Attorney volunteer hub sees 22% increase in hours in 2021

Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio — a volunteer hub for Cincinnati and Dayton attorneys who want to provide pro bono legal work to nonprofits — saw its service to southwest Ohio increase by 22% last year.

In its annual report to the community this week, PBPO said it engaged 263 attorneys to address 323 legal projects, many of which were more complicated and time consuming than past years. All told, the volunteer attorneys provided 2,190 hours of service.

The organization’s work surpassed an estimated value of legal services and education provided to its 281 nonprofit clients at more than $6.1 million.

“To keep up with the increased demand for our services, we boosted our own internal capacity and grew our team from six to seven, hiring a new staff attorney,” said Erin Childs, the organization’s executive director. “This positions us to continue to provide excellent service and meet the growing and diverse needs of our community.”

Erin Childs

PBPO got its start when its founding board chair, Breck Weigel, then a GE Aviation attorney, attended nine years ago a dinner gala for the original Pro Bono Partnership in New York. Cincinnati’s organization is one of 15 similar type regional organizations that are part of a national network of pro bono legal service providers.

“I was inspired by what I heard and knew this was an important resource we could bring to Southwest Ohio,” said Weigel, whose term as board chair ended earlier this year. “With support of many of our region’s top law firms and corporate legal departments, we officially opened our doors in October 2014.”

Since its inception, the organization has engaged 798 attorneys on 1,968 legal projects. The organization also provides education seminars for nonprofit leaders and attorneys. It launched work with 32 new clients in 2021.

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