In 2006, the School of Law launched an exciting program, The Pro Bono Collaborative, to see if we could leverage the untapped resources of Rhode Island’s law firms, community-based organizations and law students’ budding professionalism and energy to increase the provision of free legal assistance to Rhode Island’s most vulnerable communities. Many of our pro bono projects involve broad reaching legal strategies, such as educational workshops and legislative advocacy. The PBC also facilitates direct representation pro bono projects in substantive areas of the law that are normally not addressed through legal services programs. In addition, many of these projects appeal to non-litigators and maximize the resources of participating firms.
After five years, that experiment is now a proven success. The PBC has made a difference in the lives of thousands of individuals who have received legal assistance through the PBC’s projects.
In May, the PBC held its second annual fundraising cocktail party attracting attorneys, business executives and members of the judiciary, raising almost $30,000. The impact of the PBC on just one organization was described the Rev. Mary Margaret Earl, Administrator of McAuley House.
Here are some pics from the annual gala.
PBC Director Eliza Vorenberg and Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell
Judge Ed Clifton and Head of RI Legal Services Robert Barge
Leading trial lawyers David Morowitz with Mark Gemma '97
Robert Mann and Diana DeGroof '03
Robert Chisholm, Richard Radcliffe, J. Scott Kilpatrick, and Robert Barge
Judge Daniel Procaccini and wife Kellilee
Todd Mascena and Steve Holland
Stephen Prignano, Michael Gamboli, Judge Edward Clifton,
Joseph Whelan, and Andy Horwitz
Stephen Prignano and Rev. Mary Margaret Earl Administrator of McCauley House
Scott Kilpatrick, Sally MacDonald '09, and Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell
Amy Peltier '09 and Janet Gilligan
On June 9, the University accepted a Vision award at the East Bay Community Action Program gala, recognizing three University programs including the PBC. The PBC was recognized for its involvement in facilitating 1) the training of staff members at Head Start and Family Development on no-contact, custody and visitation issues by attorneys from Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP and 2) the provision of Special Education Law Workshops to East bay CAP staff and families, including the availability of pro bono legal assistance to EBCAP’s families.
Congratulations to Eliza Vorenberg and her team!