The notion of in-house pro bono is still in its infancy, for the most part. According to Eve Runyon, director of Corporate Pro Bono—the partnership project between the Pro Bono Institute and the Association of Corporate Counsel—in-house programs have taken off just within the past 10 years. Legal departments also face some unique challenges in this area: In-house lawyers often worry that they don’t have enough time to take on pro bono projects, and some of them are not licensed locally to provide legal services to anyone but their employer. Departments also have to worry about malpractice insurance for pro bono work, and make sure that if they don’t provide it, that the legal service organization they’re working with does.
Runyon has seven years of experience through Corporate Pro Bono working with in-house counsel on their pro bono programs, which makes her the perfect person to offer tips on creating sustainable programs to legal departments that want to start one but just don’t know where to begin.