Stinson and Association of Corporate Counsel Hold Inaugural Nonprofit Legal Clinic
Stinson LLP and the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) teamed up this morning to host an inaugural legal clinic for 17 nonprofit organizations from the Kansas City metropolitan area. This first-of-its-kind event in the Kansas City area provided an opportunity for corporate and transactional attorneys to give back to nonprofits serving the local community.
Following the creation of an ACC Pro Bono Committee a few years ago, the local chapter teamed up with Stinson to create an event that would appeal to local in-house attorneys and Stinson attorneys who engage in a transactional practice. Pro bono interests and knowledge for these attorneys does not always overlap with typical offerings like litigation, but these attorneys are more comfortable offering the kinds of services they provide their own employers and billable clients—corporate governance and operation matters like contract review, risk management or advising on employment law.
One Stinson attorney was paired with one local in-house counsel and member of the ACC to aid a nonprofit with legal needs in their areas of experience. The requests for legal services included questions regarding governance and policies, board engagement, liability of officers/directors, fundraising, employee policies, employee contracts, general contracts, real estate (leasing/owning), trademark and copyright, risk management, and HIPAA.
The 17 participating nonprofits included: ADHOC Group Against Crime, Amethyst Place, Budget and Financial Management Assistance, CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, Child Abuse Prevention Association, Community LINC, Connections to Success, COVERSA, Emmanuel Family & Child Development Center, Grace United Community Ministries, iMatter Experience, KidSight, Lee's Summit CARES, Redemptorist Social Services Center, Shepherd's Center of Raytown, Veronica's Voice, and Whatsoever Community Center.
These nonprofits provide:
- Therapy to children and adults who have experienced child abuse and neglect
- Child care to the working poor who are often working multiple jobs and night shifts
- Programming and services to empower individuals and families with basic physical, education and spiritual needs
- Services to prevent teens from abusing drugs and engaging in violence
- Pre-school, summer school and after school care programs for disadvantaged kids
- Emergency financial assistance, including food, clothing and bus passes
One nonprofit noted, "The Nonprofit Legal Clinic is a fantastic idea. The opportunity to address professional legal needs for nonprofit organizations is very much needed. The attorneys that I worked with were very informative, supportive and provided needed legal resources for areas of concerns. I am so happy that this workshop was created and look forward to future sessions!"
The Stinson attorneys who participated represent a variety of practice areas and industries. Those included: Christina Arnone, Steve Cosentino, Ashley Cross, Karen Garrett, Scott Hecht, Ben Hobert, Rob Hunter, Charley Jensen, Molly Keppler, Pat Konopka, Todd LaSala, Mike Lochmann, Bob Monroe, Jim Selle, Kent Stallard, Kelly Stout, Kenda Tomes and Sara Welch.
The following ACC-member attorneys participated: Patrick Courtney (Terracon), Stacy Cozad (Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.), Matt Ellis (Koch Companies Public Sector LLC), Aaron Freestone (Rosen's, Inc.), Kelly Gaide (Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.), Mark Kanaga (Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.), Rebecca Kreisman (PNC Bank), Mindy McPheeters (Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.), Josh Mortensen (Garmin International), Rosetta Robins (Strategic Management Solutions LLC), Yolanda Sims (Kansas Medical Mutual Insurance Co.), Dillon Strohm (Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City), Emily Vijayakirthi (Black & Veatch), John Watts (CommunityAmerica Credit Union), Dawn Wavle-Rogers (Textron Aviation), Taylor Wiles (CommunityAmerica Credit Union), Charlene Wilson (H&R Block), and Andrew Wimmer (Jack Henry & Associates).
Participating attorneys noted how much they enjoyed meeting with their pro bono clients and providing guidance that could be of help, along with gratitude for the opportunity to engage in meaningful pro bono work and a desire to see this become an annual event.
Members of the event planning committee included: Christy Campbell, Kansas Legal Services; Patrick Courtney, Terracon; Katie Cronin, Stinson LLP; Jim MacDonald, United Way of Greater Kansas City; Jennifer McAdam, National Association of Insurance Commissioners; Danielle Merrick, UMKC School of Law and Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts; Josh Mortensen, Garmin International; Julie Riddle, United Way of Greater Kansas City; and Latricia Scott Adams, Legal Aid of Western Missouri.
Financial sponsors include Stinson LLP and CommunityAmerica Credit Union.