2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

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B U I L D I N G F O U N D AT I O N S I N O U R C O M M U N I T Y 2 0 2 1 C O R P O R AT E S O C I A L R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y R E P O R T


2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

PRO BONO

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

100%

5

6

7,929

45%

1

$4.66M

83%

100%

100%

associate participation in pro bono

pro bono hours worked

value of pro bono hours worked

of attorneys made individual donations to the Chicago Bar Foundation Investing in Justice Campaign

roundtable discussions in 2021 to discuss institutional racism

of firmwide committee chairs are women

Sponsorship Initiative participants

Mansfield Certification

of the 2021 summer associate class belong to underrepresented demographic groups

of associates promoted to partner as of January 1, 2021 belong to underrepresented demographic groups

* REPORTING PERIOD DEFINED AS 10/2020 – 09/2021

SUSTAINABILITY replaced all office bathroom faucets with touchless faucets, reducing water consumption by 50%

~75,000 items

replaced all food paper products to compostable products, saving ~75,000 items from being landfilled

100%

NGE is buying 100% of its annual 600,000 kWh energy needs from green power sources (equivalent to annual energy consumption of 56 average American homes)

390 pounds

NGE employees picked up 390 pounds of trash from a local forest preserve in two hours

2021 IN REVIEW

50%

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

Robert G. Gerber, Managing Partner Neal Gerber Eisenberg is a values-driven business, and we prioritize making the world a better place for our people, our clients and our communities. This year, as I stepped into a new role as Managing Partner of the firm, I was inspired by the countless ways our people shared their legal experience, compassion and time to create a ripple effect of positive change within our communities. In the face of an ongoing pandemic, our attorneys and staff worked to improve access to justice, advance diversity and inclusion, promote environmental sustainability and support community initiatives locally and beyond.

LEADERSHIP

Pro bono matters to our firm, and NGE attorneys again advocated for the most vulnerable members of our community through direct legal representation (you’ll find stories in this report about our attorneys’ work representing prisoners, securing asylum, and assisting lower-income artists and inventors). In addition, our attorneys volunteered thousands of hours to support nonprofit, charitable, religious and educational organizations. By supplying legal services to these nonprofits, those organizations were able to dedicate more time and effort to support their missions and the people they serve.

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In addition to our pro bono work, as an active corporate citizen, NGE is committed to building an inclusive culture for our people and within our communities. This year, through roundtable discussions and skills-based programming, we worked to help attorneys and staff manage and communicate across differences. We recognize that inclusion is a skill set and not an attitude, and we continued to combat prejudice and discrimination by hosting programs such as “Inclusive Leadership” and “-Isms and -Phobias: Recognizing and Addressing Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Prejudice.” Finally, NGE continues to make strides to foster sustainable connections and holistic well-being. In one small event, the NGE community gathered in person to reconnect and pick up 390 pounds of trash at a local forest. In a larger initiative, our firm became certified as an EPA Green Partner and is now purchasing 100% of our energy needs from green power sources. In times of continued uncertainty, we are grateful to you—our clients and friends—who provide us with the opportunity to honor our firm’s core values and our obligation to make the world a better place. We hope you are encouraged and energized as you learn about the small and large steps NGE has taken to build foundations for change in our communities.


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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

Steven F. Pflaum, Pro Bono Committee Chair When most of us think about pro bono legal services, the first thing that comes to mind is the representation of an indigent client in court proceedings. While the importance of that form of pro bono service cannot be overstated, the overarching objective of extending to everyone the rights and protections conferred by the law—the true essence of our societal goal of “justice for all”—requires efforts that extend beyond the walls of a courtroom. That goal also impels us to recognize that there are not-for-profit organizations, as well as individuals, that need and deserve pro bono representation. I urge you to keep this in mind when reading this year’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report. You will see that, in addition to chronicling the pro bono efforts of NGE lawyers in state and federal courts, the report spotlights many examples of our pro bono representation of a wide range of civic, educational, social justice, health care, environmental, and veterans organizations. And because this report addresses the firm’s efforts to discharge its corporate social responsibility —efforts that are not limited to the provision of free legal services—it is worth noting how our pro bono representation of deserving not-for-profit organizations is complemented by the service of NGE lawyers on the boards of literally dozens of those kinds of organizations. Together, the firm’s pro bono representations and board service with respect to not-for-profit organizations illustrate key aspects of the ways in which, as suggested by the title to this year’s report, NGE and its lawyers are dedicated to “Building Foundations in Our Community.”

– Steven F. Pflaum, Partner

LEADERSHIP

The true essence of our societal goal of “justice for all” requires efforts that extend beyond the walls of a courtroom.

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

Improving Access to Justice

Every single attorney at the firm opted to make an individual donation to the Chicago Bar Foundation’s 2021 Investing in Justice Campaign, a unique annual campaign that raises funds to ensure everyone has access to necessary legal help, not just people who can afford it. The Investing in Justice Campaign is the largest campaign of its kind anywhere in the country, and NGE attorneys have supported this campaign since 2008. The donations from every NGE attorney went to directly support the work of more than 30 pro bono and legal aid organizations in the Chicagoland area. Through their collective generosity, NGE attorneys signaled the firm’s commitment to the community and desire to provide critical legal assistance to tens of thousands of people in need during the ongoing pandemic.

PRO BONO

NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

The firm’s primary pro bono objectives are to improve the lives of citizens in our community and to help make our societal goal of “justice for all” a reality. This year, as we continued to work from home and navigate the uncertainties of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our attorneys and staff came together to emphasize our firm’s connection to our communities and our commitment to provide access to justice for all.

