McGuireWoods has appointed senior counsel Angela Zimmern as the firm’s pro bono director, expanding the firm’s commitment to developing and sustaining pro bono programs that have been recognized nationally for innovation and impact.
Zimmern joins Scott Oostdyk, the firm’s longtime global pro bono partner, as a key leader of McGuireWoods’ pro bono initiatives. Oostdyk has led pro bono efforts at McGuireWoods in conjunction with office-level pro bono coordinators for over 20 years.
Zimmern has been deeply involved in some of the firm’s most successful initiatives as co-coordinator of pro bono efforts for the Charlotte office. The firm has earned numerous pro bono service honors for projects Zimmern and senior counsel A. Carter Arey led that benefited child advocacy, domestic violence prevention, consumer matters, veterans’ affairs, tax relief and estate planning.
Zimmern and Arey received the 2018 Distinguished Pro Bono Service Award, a lifetime achievement honor presented by the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, the Council for Children’s Rights and Legal Aid of North Carolina.
“Pro bono service is a passion of mine and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with lawyers throughout the firm who are committed to providing greater access to legal services nationwide,” Zimmern said. “I am proud to be at a firm with a culture that values pro bono work and supports attorneys in their pro bono practices.”
In her new role, Zimmern will work with leaders in each McGuireWoods office to expand local pro bono programs and build on the firm’s productive pro bono partnerships with corporate law departments. In 2018, McGuireWoods, in concert with clients Bank of America, Duke Energy and Wells Fargo, launched Charlotte Triage, an innovative program to expand pro bono services for low-income residents while easing burdens on local legal aid organizations.
“Angie has impressed us with her pro bono leadership in Charlotte, particularly her efforts to strengthen pro bono partnerships with nonprofit organizations and clients,” said managing partner J. Tracy Walker IV. “She is ideally suited to help us build on this success throughout the firm.”
“Angie’s energy and dedication to pro bono service are immeasurable, and her experience collaborating with clients and legal aid groups will open new opportunities to increase access to justice,” Oostdyk said.
McGuireWoods’ pro bono service has earned national and international recognition. Financial Times, in its 2018 North America Innovative Lawyers report, ranked the firm highly in the Rule of Law and Access to Justice Category for securing the largest known single-plaintiff human trafficking award in U.S. history. The $8 million judgment led the Human Trafficking Legal Center to name McGuireWoods “Litigation Firm of the Year.”
In 2017, the firm earned the highest rating from FT for partnering with clients and pro bono groups to create JusticeServer, a groundbreaking case management and referral tool that provides private practice lawyers with direct electronic access to pro bono case files from legal aid organizations.