Bodman named to SBM 'Pro Bono Circle of Excellence' for 2012

The State Bar of Michigan has named Bodman PLC to its 2012 "Pro Bono Circle of Excellence" for exceeding the State Bar's voluntary standards for pro bono activities.

Firms that qualify for the "Circle of Excellence" provide, at no charge, legal services to poor and low income individuals and to nonprofit organizations serving low income individuals. Their commitment to the community inspires others to be of service.

In 2011, Bodman attorneys devoted 2,447 hours to pro bono projects and more than 2,000 hours of additional services to nonprofit organizations. Bodman and its attorneys contributed more than $100,000 to the State Bar's Access to Justice Fund and directly to charities whose services are targeted to low income individuals. Bodman paralegals and summer associates devoted an additional 168 pro bono hours.

"Recognition by the State Bar is important and gratifying, but even more important is seeing first hand how our pro bono efforts help the communities where we live and work," said Bodman Chairman Ralph E. McDowell. "I congratulate the dozens of Bodman attorneys and staff who have committed time and talent to pro bono activities and our Pro Bono Committee for its outstanding organizational efforts."

Bodman's Pro Bono Committee, chaired by firm members Susan M. Kornfield and Christopher J. Dine, coordinates the firm's referral relationships, matches attorney volunteers with appropriate assignments, and meets monthly to assess the status of the pro bono program. The committee also holds an annual "Pro Bono Summit" at which it evaluates the firm's progress toward the goals of pro bono service and develops a strategic plan for the following year.

Bodman has partnered with several referral sources to help assure that its pro bono efforts make the maximum impact. Significant referral sources have included Legal Aid and Defender, Michigan Community Resources, Homeless Experience Legal Protection - Detroit, and the American Civil Liberties Union, among others.

Published: Thu, May 31, 2012