INVESTING IN JUSTICE CAMPAIGN

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NGE increased participation in the Investing in Justice Campaign from 70% in 2018, to 85% in 2019, to 91% in 2020, to 100% in 2021

70%

85%

91%

100%

IMPROVING ACCESS TO THE COURTS The Illinois Supreme Court appointed Partner Steven F. Pflaum, co-chair of the Litigation practice group and chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee, to lead the new Supreme Court Statutory Court Fees Task Force. This new task force will replace the original 15-member task Steven F. Pflaum force created under the Illinois Access to Justice Act, which Steve also chaired, and will build upon the original task force’s work. The original task force proposed legislation to overhaul the system of court costs and fees in the state of Illinois. That legislation was signed into law as the Illinois Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act (CTAA) in 2019. Now, under Steve’s leadership, the new task force is reviewing and studying the implementation and impact of the CTAA, including the statutory fees imposed or assessed on criminal defendants and civil litigants and the fiscal impact of the new civil and criminal fee schedules. The task force will propose recommendations for legislative and/or rules changes as needed to continue to improve access to the courts for all Illinois residents.


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ILLINOIS FREE LEGAL ANSWERS The American Bar Association created Free Legal Answers to enable self-represented litigants in civil cases to obtain advice and information from volunteer attorneys. The Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) manages this initiative in Illinois. “Illinois Free Legal Answers” is a secure website where low-income Illinoisans can ask a pro bono lawyer for help with civil legal issues without paying legal fees or traveling to meet with an attorney. To celebrate National Pro Bono Week, NGE attorneys partnered with PILI to host a virtual “Illinois Free Legal Answers” clinic to give back to community members in need. Managing Partner Robert G. Gerber, Partner Chad W. Moeller, Counsel Nawshaba M. Siddiquee, Associate Counsel Daniel L. Organ, and Associates Benjamin Boris, Andrew S. Fraker, Natalie R. Holden, Peter D. Miles, Kathleen Okon, Kevin G. Schneider, Joseph Sherling and Nancy Zhao worked in teams to research and answer civil legal aid questions submitted by Illinois residents and increase their access to justice.

PRO BONO

NGE attorneys participated with PILI in a virtual “Illinois Free Legal Answers” clinic to help low-income Illinois residents.

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

Helping Nonprofits Do More Good

LAWYERS FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS

NGE has a long history of protecting the creative spirit in our communities and supporting local artists and art-related entities. For example, this year, Managing Partner Robert G. Gerber, Partner Eric N. Mann and Associates Eric M. McLimore and Gina Shkoukani obtained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for Apparatus Projects. Apparatus Projects is a hyper-local artist-run curatorial project producing exhibitions, publications, performances and screenings in Chicago. This artist-run space began in 2018 in the dining room of the co-directors’ apartment, and recently expanded to an independent space on Chicago’s near west side. The new space and tax-exempt status will enable Apparatus Projects to focus on its mission to connect artists and build a creative community in Chicagoland.

PRO BONO 06

Eric N. Mann

NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

Making the world a better place is a priority at our firm. One way we amplify our impact in the community is to assist charities and nonprofit organizations that lack the means to retain counsel. Through countless hours of pro bono service, we collaborate with these mission-driven organizations and help them with formation, corporate counsel, employment counseling and more. Through our work for these nonprofits, we are able to transform our shared beliefs and purpose into action.

SUPPORTING THE ARTS

Robert G. Gerber

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Eric M. McLimore

Gina Shkoukani

NGE has partnered for many years with Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA). LCA is the only Illinois provider of pro bono legal services dedicated to individuals and organizations in all areas of the arts. This year, LCA connected NGE attorneys to individuals and arts organizations in need, and NGE attorneys provided more than 240 hours of pro bono corporate, intellectual property and estate planning advice to these artist clients. One recent LCA referral allowed Associate Kathryn L. Kaler to draft a will and trust for Frank Joseph Zirbel. Frank is a successful Chicago visual artist, musician, composer and filmmaker. While working together, Frank shared his rich and storied past with Kathryn, including that he is self-taught. Kathryn L. Kaler Kathryn worked with Frank to prepare an estate plan to protect his most valuable assets, including his artwork, photographs, musical compositions and films. Frank’s plan allows beneficiaries to carry out Frank’s wishes that his archives and collections be maintained, sold to private collectors or donated to museums.


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PROTECTING ILLINOIS NATURE PRESERVES The Illinois Nature Preserves System has legally protected 600 sites across Illinois as dedicated Illinois Nature Preserves and registered Land and Water Reserves (the Preserves). These Preserves are among the best places for people to experience and care for nature in Illinois. In 2020, the Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves (Friends) was formed to bring statewide focus to various needs related to the Illinois Nature Preserves System, and to protect and support the plants, Steven F. Pflaum animals and ecologies of the nature preserves themselves. To help this new nonprofit accomplish its mission, Partners John A. Biek, Alexis M. Dominguez, Steven F. Pflaum and Sonya Rosenberg, and Associates Alissa J. Griffin, Jonathan Levine and Eric M. McLimore, supported Friends with counseling regarding John A. Biek employment, state tax, charitable and contractual matters.

