On October 23rd, thirty Mizzou Law students had the opportunity to learn about Bryan Cave’s pro bono work from two of their Pro Bono Coordinators: Ketrina Bakewell, ’83, a partner in the St. Louis office and Christopher Javillonar, a partner in the Kansas City office. The audience learned about the varied opportunities available and how pro bono hours count toward an attorney’s billable hours at Bryan Cave. This policy not only encourages pro bono work, but it also allows attorneys to take on bigger projects.
Ms. Bakewell stated that attorneys are encouraged to find an opportunity they are passionate about and provided examples from working on a Habeas Writ to starting a non-profit animal adoption organization. Mr. Javillonar talked about a project to reclaim abandoned buildings in the inner city and working with Habitat for Humanity to bring the buildings to code so families could move back into the area, providing stabilization for the community.
Ms. Bakewell addressed the importance for young attorneys to get involved in pro bono work. Associates have the opportunity to handle their own cases and build expertise in a particular area. Working with clients referred from Legal Aid helps develop client management skills while providing legal services to the underserved.
The speakers also talked about an Alternative Spring Break that Bryan Cave is working on with Mizzou Law. Three to four students will be able to work with Bryan Cave attorneys, both in St. Louis and Kansas City, on pro bono projects during March 24 – 28. More information about this tremendous opportunity will be announced in January.