Our dedicated readers may remember this post about the launch of the Lawyers Clearinghouse and BBA Labor and Employment Section’s Employment Law Pro Bono Project last spring. If you happened to miss it, here’s the deal. This new project pairs pro bono attorneys with local nonprofits who need help with employment related issues, such as compliance, wage and hour law, and more. The program is officially underway and volunteers have been helping local nonprofits on a range of issues.
While we can’t share the specifics of the cases, we can find out more from our lawyer volunteers. Mike Birch (Lurie, Lent & Friedman, LLP), for example, recently assisted a local nonprofit with a complicated employment termination. We asked him why other attorneys should get involved in this initiative. Here’s what he had to say:
“I believe there are many reasons to get involved with the program and assist nonprofits with employment issues.
From a professional development standpoint, it provides the opportunity to gain additional experience with employment law issues. The employment law issues that arise in an employment lawyer’s practice and the factual settings in which they arise are almost innumerable. The more I am able to think through employment law issues in different factual contexts, the better able I am to address them as they arise in my practice, for all of our employer clients.
Also, nonprofits often operate on limited financial resources. Nonprofits are often spread thin and the time of the people who run them (such as Executive Directors) is limited. These people often wear multiple hats, juggling the administration of the nonprofit and provision of the nonprofit’s valuable services to the community. Dealing with unfamiliar employment law issues can be overwhelming, worrisome, and time consuming. With us assisting, the nonprofit can devote its limited resources and time to doing what it does best—providing the services that are at the core of its mission. By assisting nonprofits with their employment law issues, we are playing a meaningful part by assisting them to focus on their provision of those services.”