Sonya Rosenberg

Alexis M. Dominguez

Alissa J. Griffin

CREATING EQUITABLE & THRIVING COMMUNITIES Partners Earl N. Melamed, Douglas M. Ellis, Michael J. Hughes, Eric N. Mann, David S. Martin, Associates Eric M. McLimore and Kevin G. Schneider and Senior Paralegal Catherine Slaughter provided counsel and assistance in connection with the formation, operation, corporate structure and tax exemption for a new charity, The Growing Season, Inc. The Growing Season’s mission is to promote individual and community wellness by developing spaces and projects in underserved and disadvantaged communities. The Growing Season is currently developing a community wellness and racial equity project called The Aux in Evanston, Illinois. The Aux will provide high-quality commercial space for a collective of Black-owned businesses and organizations that support holisitc health.

Jonathan Levine

Douglas M. Ellis

David S. Martin

Kevin G. Schneider

PRO BONO

Earl N. Melamed

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

AUSTIN CAREER EDUCATION CENTER The Austin Career Education Center (Austin Career) is a charter high school on the west side of Chicago that provides a second chance at a high school education to students who were off-track in Chicago Public Schools. Austin Career serves approximately 300 students per year and works to engage and empower these students in a nontraditional high school setting.

Thomas J. McNulty

PRO BONO

EXXPERTS CHICAGO

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LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE FOR BETTER HOUSING

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Austin Career received notice that their school building would be sold for failure to pay real estate taxes, even though Austin Career had filed for a W. Christopher Beck tax exemption as a nonprofit organization. Partner Thomas J. McNulty and Associate Counsel W. Christopher Beck, with assistance from Paralegal Rob H. Schwarz, Jr., helped Austin Career confirm their tax exemption for 2019 and avoid a tax sale of the school building. In addition, Tom and Chris obtained Certificates of Error for 2016, 2017 and 2018 to void back taxes on their property. With the firm’s help, Austin Career can again focus on its mission to provide a supportive learning community to Chicago students.

Managing Partner Robert G. Gerber and Associates Eric M. McLimore and Jacob H. Calvert helped form EXxperts Chicago—a nonprofit that will provide assistance to formerly incarcerated individuals as they re-enter their communities through counseling, job training and housing. NGE attorneys worked with EXxperts to create a narrative statement describing its charitable purpose for EXxperts’ Form 1023 application for tax exemption. They also provided advice regarding the permissible scope of EXxperts’ charitable activities, including potential partnerships with other community stakeholders.

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Robert G. Gerber

Jacob H. Calvert

The Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) is a legal aid organization providing free legal services to renters to help solve serious housing issues. Last fall, LCBH accepted a case assisting a client who had been scammed into signing a lease with an individual who H. Nicholas Berberian represented himself as the landlord, but did not actually own the property or have authority to rent it. Upon discovering the unauthorized tenant, the property owner secured an “agreed” order to evict the client, who was unrepresented at the time. The LCBH attorneys intervened and moved to vacate the eviction order, based in part Tina L. Winer upon conversations that had occurred between the client and opposing counsel which led to the eviction order as well as the disparity of the provisions in the order. The lower court denied the motion to vacate and imposed Rule 137 sanctions against the LCBH attorneys, finding that they improperly relied on their client’s description Daniel M. Terhune of the conversations, since opposing counsel disputed certain aspects. Partner and co-chair of the Litigation practice group H. Nicholas Berberian, Senior Counsel Tina L. Winer and Associate Daniel M. Terhune appealed the sanctions on LCBH’s behalf. The NGE attorneys won the appeal, securing a favorable opinion finding that the LCBH attorneys acted properly in relying on their client’s word when there was no objective reason for them to doubt her. The appellate court further held that the LCBH attorneys had a reasonable basis for bringing the motion to vacate and made a reasonable inquiry under the circumstances. While reversing the sanctions order alone would have been a great victory for NGE’s client LCBH, NGE’s appeal also resulted in a published opinion that specifically addresses the problem of disparity of bargaining position between attorneys and unrepresented tenants that will benefit future tenants in eviction court.


2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

OPERATION SURF Operation Surf is a California-based nonprofit that offers surfing programs as a form of therapy to injured military and veterans. Operation Surf’s week-long curriculum-based programs bring wounded active duty and veteran soldiers together for an impactful week of surfing and Thomas J. Campbell, Jr. healing. These programs inspire injured military and veterans to seek wellness in all aspects of their lives while providing the necessary resources, tools and peer-to-peer support to continue this mindset indefinitely. Partner Thomas J. Campbell, Jr. counseled Operation Surf in its ongoing effort to increase the number of veterans served, including expansion to serve veterans beyond the United States.

CREW HAVEN Partners John A. Biek and Eric N. Mann and Associate Eric M. McLimore obtained federal and state income tax and sales tax exemptions for pro bono client Crew Haven Corporation, a new nonprofit organized to support a community rowing program for economically disadvantaged children in New Haven, Connecticut. Crew Haven’s founders recognized that, while New Haven had long been the site of historic Yale crew programs, many children of color and socioeconomically underprivileged backgrounds in New Haven and other American urban areas have never considered participating in rowing because of their lack of access to rowing facilities and coaching. To address this lost opportunity, Crew Haven is providing financial, mentoring and logistical support for a youth competitive and recreational rowing program at the Canal Dock Boathouse in downtown New Haven.

John A. Biek

Eric N. Mann

Eric M. McLimore

“If they are dreaming of the waves tomorrow, they won’t take their life today.” – Operation Surf

PRO BONO

The Crew Haven Youth Rowing Program provides organized sport as well as leadership development, teambuilding activities, civic engagement, academic enrichment and academic support. Crew Haven provides these supplemental holistic activities and resources for free to all New Haven public and charter school students, and it helps to support young studentathletes’ communal, educational, familial and personal development.

