Pro Bono Partnership Inducted Into Public Broadcasters' Community Hall of Fame

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - 01:00

In recognition of its efforts to educate, enlighten and inform the nonprofit community, the Community Advisory Boards of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21 inducted the Pro Bono Partnership into their Community Hall of Fame on June 27 in a ceremony at the Thirteen/WNET studio in Manhattan.

The Partnership was recognized for its exemplary efforts in addressing social concerns. It was one of 10 tri-state New York community organizations to receive this prestigious award.

The induction ceremony was presided over by Dr. William F. Baker, CEO, Educational Broadcasting Corporation; Terrel Cass, president, WLIW, and Rhoda H. Karpatkin, chair, Community Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Thirteen broadcast personality Tom Stewart served as master of ceremonies.

Pro Bono Partnership, Inc. was founded by members of the corporate bar in 1997, to offer pro bono opportunities to in-house counsel. Since that time, the Partnership has provided business legal assistance, without charge, to more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations serving the poor and disadvantaged in Westchester County, NY; Fairfield County, CT, and New Jersey. Recently, it has also extended its services to arts, environmental and other civic organizations.

The Partnership represents more than 300 tri-state nonprofits annually, in large part by leveraging the expert pro bono services of attorneys from major corporations and the private bar, more than 350 of whom volunteer in any given year.

The Partnership was nominated to the Hall of Fame by Dennis McDermott, vice president and regional community partnership manager for JPMorgan Chase Bank. Since 1998, Mr. McDermott has worked closely with the Partnership on a variety of programs and projects.

"I once described this agency as the 'best resource available to not-for-profit agencies in the New York Tri-State area,' and I continue to feel that way," Mr. McDermott said."It is most gratifying to be able to direct the executive director or board chair of a not-for-profit agency to the Partnership because I know that their questions will be answered, their issues resolved and they will be treated with respect. They also will be treated to some humor, because the staff is amazingly harmonious and they go out of their way to lighten up the very serious legal matters that come before them."

Mr. McDermott credits the army of volunteer corporate lawyers, who provide the majority of legal advice, opinions and research, for making the Partnership's services so valuable.

"And, without the structure of the Pro Bono Partnership in place, none of this would happen," Mr. McDermott said.

For further information about Pro Bono Partnership, contact Lisa Rosenbloom, director of development - Pro Bono Partnership, at (914) 328-0674 or by email to