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The Bank of America legal department in New York City expanded the company-wide pro bono effort, forming a local, New York pro bono initiative to help meet the legal needs of the city’s under-served. The company kicked off the program on June 20, with employees meeting with members of local non-profits, such as the Sanctuary for Families, Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project, Volunteers of Legal Service, New York Family Court and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. Employees in Bank of America’s legal department will also partner with New York law firms Greenberg Traurig and Shearman & Sterling in completing pro bono work, said associate general counsel, Abby Meiselman. At the kick-off, the organizations and law firms informed the lawyers in the Bank of American Legal Department of what they could do to help. “It was meant to be inspirational,” Meiselman said. “It gave them a menu of options because we wanted to make it as easy as possible to volunteer.” Bank of America asked its employees about the causes that were important to them before selecting these particular organizations with in the hope that it would increase employee volunteerism, said Tim Mayopoulos, Bank of America general counsel. “In developing our New York pro bono initiative, we took a new approach designed to drive volunteerism at all levels of the department and facilitate our associates’ ability to give something back to the community,” he said. Bank of America launched an enterprise-wide pro bono program in 2005, becoming a charter signatory of the Corporate Pro Bono Challenge, which works to get at least half of the company’s legal employees involved in pro bono projects.

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