Every year The Williams Cos. sends employees on tours of United Way-assisted agencies in the Tulsa, Okla., area to inspire motivation about volunteering. In 2006, GC James Bender took his legal department to Legal Aid Services, a non-profit law firm serving low-income and elderly individuals in Oklahoma. “We met with them, they gave us a tour,” explains Assistant General Counsel Craig Rainey. “And we were all really taken aback by the gap between who they needed to serve and the resources they had to do that.”
Rainey decided it was time to get involved, but realized the best effort would be a joint one. He contacted Tulsa-based law firm Hall Estill, which handled much of Williams’ legal work, about teaming up to provide pro bono support to Legal Aid—and the firm was very much on board.