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

Impacting Individuals

Partner Michael J. Hughes and Associate Corinne (Corey) Biller secured a favorable settlement for a pro bono client in an employment discrimination lawsuit where the employer failed to accommodate their client’s disability. In 2020, Mike was appointed by the United States Michael J. Hughes District Court to represent this client, a worker with autism spectrum disorder who was fired from a fast-food chain restaurant. Although the pro bono client’s employer knew of his autism diagnosis, the employer failed to work with him to provide workplace accommodations. Rather than affording the client an opportunity to be Corinne Biller successful, the employer refused to engage in the legally required interactive process and instead terminated him. Mike and Corey alleged the employer’s actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act and were able to help their client assert his rights and be seen, while also obtaining a monetary settlement to help provide for his future.

PRO BONO

NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

The firm routinely provides free legal services to low-income individuals who otherwise would not receive legal assistance. In particular, NGE attorneys dependably accept the call to serve by undertaking court appointments. The efforts of these NGE attorneys who volunteer their services or perform pursuant to an appointment by the court are indispensable to the administration of justice in our communities. Many of these appointments have life-changing impacts on our clients.

PROTECTING A CLIENT’S BRIGHT FUTURE

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As a single parent of a son with autism who has been advocating for him for years, I don’t know if you understand how happy I am that you fought for my son’s rights. Thanks again! People with disabilities have rights too. They are not invisible, and there are a bunch of parents like myself that advocate for their kids. – The client’s parent to Mike Hughes and Corey Biller

OBTAINING ASYLUM Counsel Paul Walker-Bright obtained asylum for a client who fled Honduras to escape severe injuries and trauma from an abusive relationship. Paul’s client was kidnapped when she was 15 years old, and she was held as a prisoner in her kidnapper’s home for nine years before escaping Paul Walker-Bright to the United States with her two young children. Paul had worked on this challenging pro bono matter since 2015 with a team of attorneys from National Immigrant Justice Center and other Chicago-based firms. Paul’s tireless advocacy had a life-changing impact for this client and her family.


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ADVOCATING FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

HELPING UNDERSERVED INVENTORS

In 2020, Partner Kevin C. May was appointed by the United States District Court as pro bono counsel to represent a Muslim inmate who was denied access to Muslim religious services at Cook County Jail. Kevin worked with Partner Olivia Luk Bedi, Counsel Nawshaba M. Kevin C. May Siddiquee, Associates Gina Shkoukani and Lee Barrington Stark and Senior Paralegal Felicia West-Brown to allege that denying their client access to religious services at the jail was a violation of his First Amendment rights. The team settled the case favorably for the prisoner client.

Olivia Luk Bedi

Nawshaba M. Siddiquee

Gina Shkoukani

Lee Barrington Stark

NGE attorneys devoted more than 83 hours in the past year assisting inventors and small businesses with limited resources to apply for patents to protect their inventions and strengthen the innovation economy. Michael B. Harlin Partner Michael B. Harlin serves on the Advisory Board for the Chicago-Kent Patent Hub. This year, Mike helped individual clients obtain patents for security devices for electric skateboards and their batteries. Partner and co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group Thomas C. McDonough, Partner Holby Thomas C. McDonough M. Abern and Associate Counsel Daniel L. Organ also assisted pro bono inventor clients in obtaining patents on a variety of unique inventions. These inventions included a computerized system and method for generating a sprinkler pattern for a Holby M. Abern lawn watering system and systems and methods for determining seat occupancy in a sports arena.

Daniel L. Organ

PRO BONO

Over the past two years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recognized the firm’s pro bono service by awarding NGE with a 2020 Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificate for exemplary service on behalf of financially under-resourced inventors seeking patents. The USPTO also awarded individual Patent Pro Bono Achievement Certificates to Holby Abern and Mike Harlin in 2020.

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Pro Bono Awards SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY AWARD

PRO BONO

Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) awarded NGE with its 2021 “Spirit of Generosity Award” to recognize the firm for its pro bono counsel provided over several years. The “Spirit of Generosity Award” recognizes a partner organization that has demonstrated extraordinary Sonya Rosenberg generosity in supporting CGLA’s mission. Partner Sonya Rosenberg accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

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CGLA was founded in 1973 to serve the legal needs arising from the lack of opportunity, criminalization of poverty and racial inequity experienced within the Cabrini Green community. Since its founding, CGLA has grown to become a recognized statewide leader in supporting low-income individuals negatively impacted by the criminal justice system. NGE attorneys support CGLA’s mission, and through the years, the firm has devoted hundreds of hours serving as employment counsel to CGLA. In that role, NGE attorneys provided general counsel on a variety of employment matters, assisted with updates to CGLA’s employee handbook and provided antiharassment training for its employees. This past year, Partners Sonya Rosenberg, Chad W. Moeller, and Cristina W. DeMento and Associates Corinne (Corey) Biller and Alissa J. Griffin provided pro bono service to support CGLA’s mission and help CGLA navigate the complex impact of COVID-19 on the essential functions of the organization.

Chad W. Moeller

Cristina W. DeMento

Corinne Biller

Alissa J. Griffin

Sonya Rosenberg accepted CGLA’s 2021 “Spirit of Generosity Award” at CGLA’s “I AM SOMEBODY” Reimagining Justice virtual program.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE CHAMPION The Illinois Supreme Court recognized Partner Andrew G. May as an “Access to Justice Champion” for his service on the Expungement Forms subcommittee for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice. The subcommittee is composed entirely of volunteer Andrew G. May subject-matter experts who donate their time to draft form language, including plain language cannabis expungement forms in the wake of Illinois cannabis legalization. The work of Andrew and the subcommittee will help eliminate obstacles to employment and housing posed by criminal convictions for offenses eligible for expungement.


