Pro Bono Partnership Celebrates 26th Anniversary Gala

White Plains, NY, October 2, 2023 — On September 27, 2023, Pro Bono Partnership (the Partnership) celebrated its 26th Anniversary Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, raising more than $2 million for its programs. Thanks to the generous contributions of Gala honorees and supporters, including volunteer lawyers, law firm and corporate executives, and nonprofit organizations, the Partnership will be able to continue fulfilling its mission of providing free legal services to nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.

The 2023 Pro Bono Champion Award was presented to in-house legal team Chubb North America Legal & Compliance and law firm McCarter & English, LLP in recognition of their service to the community and their commitment to pro bono.

Pro Bono Partnership Executive Director Nancy Eberhardt said, “For more than two-and-a-half decades, the Partnership has occupied a unique space in both the legal and nonprofit communities by working with nonprofits to build capacity and with legal professionals to compile manageable and meaningful ways to use their skills to improve our neighborhoods. This work requires a lot of passion, commitment, and dedication from so many, including the 1,500 in-house and law firm volunteer attorneys who, each year, make the Pro Bono Partnership program possible. This year our volunteers assisted more than 1,000 nonprofits in the tristate area, providing nearly $23 million in free legal services to the nonprofit community.”

Jonathan Mothner, the Partnership’s Board Chair and General Counsel of Synchrony Financial welcomed the 600 guests saying, “I’m proud to see so many of my friends, colleagues, and like-minded professionals standing alongside the Partnership. Thank you for your steadfast support of this organization and for making this work a priority.”

The Chubb North America Legal & Compliance team has a distinguished history of pro bono service and the Partnership is proud to count the company as a longstanding supporter of its programs. Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, has provided contract review and employment-related counsel to hundreds of nonprofits across the tristate area. Joseph Wayland, Chubb’s Global General Counsel, accepted the 2023 Pro Bono Champion Award. Representatives from New Jersey nonprofit beneficiaries Middle Earth, NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome, and SOLID Foundation spoke on video about how the legal advice of Chubb’s lawyers helped them move forward on several fronts with greater confidence.

The Pro Bono Champion video honoring McCarter & English, LLP debuted at the Gala. The video highlighted the firm’s overall pro bono ethos as well as showcased nonprofit beneficiaries Women’s Mentoring Network and the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, who shared what pro bono work has meant for their organizations and communities. More than half of the firm’s attorneys and legal professionals have volunteered to work with the Partnership’s nonprofit clients. McCarter & English, LLP Firmwide Managing Partner Joseph T. Boaccassini accepted the award on behalf of the firm.

The event was hosted by Ari Melber, Emmy Award-winning journalist, writer, and attorney, and anchor of “The Beat with Ari Melber” on MSNBC. Melber also serves as MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent and an NBC News Legal Analyst, reporting on law and justice stories across all NBC platforms, and providing legal analysis for its programs.

The evening’s celebration included a special performance by the Vance Camisa Jazz Quartet. Band leader and piano player Vance Camisa, who is Counsel at Merck, has been an active pro bono volunteer for Pro Bono Partnership for nearly 20 years. He has worked on nearly 100 legal matters assisting 60 nonprofit organizations throughout New Jersey and was recognized at last year’s Gala as a Volunteer of the Year.

Pro Bono Partnership received vital support from Dinner Chairs Joseph Wayland, EVP, Chubb Group, General Counsel and Richard Hernandez, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, New York Football Giants.

The funds raised at the Gala make it possible for the Partnership to continue strengthening local nonprofits and improving neighborhoods throughout the tristate area. Please see our gala website for a full list supporters:

About Pro Bono Partnership:

Pro Bono Partnership provides business and transactional legal services to nonprofit organizations serving the disadvantaged or enhancing the quality of life in neighborhoods in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York. Substantially leveraging the impact of its in-house legal staff, the Partnership annually recruits and mobilizes hundreds of attorneys from major corporations and law firms to donate their time and expertise on behalf of its nonprofit clients, enhancing their ability to improve conditions in their communities. Since its founding in 1997, the Partnership has assisted over 4,000 nonprofits in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York on nearly 21,000 legal matters, enabling them to more effectively feed the hungry, house the homeless, promote the arts, protect the environment, and provide essential programs to children, the elderly, immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and the unemployed.


Heidi Siesfeld, Director of Development, Pro Bono Partnership