Business Attorneys Make Time for Pro Bono to Advance Societal Goals

Gloria Chun, CORP Supervising Attorney and JDC Pro Bono Manager

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The Justice & Diversity Center (JDC) applauds two Volunteers of the Month: John Carpenter, Dolby Laboratories; and Marty Myers, Covington & Burling. At JDC’s clinic for nonprofit organizations, the two volunteers helped an urban sustainable farm that donates 12,000 pounds of organic produce a year to low-income families.

John Carpenter with his kids

John Carpenter with his kids

Both volunteered through their employers, who co-sponsored the clinic. Carpenter credits Dolby for allowing him the opportunity to participate in this clinic and thanks JDC for making it convenient to give back.

JDC assigned Myers and Carpenter to a team based on their practice areas (insurance and intellectual property, respectively), but Myers knew of the farm through his daughter’s youth group. He and Carpenter reviewed its legal issues beforehand, then during the clinic, worked on contracts, privacy and procedures. They identified items for follow-up attention, and though not required, agreed to work on those matters to their conclusion. They felt well supported at the clinic, as Myers noted, “Some items came up beyond our expertise, e.g., employment, but given the structure and resources CORP provided, we were able to engage other volunteers’ help with those items.”

The clinic was educational for the lawyers, too. Carpenter appreciates learning about community stewardship, “We all know, or will quickly realize, there are serious problems with today’s food system…I’m really happy to have been able to help an organization that is providing education about environmental stewardship and sustainable alternatives.”

Marty Myers

Myers finds it rewarding to “bring the same high powered advice that major corporate clients use to help nonprofits meet their daily challenges.”

Additionally, when volunteering, he advances nonprofits’ work while “contributing to a better America . . .an important part of what lawyers should be doing.” Though gaining momentum can be challenging, “The benefits so far outweigh the burden that I love to do it, and I strongly encourage others, regardless of practice, to take this challenge.”

Outside of work, Myers avidly cycles and skis, and enjoys travel and modern conversational Hebrew courses. He is pictured in Lithuania at the shtetl (small Jewish town) where his family originated.

Carpenter bikes with local clubs, and enjoys tennis and golf with his three children. They also camp, hike, water ski, and recently visited Yellowstone.

If you’re a business/ transactional attorney who’d like to help nonprofits, visit www.sfbar.org/corp or email Gloria Chun, gchun@sfbar.org