2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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PRO BONO SPOTLIGHT: GINA SHKOUKANI Private Wealth Services Associate Gina Shkoukani embodies the firm’s goal to improve the lives of citizens in our community and help make our societal goal of “justice for all” a reality. Gina regularly devotes an average of more than 200 hours per year to serving a wide variety of pro bono clients. In the past 12 months, Gina worked to Gina Shkoukani help several nonprofit clients obtain their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt certifications from the IRS. Gina also volunteered with Legal Aid Chicago’s “Public Benefits Volunteer Enrollment Assistance Project” to help people affected by COVID-19 obtain public benefits. In addition, Gina worked on a pro bono prisoner civil rights case regarding religious freedom, and she worked extensively on an ongoing matter to seek asylum for a mother from Honduras. Gina has also long worked to support pro bono clients with disabilities. Last year, Gina helped a local kindergarten student with a severe speech disability receive bus transportation and other resources, and she contributed to pro bono research projects for the firm’s pro bono partner Equip for Equality. Gina also gives back as the Co-Chair of the Young Professionals Board for the Gateway Foundation, an organization dedicated to treating alcohol and drug addiction.

EXCELLENCE IN PRO BONO SERVICE NGE recognizes that the privilege of practicing in court comes with the concomitant responsibility to serve as appointed counsel. We are proud to report that NGE attorneys have again been awarded Excellence in Pro Bono Service awards by the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association for pro bono service in appointed cases. This year, Partner Andrew G. May and Associate Daniel M. Terhune were honored for their work representing a prisoner client in William Smith v. Thomas Dart, et al., a civil rights lawsuit alleging failure to provide adequate medical treatment. Andrew was appointed as pro bono counsel in December 2018 to represent a prisoner who claimed that he was denied proper medical treatment while in custody. After obtaining the client’s medical records and conducting an investigation, Andrew and Dan filed an amended complaint alleging the defendants ignored signs of the client’s worsening arthritis and failed to modify his treatment plan when his condition was not improving. The parties reached a settlement, and the court and Federal Bar Association recognized Andrew and Dan for their outstanding pro bono representation in this civil matter.

NGE salutes Gina for her extraordinary commitment to pro bono. She is truly an inspiration and a role model for all of us.

– Lawrence I. Richman, Chair, Private Wealth Services Andrew G. May (left) and Daniel M. Terhune (right) accept Excellence in Pro Bono Service Awards from Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer (center).

PRO BONO

We applaud Gina’s pro bono work and the success she has achieved in bettering the lives of people in our community.

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

Advance Diversity & Inclusion

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION 14

NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of our firm’s culture and identity, and central to NGE’s strategic vision. We strive to ensure that all employees are visible and valued, and that NGE is a place where anyone with talent can thrive. Against the backdrop of a continuing global health crisis, we provided resources, programming and discourse to help bridge connections across a virtual environment, to address the diverse challenges our people have faced and to ensure that our commitment to DEI remains a top priority in an evolving landscape.

PROGRAMMING THAT INSPIRES ACTION NGE offered several firmwide programs not only to educate our people about important issues but also to help them take action in public settings. For example, NGE partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago this summer to offer bystander intervention training to address anti-Asian violence. Cat Shieh, AntiHate Training Coordinator for Advancing Justice | Chicago, taught participants about the history of anti-Asian violence in America, and then provided strategies for intervening in violent or threatening encounters without compromising their safety. Similarly, the firm partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to host a workshop entitled “-Isms and -Phobias: Recognizing and Addressing Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Prejudice.” David Goldenberg, Midwest Regional Director of the ADL, offered strategies to help participants speak up when they witness prejudice or discrimination, shared facts that counter negative stereotypes and provided space to help people recover from mistakes or “oops” moments.

MIDWEST

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Michelle Silverthorn

NGE also hosted culture change expert and founder of Inclusion Nation Michelle Silverthorn for a presentation on “Inclusive Leadership.” Michelle used scenario-based discussions to help our attorneys and staff understand identity differences, engage in empathy- and equity-centered conversations at work, foster culturally responsive teams and handle the daily conversations and interactions that underlie the experiences of colleagues.

The firm invited mental health clinician Dr. Komal Bhasin to lead a conversation about stress, burnout and the intersection of diversity and well-being. Through her interactive program, “Permission Granted: Preventing Burnout and Managing Stress Through Self-Care,” Dr. Bhasin explored the complex challenges people are experiencing due to physical disconnection from colleagues, difficult personal circumstances and deep social injustices. She also offered self-care strategies and tools for people to “check in” Dr. Komal Bhasin with themselves and others.


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DIALOGUE & HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE In 2021, NGE continued to host events that offer historical perspective and open dialogue around systemic inequality. We partnered with the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center to offer virtual tours of two of their exhibits: “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” and “Mandela: Struggle for Freedom.” These virtual, interactive tours brought together NGE employees and clients for a discussion of the ways that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Nelson Mandela impacted the movements for gender and racial equality. NGE is proud to announce that it has attained Mansfield 4.0 Certification after successfully completing the most recent 12-month certification program led by Diversity Lab. The firm completed its third year of participation in the Mansfield program and is currently participating in Mansfield 5.0. NGE has achieved certification in every year that it has participated.

