McGuireWoods and AOL Honored for Pro Bono Collaboration

December 3, 2008

McGuireWoods LLP and AOL have been selected by the Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center as the joint recipients of the “Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year.” The award was presented at the Fairfax Bar Association’s annual State of the Judiciary Luncheon held earlier this week at The Country Club of Fairfax.

The recipients were cited for creating a first-of-its-kind working relationship between a corporate in-house legal department and a law firm solely to perform pro bono work in the Northern Virginia community. The project teams AOL in-house attorneys with lawyers from McGuireWoods’ Tysons Corner, D.C. and Richmond offices to provide a monthly neighborhood outreach clinic in the Reston/Herndon area.

During the clinics, attorneys from both organizations consult with individuals who need help with issues such as immigration, child custody, divorce, housing, public benefits, and more. Since its inception earlier this year, McGuireWoods and AOL have held seven clinics and provided legal advice for 73 individuals. They have provided further assistance beyond the clinics for 12 individuals. AOL and McGuireWoods have partnered with the Fairfax Bar Association’s Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center, and Reston Interfaith to create, market and operate the monthly clinic. Legal Services of Northern Virginia also has provided critical training and referral support for the clinic.

“We are humbled to accept this award and gratified that we have been recognized along with our partner, AOL,” said McGuireWoods Tysons Corner partner Brian Lubkeman. “For us, this award is a testament to the countless hours that our attorneys and legal professionals, and our staff, both in this project with AOL, but also elsewhere throughout the area, have given to help those individuals who otherwise might not be able to secure effective legal representation.”

“For lawyers working in firms, pro bono work is typically a part of the job, but in the corporate environment, there are few opportunities to provide charitable legal services,” said Katherine Wychulis and Jim Villa, co-chairs of AOL’s pro bono committee. “These clinics give AOL’s legal team a chance to give back to the community. We are pleased to have these efforts recognized by the Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center.”

“After witnessing the positive effects from their collaboration, it was obvious that McGuireWoods and AOL earned the distinction of being co-named Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year,” said Arlene K. Beckerman, Esq., Director of the Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center. “The time and effort put forth by these teams has greatly benefited the clients being served and stands as a model for other organizations in the area.”