"We saw a need in the community, and in line with our corporate mission, we decided it was time to start giving back." These words have been uttered by many corporate counsel explaining why their departments decided to implement a formal corporate pro bono program. And while American Airlines wasn't different in this respect, after the program had been in place a few years, the airline kicked it up a notch.
Through the leadership of AA's General Counsel Gary Kennedy, the legal department instituted its formal pro bono initiative back in early 2005. "Some of our lawyers were doing pro bono work on their own, but Gary wanted to make more of a concerted effort. So he had his team put together a policy," explains Marjorie Powell, senior attorney at AA and the department's pro bono coordinator.