In June, to celebrate Pride Month, our firm hosted a virtual screening of the award-winning documentary CURED, which explores the battle that led the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its manual of mental illnesses in 1973. Following the screening, filmmakers Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer led NGE employees in a discussion about the lessons of the film and the work of the LGBTQ+ activists who changed history.

To achieve Mansfield 4.0 Certification, NGE confirmed that at least 30% of the candidates it considered for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, formal client pitch opportunities and senior lateral positions were attorneys from historically underrepresented groups, including women, attorneys of color, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities. The firm’s achievement aligns with its goal of ensuring that it considers a diverse slate of candidates for all open positions, internal leadership opportunities and client engagements.

Our firm has achieved Mansfield certification for several years now, and we are proud of our efforts to build a more inclusive workplace. We strongly believe having a diverse team of attorneys and leaders helps us better serve our clients, and the Mansfield Rule is an excellent benchmark for us to measure our progress. – Robert G. Gerber, Managing Partner

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

In celebration of Black History Month, we screened a documentary for NGE employees focused on the efforts of Black Americans to establish a middle-class standard of living. The film Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class examined the role of the Black Family in the fight for upward mobility. Following the screening, our attorneys and staff participated in small-group roundtable discussions. Participants shared visceral reactions to the documentary, the lessons they took from it and a new appreciation for the impact of historical discrimination on the systems and communities around them.

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Promote Environmental Sustainability Sustainability is central to NGE’s corporate social responsibility program. As an active corporate citizen, our sustainability efforts inform virtually every aspect of our firm’s relationship with our people and our communities. NGE strongly believes that sustainable practices are necessary for a better future, and we are proud to be among the leaders in promoting sustainable practices in the legal industry. NGE’s primary goals are to embed sustainable best practices into all areas of the firm’s operations, continually reduce consumption and waste, promote recycling and achieve energy performance improvement to reduce the firm’s footprint on the environment.

SUSTAINABILITY

ALISS GOLD RATING

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In 2021, NGE earned a Gold rating for the American Legal Industry Sustainability Standard (ALISS) assessment. ALISS was created by the Law Firm Sustainability Network, the leading U.S.-based organization dedicated to promoting environmental sustainability among law firms. The ALISS assessment measures law firm activities across five categories: Internal Sustainability, External Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement, Measuring & Reporting and Innovation. By participating in the ALISS assessment process, the firm measured the success of our environmental sustainability programs and discovered opportunities to innovate and improve those programs.

EPA GREEN POWER PARTNERSHIP This year, NGE joined the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and its mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to protect our planet. Through this partnership, NGE committed to buy 100% of its energy needs from green power sources. NGE’s 600,000 kilowatthours (kWh) of annual energy needs will come from 100% wind Renewable Energy Credits purchased from AEP Energy. By choosing green power, NGE is advancing the voluntary market for green power and the development of those sources. “We are proud to be leaders in the green movement in the legal industry, and by using 100% green power we are materially reducing our carbon footprint and supporting the transition to a clean energy future,” said Sonia Menon, Chief Operating Officer for NGE and chair of the firm’s Sustainability Committee. According to the U.S. EPA, NGE’s green power use of more than 600,000 kWh is equivalent to the annual electricity use of 56 average American homes. By moving the needle in the voluntary green power market, NGE and other Green Power Partners are helping to reduce the negative health impacts of air emissions including those related to ozone, fine particles, acid rain and regional haze.


2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

The NGE Sustainability Committee oversees the firm’s practices designed to reduce our footprint on the environment. The Sustainability Committee provides education and plans events to raise awareness of the ways we collectively and individually impact the environment. The committee’s offerings encourage volunteerism and community engagement and keep our NGE community connected. ESG: A CONVERSATION ON IMPACTFUL INVESTING As a values-driven business, NGE is committed to fully integrating ESG into both our culture and our client service. This fall, the firm invited clients to participate in a moderated panel discussion about the fundamental principles and framework of ESG Investing. Partner Michael B. Gray, leader of the firm’s Private Equity, Venture Capital & Growth Companies practice, moderated the virtual panel discussion. Panelists Ana Dutra, CEO of Mandala Global Advisors, Amy Francetic, Co-Founder and Managing General Partner of Buoyant Ventures Management and Eric McKissack, Former CEO and Founder of Channing Capital Management, LLC, discussed current trends, latest developments and the future of impactful investing. This conversation included an interactive question and answer session with the panelists and firm clients.

In honor of Earth Day 2021, the NGE Sustainability Committee encouraged NGE employees to participate in a “Cleaner and Greener Closet Campaign.” Attorneys and staff cleared their crowded closets and learned tips to join the sustainable fashion movement. Participants donated their gently used clothing to The Epilepsy Foundation of Chicago, Illinois AmVets and to selected charities through the Amazon Give Back Box program.

Sustainability Committee member Thomas C. Wolford shares his clothing donations.

GATHERING TO GIVE BACK This fall, the NGE Sustainability Committee organized a clean-up event for NGE attorneys, staff and their families to connect and give back to the community. In partnership with local nonprofit Clean Up - Give Back.Org, NGE employees gathered outdoors with their children and grandchildren to make a positive impact at Schiller Woods in River Grove, Illinois. In two hours, our NGE family picked up 390 pounds of trash and debris from the forest preserve grounds. Our volunteers had a wonderful time working together to keep our parks beautiful.

NGE employees and their family members gathered to clean up a local forest preserve.

