Stinson's Pro Bono Nonprofit Legal Clinic Continues to Serve Kansas City-Area Communities
Stinson LLP hosted its 4th annual pro bono Nonprofit Legal Clinic on June 22, provided in partnership with the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law and Kansas Legal Services. The event was held in-person for the first time since 2019.
Through an application process, nonprofits from the Kansas City metropolitan area are matched to a team comprised of Stinson attorneys and in-house counsel at local businesses and corporations. Pairings were based on the nonprofits' legal needs and the attorneys' areas of practice. Limited-scope legal assistance was provided on issues relating to corporate governance, employment, real estate and intellectual property currently facing the nonprofit clients.
"Nonprofits provide the backbone for critical social services and important cultural programming that enriches our communities," Stinson Pro Bono Counsel Katie Cronin noted. "Every dollar spent on administrative costs is a dollar that can't be spent furthering an organization's reach. The legal clinic aims to deliver high-quality legal representation – on a pro bono basis - so nonprofits can operate at the top of their game without depleting their resources."
The participating nonprofits included Avance Community Center; Birth It Forward; CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte County; Center for Supportive Communities; Choral Spectrum KC; Equality Kansas; Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council; MINDDRIVE, Inc.; No Divide KC; One Ninety-Nine, Inc.; STW Charities, Inc.; The Single Mom KC; along with one other local small business.
"Today was nothing short of amazing," a local small business client participating in the clinic said. "I felt relieved, inspired, motivated, and back in control of my business needs. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity."
Stinson attorneys who participated in the pro bono Nonprofit Legal Clinic included Partners James Cronin, Intellectual Property & Technology; Ashley Dillon, Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits; Scot Hill, Corporate Finance; Charley Jensen, Corporate Finance; Molly Keppler, Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits; Bill Koenigsdorf, Tax, Trusts & Estates; Pat Konopka, Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits; Mike Lochmann, Banking & Financial Services; Patrick Respeliers, Corporate Finance; Rachel Price, Real Estate & Public Finance; Penny Slicer, Intellectual Property & Technology; Chelsea Templeton, Corporate Finance; and Kenda Tomes, Corporate Finance. Additional Stinson participants included of counsel Chris Zarda, Real Estate & Public Finance, and attorneys Robert Bollier, Intellectual Property & Technology; Krishma Desai-Soni, Corporate Finance; and Ji Hyun (Jennifer) Kim.
The clinic also was an opportunity for Stinson's summer associates to actively participate in assisting clinic clients while learning more about the firm's transactional pro bono practice.
The participating in-house counsel, ACC member-attorneys included Patrick Calland, Midland Loan Services, a PNC Real Estate business; Patrick Courtney, Terracon Consultants, Inc; Ashley Magnusson, Terracon Consultants, Inc; Jennifer McAdam, ACLI; Anish Patel, Terracon Consultants, Inc; Karen Virgillito, TIFEC; Jennifer Webb Harris, Global Payments; and Andrew Wimmer, Jack Henry & Associates.
Members of the Nonprofit Legal Clinic planning committee included Patrick Courtney, Terracon Consultants, Inc; Katie Cronin, Stinson LLP; Theresa Gaul, Stinson LLP; David Gottfried, Stinson LLP; Becky Howlett, The Legal Burnout Solution; Danielle Merrick, UMKC School of Law; and Joy Springfield, Kansas Legal Services.
Stinson's pro bono program is implemented by Pro Bono Counsel Katie Cronin, along with Pro Bono Attorney Tim Sanders Szabo and Pro Bono Specialist David Gottfried. The firm's pro bono strategic plan expects all partners to contribute substantially to the firm's legacy through pro bono legal work and community service, and it encourages and supports involvement from partners to summer associates. Through pro bono, Stinson attorneys and paralegals gain skills and invest in their communities while receiving billable hour credit for their work.
Stinson and Terracon Consultants, Inc. served as the financial sponsors for the clinic.