VOLS Leadership Summit 2020: Pro Bono and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Event Details

Mar 11, 2020

8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

New York, NY


Register Now

For questions about this event, please call 1-800-308-1700

The Legal Executive Institute is pleased to partner with Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) on a dynamic, interactive, half-day program dedicated to the intersection of pro bono service and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (DEI) in the current legal market. Law firm, corporate, public interest, academic, and judicial leaders will work collaboratively on a series of core questions devoted to improving access to justice across the greater New York City community.

Attendees are invited to peruse the following resources in advance of the event:

Mansfield Rule, courtesy of Diversity Lab.
“The Overlooked Importance of Pro Bono Work” – David Lash
The FAIR Pledge: We Commit to Fighting Against Implicit Bias and Racial Inequality | National Legal Aid & Defender Association

For 35 years, VOLS has harnessed the power of New York City’s legal community and neighborhood-based groups to provide free, civil legal services when and where they are needed most. The Pro Bono Leadership Summit is followed by VOLS’ 35th anniversary evening gala celebration: Women’s Leadership in Pro Bono. More information about the gala can be found at www.volsprobono.org/gala.


Why You Should Attend

  • This conference offers a unique opportunity for Pro Bono & DEI professionals to collaboratively move the needle on improving access to justice for clients across the tri-state area
  • Attendees will gain valuable strategic takeaways to help bolster Pro Bono and DEI initiatives within their respective organizations

    Who Should Attend

    Participating law firms, companies, and organizations are encouraged to be represented in teams, including:
  • Pro Bono and DEI Professionals from Law Firms and Corporations
  • Managing Partners, Shareholders, and In-House General Counsel
  • Pro Bono and DEI Professionals at Public Interest Legal Organizations, Law Schools, and the Courts
  • Event Details

    Wednesday, Mar 11

    8:30 AM
    Registration & Breakfast
    9:00 AM
    Opening Plenary

    Law firm, corporate, law school, and legal service leaders will set the tone for the Summit, discussing ways to overcome the effects of separating pro bono and DEI initiatives within organizations, and the benefits and the challenges of aligning them.

    Paula T. Edgar, Partner, Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC & Immediate Past President, Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

    Mary Lu BilekDean, CUNY Law School
    Thomas Kim, Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, Thomson Reuters
    Kim Koopersmith, Partner & Chairperson, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
    Roger Maldonado, Partner, Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP & President, New York City Bar Association
    Lillian M. Moy, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York

    9:45 AM
    9:55 AM
    Panel & Group Discussions #1: Integrating Pro Bono & DEI Programs

    Representatives from top tier law firms and corporations at various stages of integration will describe their efforts to integrate pro bono and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within their organizations. A facilitated group discussion at each table will follow. We will end this session with recap/summary to share common themes/concerns put forth by each table.

    Susan Sturm, George M. Jaffin Professor of Law and Social Responsibility, Columbia Law School & Founding Director, Center for Institutional and Social Change, Columbia Law School

    Christopher S. Auguste, Partner, Chair of the Diversity Committer and Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
    Yakiry M. Adal, Director of Talent and Inclusion, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
    Kevin J. CurninPartner and Founding Director of Public Service Project, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP
    Aisha Greene, Director of Attorney Development and Training, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
    Annie Mohan, Manager of Pro Bono, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

    11:15 AM
    11:30 AM
    Panel & Group Discussions #2: Meeting the Community's Needs Through Pro Bono & DEI Programs

    Representatives from community organizations will discuss how firms and corporations can work with legal service providers and community organizations to tailor their pro bono & DEI programs to meet the needs of the community, and why integrating these two programs is important at the ground level. Panelists will also discuss how pro bono attorneys who come from vastly different backgrounds than their clients can competently tailor their advocacy to impact these individuals in a positive way.

    Hamra Ahmad
    , Director, Legal Services, Her Justice

    Chaumtoli HuqAssociate Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law
    Shekar Krishan, Chief Program Officer and Co-Founder, Communities Resist
    Rodrigo Sanchez-Camus, Director, Legal, Organizing & Advocacy, NMIC

    12:45 PM
    1:00 PM
    Networking Luncheon

    Please join us for lunch as we wrap up the day’s proceedings.


    Thomson Reuters New York Corporate Office

    3 Times Square (at 42nd St. & 7th Ave.)
    30th Floor
    New York, NY 10036

    Please be advised, we do not have a hotel room block for this event. Interested parties are invited to consider a number of nearby hotels within walking distance of our conference venue.

    Nearby Hotels

    Westin New York at Times Square


    New York Marriott Marquis


    Millennium Times Square New York


    Sponsors of This Event