SUSTAINABILITY

Michael B. Gray (top left), Ana Dutra (top right), Amy Francetic (bottom left) and Eric McKissack (bottom right) gathered for a webinar discussion on “ESG Investing: A Conversation on Impactful Investing.”

CLEARING OUR CLOSETS

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

NGE in the Community FOUNDATION FOR HEARING & SPEECH RESOURCES Partner Robert (Rudy) Radasevich serves as Secretary for the Foundation for Hearing and Speech Resources (FHSR), and next January Rudy will take on the role of Co-Chair of the board. FHSR is a nonprofit, grassroots organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children affected Robert Radasevich by hearing and communication disorders through support, education and advocacy. FHSR strives to assure that all children with hearing loss have the opportunity to attain the same level of education and social integration as their hearing-abled peers. Rudy has a personal connection to hearing loss having raised a daughter with severe hearing loss who is now a pediatric audiologist herself.

BOARD SERVICE

THE KENNEDY FORUM ILLINOIS

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The Kennedy Forum Illinois (KFI) seeks to end the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders. Among other accomplishments, KFI led the effort to pass the strongest state parity for mental health law in the country. By requiring health insurance plans Earl N. Melamed to remove limits on access to behavioral health benefits that are more restrictive than those imposed on medical and surgical benefits, the Illinois law represents a key step toward achieving parity. This landmark piece of legislation moves Illinois closer to ending stigma and discrimination against those living with mental health and substance use disorders. NGE is proud of our partnership with KFI, and partner Earl N. Melamed has represented our firm by serving on the Leadership Council of KFI. Earl provides KFI with a wide range of corporate counseling.

COMMUNITYHEALTH Partner John J. Koenigsknecht, Chair of the firm’s Corporate & Securities practice group, was selected as one of Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Notable Nonprofit Board Leaders for his service as President of the CommunityHealth Board of Directors. CommunityHealth is the John J. Koenigsknecht largest volunteer-based free medical facility in the United States. CommunityHealth, at no cost to its patients, provides compassionate and comprehensive primary and specialty medical and dental care, prescription medications, mental health services and lab testing to the uninsured in Chicago and surrounding communities. John has served on the CommunityHealth board for more than 12 years, and his leadership with the Board and the Executive Team has been critical for supporting over 1,000 volunteer providers serving nearly 7,500 patients. In addition to being a medical home for the uninsured, CommunityHealth administered thousands of COVID-19 tests and vaccinations and successfully opened the first telehealth microsite by a free clinic in Illinois, allowing targeted care delivery where it is needed most. NGE provides the legal services needed to run CommunityHealth on a pro bono basis. We are proud that, as a result, CommunityHealth previously awarded NGE with the first Corporations That Care Award.


2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

FULL SPECTRUM FEATURES NFP

MS. JD

Associate Lee Barrington Stark serves on the board for Full Spectrum Features NFP, a Chicagobased nonprofit organization committed to driving equity in the independent film industry by producing, exhibiting and supporting the work of women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ filmmakers. Lee Barrington Stark Full Spectrum Features also aims to educate the public about important social and cultural issues, utilizing the power of cinema to foster understanding in our communities. STEP UP Step Up works with girls and gender-expansive teens ages 14-23 who may be facing systemic barriers to unlock their potential by empowering them to become confident, career-focused and ready to join the next generation of leaders. Partner Elizabeth E. Radichel serves on the national Step Up board. Beth and Partner Angela R. Elbert, Counsel Vanessa L. Colman, and Associates Jacob H. Calvert, Andrea S. Fuelleman and Eric M. McLimore provided pro bono counsel to Step Up this year on a wide variety of legal issues.

Angela R. Elbert

Vanessa L. Colman

Andrea S. Fuelleman

Tanvi B. Patel

Kara Smith

Partner Tanvi B. Patel has served on the Ms. JD board for the past two years. Tanvi and Associate Kara Smith attended the 2021 Ms. JD LaddHer Up conference, a unique retreat for women law firm associates in the earlier stages of their careers to personally engage with women general counsel for professional development, career strategy discussions and business development and mentorship opportunities.

BOARD SERVICE

Elizabeth E. Radichel

Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and earlycareer women lawyers. Ms. JD strives to give voice to why it matters that women continue to overcome barriers to achieve gender parity in the legal profession. Through its online community forum and in-person events, Ms. JD celebrates women’s achievements, addresses remaining challenges and facilitates continued progress by bringing legal practitioners and law students together to share in an ongoing conversation about gender issues in law school and the profession.

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

NGE attorneys serve as leaders in the community through service on a variety of charitable, civic and educational boards. CHARITY/SOCIAL SERVICE

CIVIC

EDUCATIONAL

All Stars Project

American Friends of Versailles

Alliance Francaise de Chicago

Aurelio M. Caccomo Family Foundation

American Jewish Committee

American Friends of Hebrew University

Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation

American Technion Society - Chicago Chapter

Chicago Cares

American Jewish Committee’s Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Institute for Latino and Latin American Affairs

DePaul University College of Law Dean’s Advisory Council

Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund

The Cradle

American Writers Museum

Friends of Northside

Debicki Foundation

The Civic Federation

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Family Service Center of Wilmette

Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law

Foundation for Hearing and Speech Rehabilitation

Congregation Beth Shalom

Indiana University Borns Jewish Studies Program Advisory Board

Girls on the Run Chicago

Downtown Development Authority of the City of Buchanan

Help for Children

The Hillels of Illinois

Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights

Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Board

Inner-City Education Program

John R. Halligan Charitable Fund

Indiana University Parents Association Advisory Board to the Dean of Students

Korean American Bar Association of Chicago

Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois

James R. Jordan Foundation

Lawyers for the Creative Arts

Mowen Scholars

Kenneth Young Center

Kid Support, Inc.

