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The Role of Corporate Counsel in Access to Justice

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: April 14, 2022
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  • Challenges faced by low-income individuals and families access to justice
  • How Corporate Counsel can help to close the access to justice gap
  • Successful examples of Corporate Counsel pro bono opportunities & collaborations
Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Recorded: April 14, 2022

For NY - Difficulty Level: For experienced attorneys (non-transitional)


While many communities have a robust legal aid network, there are not enough legal aid attorneys to meet the need alone. Pro bono legal services are thus a critical component in closing the access to justice gap. Corporate counsel are an essential part of the pro bono community and this program will explore the ways in which these attorneys can and have helped to close the justice gap.

This program was recorded on April 14th, 2022.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Beth Henderson

Senior Counsel & Pro Bono Director

Beth Henderson is Senior Counsel – Pro Bono Director at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington. In this role, she manages the strategy, budget, and operations of Microsoft’s pro bono program on a full-time basis. Her work includes developing and promoting diverse pro bono opportunities globally, overseeing the program’s internal and external communications, and leading projects to facilitate and optimize the practice of pro bono. She also serves on the boards of Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) and the Campaign for Equal Justice. Before joining Microsoft, Beth practiced immigration law in Philadelphia.

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Hon. Edmond Chang

U.S. District Court - Northern District of Illinois

Judge Edmond E. Chang has served on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois since January 2011. At that time, he was the youngest then-serving federal judge in the nation. He is the first Asian-Pacific American Article III federal judge in Illinois.

Before joining the judiciary, Judge Chang was an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. After prosecuting a wide variety of federal offenses, he was promoted to Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section and, later, to the Chief of Appeals of the criminal division. During his tenure as Chief of Appeals, Judge Chang also was selected to serve on the Appellate Chiefs Working Group of the Department of Justice, as well as the Seventh Circuit Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, on which he still serves.

From 1997 to 1999, Judge Chang practiced employment law at Sidley Austin. Before private practice, Judge Chang served two federal judicial clerkships, with Judge James L. Ryan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then-Chief Judge Marvin E. Aspen of the Northern District of Illinois.

Since 1996, Judge Chang has taught Civil Rights Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law. He is the author of the Civil Rights chapter in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s treatise on Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts. Before joining the bench, Judge Chang served on the board of the Chicago Council of Lawyers, a public-interest bar association. He also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Public Interest Law Initiative, a nonprofit group that promotes pro bono and public interest legal service.

In 2018, Judge Chang began service on the Criminal Law Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Also, since 2008, Judge Chang has served on the Seventh Circuit Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, and now chairs one of its four subcommittees.

Judge Chang earned his law degree with honors and Order of the Coif from Northwestern, where he served on the Northwestern University Law Review. He earned with honors a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

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Hon. Jolie A. Russo

Magistrate Judge
U.S. District Court - District of Oregon

Jolie A. Russo is a federal magistrate judge of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon. She was appointed to this position on February 25, 2016, upon the retirement of Magistrate Thomas Coffin. Her current term will expire on February 24, 2024.

Prior to her appointment as a magistrate judge, Russo served as a staff attorney and, later, as senior staff attorney for the District of Oregon from 1988 to 2016. Since 2004, she had also been an adjunct faculty member for both the University of Oregon School of Law and Lewis and Clark Law School. Russo served for 10 years as a chairwoman on the Citizen Review Board Panel for the Oregon Supreme Court.

Russo earned her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1998.

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Michael A. Scodro

Mayer Brown LLP

Michael A. Scodro is a partner in Mayer Brown's Chicago office and a member of the Supreme Court & Appellate practice. Prior to joining Mayer Brown from another prominent firm, he spent more than six years as the Illinois Solicitor General, where he oversaw the civil and criminal appeals divisions of the Attorney General’s Office, supervising more than 40 attorneys in appeals in which the state was a party. He also advised the Illinois Attorney General on constitutional and other significant legal issues.

An accomplished litigator and appellate advocate, Michael has argued dozens of cases before the US Supreme Court, state supreme courts, US courts of appeal and all five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court. Additionally, as Illinois Solicitor General, he coordinated with other state attorneys general's offices in the preparation and filing of multi-state amicus briefs in the US Supreme Court and brought Illinois to the forefront among the states in this area of Supreme Court advocacy.

Earlier in his career, Michael served as a law clerk for US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and for the Honorable Jose Cabranes of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Michael is an active member of the legal community, including serving as a long-time Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches a seminar on US Supreme Court practice. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and American Law Institute, and he recently served as president of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association. In addition to being selected as a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, Michael was appointed to the American Bar Foundation and multiple Illinois Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit and ABA committees. He also served as a member of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence, which developed the state’s first code of evidence, and was recently appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to chair its Commission on Professionalism.

As a prominent voice in the legal community, Michael has written numerous articles and is a prolific speaker on issues surrounding appellate advocacy and the US Supreme Court. He has received a variety of honors and accolades, including the Supreme Court Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General on six occasions.

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