo
    • Counsel on Call
    • Habif Arogeti & Wynne

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

Please click here to view pictures from this year’s reception.

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 March 21, 2013

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: Robert Jones III of Sutherland
From: Crime Victims Advocacy Council
It has been a real blessing getting to work with you to clean up our minutes and by-laws. Thank you for being willing to share your expertise with us. I have been so blessed by CVAC’s relationship with Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta! Thanks also to Sutherland for providing your time, and a home to PBPA!

To: Matt McGrath of Nelson Mullins
From: Georgia Radio Reading Service
My very greatest thanks for all of your efforts on behalf of GaRRS. You are a pleasure to work with and I am delighted that our website is up to par now! You all are so kind to give of your knowledge and time to nonprofits like us. Be blessed always!

To: Carly Regan and Rick McMurtry of Turner Broadcasting
From: Visions Anew Institute
You and Rick have been a Godsend to us – ever vigilant in our needs. I would never have realized that we needed a second design trademark without your comprehension of the whole picture. As we fly ever higher.. we need to have all the legalities covered. I am so grateful to you!

To: Isabella Lee of Ford Harrison
From: Georgia Center for Child Advocacy
I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and effort to produce these forms for us. I cannot brag enough on the efforts Isabella took for us. She came to the Center for a tour, brought me a binder of information and stayed to ask and answer questions. What a gift!

To: Joe Freeman of Cox Communications
From: Child Development Association
Your contribution of pro bono services will enable the CDA to better serve the preschool children of working poor families by providing affordable childcare and early childhood education programs. Thank you for sharing our vision of great starts toward bright futures for these youngsters.

Posted on June 20, 2012
ACC May Lunch-PBP Check (L-R:Rachel Spears (PBPA),
Scott Burton (Sutherland), Michael Fong (Recommind),
Brett Lockwood (Smith Gambrell & Russell) and
Geoff Frost (Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore)

The 2012 Association of Corporate Counsel-Georgia Chapter (ACC-GA) Value Challenge event raised $31,000 for Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta (PBPA). Sutherland, Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore, Smith, Gambrell & Russell and Recommind sponsored the Value Challenge, which was presented on March 29, 2012 with over 100 attorneys in attendance.

The funds raised at the Value Challenge event represent almost 10% of PBPA’s 2012 budget. ACC-GA has raised almost $250,000 for PBPA in the last six years through annual fundraising events.

The ACC-GA Value Challenge event combined CLE presentations and breakout sessions that encouraged in-house counsel to discuss best practices for connecting the value and the cost of legal services. The Value Challenge saw participation from a wide array of in-house attorneys from metro-Atlanta based corporations, including UPS and GE Energy.

Faith Knight Myers, Lead Privacy Counsel at McKesson, participated in the event and commented, “it very well done. Substantively, all of the presenters discussed topics that were relevant to me. It was well worth my time.”

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta thanks ACC-GA and its president Martha McMillin for their continued support, financial and otherwise, of our mission to maximize the impact of pro bono engagement of in-house attorneys.

Posted on February 22, 2012

Happy Perkins, then-General Counsel of GE Energy, called a meeting back in 2004. He wanted to know if the Atlanta legal community was interested in bringing the Pro Bono Partnership model down south from New York. Attorneys would be paired with nonprofits in need of free legal assistance, opening up more pro bono opportunities to in-house and transactional lawyers. With an “if we build it, they will come” attitude, several corporations and law firms committed initial funding for the project.

Here we are almost eight years later and Happy’s vision has resulted in over 1500 Atlanta attorneys providing pro bono assistance to nonprofits. We honored Happy (yes, his real name) with our inaugural Founders Award at our annual Volunteer & Donor Appreciation Reception on January 24. AT&T and Sutherland, two of the original funders of the Partnership, received Corporation and Law Firm of the Year honors for the outstanding volunteer contributions of their attorneys. You can read more about all of the awardees and see photos from the reception in the article below.

Want to go to the reception next year? As always, the event is free (thanks to our sponsors) and we will invite everyone who volunteers or donates to us in 2012. Hint, hint …

Rachel
Rachel Epps Spears
Executive Director

Posted on February 22, 2012

To celebrate another successful year, Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta held its seventh annual appreciation reception for donors and volunteers. Over 100 attorneys gathered at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan on January 24, 2012 to recognize the incredible work accomplished by PBP-Atl volunteers this past year.

After PBP-Atl clients Jimmy Wilson of Loganville Community Ministry Village and Lauren O’Brien of Embraced Atlanta spoke about the impact of Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta on their organizations, Executive Director Rachel Epps Spears thanked all of the volunteer attorneys who contributed free legal services valued at over $2 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:

  • AT&T, Corporation of the Year
  • Sutherland, Law Firm of the Year
  • Volunteers of the Year:
    • John W. Mills, III of Barnes & Thornburg
    • Adrienne L. Smith of Sutherland
    • Darcy White of Paul Hastings
    • Thomas Federico of Turner Broadcasting System
    • Val Rusk of Turner Broadcasting System
    • Marion Tilson of AT&T

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta gave a special appreciation award to Datacert for their donation of the Passport matter management platform which has greatly increased the efficiency of the Partnership staff.

PBP-Atl also presented the inaugural Founders Award to Happy R. Perkins. Happy, who recently retired as General Counsel of GE Energy, played a pivotal role in organizing Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta and served on the organization’s Board for seven years. The Founders Award will be presented from time to time to recognize an individual who makes an outstanding contribution to Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.

For the first time, PBPA-Atl offered sponsorships for the reception and generous contributions by the following businesses covered the expenses of the appreciation event:

  • Sustaining Sponsor
    • RR Donnelly
    • Pangea3
  • Supporting Sponsor
    • IVIZE
    • Counsel on Call

“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 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 August 13, 2011

Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta recently announced the appointment of Amy Dosik to its Board of Directors.
Amy began serving nonprofits as a tax associate at Sutherland LLP and currently serves as a Principal in Ernst & Young’s National Exempt Organizations Tax Practice. When Pro Bono Partnership was formed, Amy was excited by the organization’s ability to provide pro bono opportunities for transactional attorneys.


Amy Dosik

Initially, Amy volunteered to perform client workshops and various tax-exempt related seminars for Pro Bono Partnership.

She learned early that she wanted to dedicate her practice to helping nonprofits. Amy views her volunteer work for Pro Bono Partnership not as answering legal questions, but as a way to help nonprofits fulfill their mission. Amy feels that Pro Bono Partnership fills a much needed niche for small nonprofits that don’t have the resources to hire paid advisors without compromising their financial ability to deliver program services.

“It is a really good counterpoint to what I do professionally,” Amy said. “My clients are generally large hospitals and universities who have the resources to hire paid tax consultants and attorneys. Without the volunteer work of skilled attorneys, most nonprofits would simply not have the financial ability to receive the legal and tax advice that they need to move forward.”

On top of her work at Pro Bono Partnership, Amy serves on the board of It’s the Journey, which runs the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, and Hillels of Georgia.

“I love working with nonprofits because it involves interesting, complex issues, and at the end of the day I know my clients are working to make Atlanta and the world a better place. It allows you to sleep well at night.”