Mid-North Association

Ms. JD

Pathways Projects Institutes Limited

Princeton Club of Chicago

Lakeview Pantry

Leonard and Ruth Horwich Family Foundation

Preserve the Dunes

Richard Linn American Inn of Court

Village of Wilmette

Step Up

Leslie J. Raffel Foundation

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

WTTW and WFMT

The University of Chicago Alumni Club

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Yale Club of Chicago

Margot and Thomas Pritzker Family Foundation

Zeta Beta Tau Foundation

Matthew and Carolyn S. Bucksbaum Family Foundation

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

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Morris and Judith Rosenzweig Family Foundation

American College of Coverage Counsel

Muslim Foster Care Association

Anti-Defamation League

Nick’s Network of Hope

Square One Foundation

Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Unified Under Hope

BOARD SERVICE

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MEDICAL SERVICES AND RESEARCH •

CommunityHealth

The Kennedy Forum of Illinois

Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation

American Jewish Committee Chicago

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS •

Bottom Line

Gateway Foundation Lawyers for the Creative Arts

Chicago-Kent Patent Hub

Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois

Kids in Danger

Full Spectrum Features

Legal Aid Chicago

Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee

Public Interest Law Initiative

Illinois Legal Aid Online

Illinois Statutory Court Fees Task Force

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice

Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing

Racial Justice Diversity Committee for the Northern District of Illinois

South Asian Bar Association of Chicago Foundation


2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

The firm’s Pro Bono Policy aims to improve the lives of citizens in our community and help make our societal goal of “justice for all” a reality. The policy sets the goal that each Neal Gerber Eisenberg attorney devote a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono legal service per year. Please join us in congratulating our 2021 Pro Bono All Stars (37 attorneys and two staff members) who met and surpassed this challenge:

H. Nicholas Berberian

John A. Biek

Corinne Biller

Jacob H. Calvert

Jason A. Frye

Gerald A. Golden

Alissa J. Griffin

Michael J. Hughes

Kathryn L. Kaler

Michael G. Kelber

John J. Koenigsknecht

Kevin C. May

Thomas C. McDonough

Eric M. McLimore

Antony J. McShane

Earl N. Melamed

Steven F. Pflaum

Jonathan S. Quinn

Robert Radasevich

Bradley F. Rademaker

Elizabeth E. Radichel

Kyle D. Rettberg

Sonya Rosenberg

Kevin G. Schneider

Charles K. Shih

Gina Shkoukani

Catherine M. Slaughter

Kara Smith

Lee Barrington Stark

Phillip L. Stern

David S. Stone

Matthew R. Tanke

Daniel M. Terhune

Michael R. Turner

Paul Walker-Bright

Tina L. Winer

Rose Yousef

Thomas Zahrt

PRO BONO ALL STARS

Olivia Luk Bedi

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2021 CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REPORT

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NEAL GERBER EISENBERG

Pro Bono Policy & Committee Neal Gerber Eisenberg embraces its responsibility, as set forth in the Preamble to the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, “to create an environment that is hospitable to the rendering of a reasonable amount of uncompensated service by lawyers practicing in [the firm].” The firm likewise recognizes and reaffirms the responsibility of its lawyers “to use their training, experience, and skills to provide services in the public interest for which compensation may not be available.”

PRO BONO

By proclaiming the firm’s commitment to providing pro bono publico legal services, and providing a framework for supplying firm lawyers with abundant pro bono opportunities and managing those engagements effectively, the firm’s pro bono Policy and Procedures are designed to enable the firm and its lawyers to discharge their respective pro bono responsibilities in a manner that maximizes the achievement of the ultimate objective of any pro bono publico program worthy of its name: furthering the public good.

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As a gold-level member of The Chicago Bar Foundation Law Firm Leadership Circle, the firm has established, and hereby reminds its lawyers of, the goal that each of the firm’s attorneys will devote at least 50 hours per year to “pro bono legal service,” as defined by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 756(f)(1). Recognizing that varying responsibilities and practice areas will make this goal more readily attainable by some firm lawyers than others, and seeking to increase the firm’s overall level of pro bono service without relieving any lawyers of their responsibility to strive to achieve the individual annual target, the firm has established an additional goal of providing pro bono legal service that averages at least 50 hours per firm lawyer per year.

MEET OUR PRO BONO COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Steven F. Pflaum

Jerry H. Biederman

Alexis M. Dominguez

Chair, Pro Bono Committee and Co-Chair, Litigation

Partner, Corporate & Securities

Partner, Labor & Employment

Andrea S. Fuelleman

Rachel Jennings

Andrew G. May

Associate, Intellectual Property

Professional Development & Pro Bono Manager

Partner, Litigation

Marlon Lutfiyya

Michael R. Turner

Collette A. Woghiren

Director of Talent & Diversity

Partner, Intellectual Property

Associate, Litigation

The primary objectives of the firm’s pro bono policy are to improve the lives of citizens in our community and help make our societal goal of “justice for all” a reality. Important secondary goals of this policy include (1) enhancing firm attorneys’ satisfaction with their work, (2) providing firm attorneys with valuable practice experience, and (3) attracting to the firm attorneys who share the firm’s commitment to providing pro bono legal service.


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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60602