In partnership with clients and pro bono organizations, McGuireWoods participated remotely in four pro bono efforts from Jan. 13-15 as part of the Pro Bono Institute’s 2021 Financial Institution Pro Bono Day.
- Estate planning CLE and legal clinic with Bank of America on preparation and execution of life-planning documents for low-income clients in New York: Volunteers of Legal Services led a Jan. 14 training session for McGuireWoods and Bank of America lawyers on the preparation of wills, healthcare powers of attorney and other estate-planning documents. Twenty-two volunteer legal professionals from the firm, Bank of America and other financial institutions attended the training and then partnered to undertake representation of nine clients with more than 40 estate planning documents.
- CLE with Capital One on representing domestic violence survivors obtaining protective orders: Forty-one legal professionals from McGuireWoods and Capital One participated in a Jan. 14 CLE training session led by staff from Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and McGuireWoods. Participants will be added to a list of volunteers and assigned cases on a rolling basis. During the pandemic, the need for domestic violence pro bono services has greatly increased and this is one of the most critical areas of need for pro bono volunteers for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society.
- CLE and virtual intake clinic with Wells Fargo assisting veterans: The National Veterans Legal Service Program held a “Know Your Rights” informational session for volunteer legal professionals and for service members seeking information about medical retirement. Thirty-four volunteer legal professionals from McGuireWoods and Wells Fargo signed up in teams to meet virtually from Jan. 14-15 with 25 service member clients for one-hour appointments to address their legal needs.
- Driver’s license restoration project with US Bank in partnership with the NC Pro Bono Resource Center to assist low-income clients who cannot afford to pay traffic fines and fees: McGuireWoods and US Bank legal professionals participated in this pro bono project to address two key justice issues. First, poverty, rather than the willful refusal to pay a court fee or appear in court, is the root cause of a significant number of driver’s license suspensions. Second, catastrophic racial disparities result in households of color being disproportionately exposed to, and severely impacted by, traffic debt. On Jan. 14, 28 McGuireWoods and US Bank volunteers worked in teams to screen records and draft advice letters to assist 44 clients who requested advice through ncfairchance.org.
The Pro Bono Institute’s Financial Institution Pro Bono Day began as a small nationwide project in 2019 and grew in 2020 to encompass plans for dozens of partnership events in multiple cities. This year, more than 50 events took place across the United States and the United Kingdom.