Doing pro bono as an in-house attorney, and managing a pro bono program for a corporate legal department, comes with many challenges. Some of these are unique to practicing in-house, and others are the same or similar to the challenges faced over the years by those who developed pro bono programs at large law firms.
This course, taught by Akerman LLP Director of Pro Bono Initiatives Gina DelChiaro and Valerie Farkas, Bloomberg LP’s Head of Legal for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, will explore key building blocks of in-house pro bono programs and discuss common pitfalls and ethical issues that in-house lawyers should be aware of before doing pro bono. The program will provide an understanding of some newer and evolving areas of in-house pro bono programs, along with best practices learned from the speakers’ personal experience.
Gina DelChiaro is a partner at Akerman LLP and the firm’s Director of Pro Bono Initiatives, a signature program designed to cultivate pro bono opportunities that leverage the skills and interests of Akerman lawyers to help meet the legal needs of those least able to afford legal services. Gina has nearly 15 years of experience working on pro bono initiatives, most recently at Lawyers Alliance for New York where she served as Corporate Engagement Counsel, working with in-house attorneys from many corporate legal departments and law firms to provide appropriate pro bono projects. She also helped organize pro bono projects with a national network of pro bono providers, serving nonprofits in 15 cities around the United States. Gina spent six years as an attorney for Human Rights First, where she launched and managed a pro bono program with law firms and corporations that provided pro bono legal representation to refugees, asylum seekers, and other immigrants. Prior to that, Gina was an associate at Sidley, where her practice focused on regulatory enforcement, securities and commercial litigation, and a variety of pro bono matters, including capital litigation and immigration.
Gina is a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo) and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association. For many years, she was a member of the Pro Bono & Legal Services Committee of the New York City Bar Association, where she co-chaired a sub-committee on Pro Bono Outside of Biglaw.
Valerie Farkas serves as Head of Legal for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Bloomberg L.P. and is based in Bloomberg's London office. Her team manages a wide range of matters for the EMEA region, including IP, licensing, financial technology, regulatory, antitrust, data privacy, HR and general corporate matters. Prior to her current role, Valerie served as senior counsel supporting a wide range of financial products and was based out of Bloomberg's New York office. Valerie is also the founder and emeritus chair of the Bloomberg Legal Department's award-winning pro bono program.