Vance Center Pursues Future of Pro Bono Practice

December 2021

(Photo Credit: Giulia Patane)

The Vance Center’s Director of Pro Bono Partnerships Jorge Escobedo recently gave opening remarks for Pro Bono Italia’s annual “Italy Pro Bono Day” during European Pro Bono Week.  The event focused on the state and future of pro bono practice in Italy and globally, and Escobedo underscored the evolving role of ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) in the corporate legal sector and its complex interaction with existing pro bono infrastructures. Escobedo also highlighted the need for pro bono clearinghouses and corporate law firms around the world to remain responsive to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Giovanni Carotenuto and established in May 2017, Pro Bono Italia is the first national pro bono clearinghouse in Italy.


Escobedo also served as a panelist in the International Bar Association’s first annual pro bono webinar, “Creativity in the pro bono sector: a response to international crises.” Vance Center Committee member and Allen & Overy partner David Flechner moderated the conversation, which emphasized the role of pro bono associations, intra- and inter- law firm collaboration, and use of the technology to address pro bono legal emergencies. Escobedo discussed the Vance Center’s Keep Families Together service delivery model, which relies on corporate law firms co-counseling across borders to provide pro bono legal representation for children and families separated by US immigration policies. The initiative now has served approximately 200 vulnerable families from 27 countries and has formalized partnerships with 100 pro bono clearinghouses, law firms, non-profit organizations, university legal clinics, corporate in-house counsel, and bar associations to make and receive referrals.