College Columns December 2021 - Page 32

Consultant ’ s Corner continued from page 31
Which leads me to my final thought : We never really know what ’ s going to happen . Yes , we do our best to anticipate change and its consequences . But we inevitably come up short . After nearly three decades in the restructuring business and having
Pro Bono continued from page 7
• The Pro Bono Project in New Orleans , LA will use the grant funds to expand its clinics on consumer debt and bankruptcy to new neighborhoods , as well as continue its legal education seminars to grow its volunteer attorney base .
• California Western School of Law Community Law Project in San Diego , CA will use the grant funds for its law school clinic program in which student volunteers assist clients in evaluating bankruptcy options . In the past year , the program has seen a 98 % increase in individuals identifying with a consumer debt or bankruptcy problem .
• Legal Aid of Nebraska of Omaha , NE will use the grant funds to purchase equipment to expand its pro se bankruptcy clinics across the state . In the program , pro se debtors prepare their petition and pleadings on the computer with guidance from an attorney or paralegal . The grant will enable computer labs to be placed in other offices across the state .
These are just a few of this year ’ s grantees and demonstrate the types of programs the College and Foundation support . On a separate page , you will find all the grantees listed , organized by Circuit . For each grant , members of the Pro Bono Committee spent considerable time reviewing the application , talking with the grantee , and evaluating the request considering the criteria developed by the Committee . The goal is to maximize the impact of our funds , focusing on programs that seek to recruit
32 worked through four real estate cycles plus a pandemic , I ’ ll readily admit I haven ’ t a clue about where we go from here . Rather , our time may be best spent helping our clients and constituents prepare for multiple scenarios and create more resilient and flexible organizations .
and train volunteers or assist pro se debtors through help desks and clinics .
This marks my final year as Pro Bono Chair , and I thank you for the opportunity . It has been a pleasure to see first-hand the results of the grants , through the thank you letters and reports from our grantees . My thanks to the Fellows , whose generosity make the grants possible . As bankruptcy professionals , you understand the severe trauma caused by financial distress for individuals , no matter which side of the bench you are on , or whether you deal with business or individual clients , debtors or creditors . For the most vulnerable populations our grantees serve , the grants from the College and Foundation provide a lifeline . The College and the Foundation continue to demonstrate their leadership through the support for the needs of the least among us . I am grateful for having been a small part of that support by chairing the Committee .
I also thank the members of the Pro Bono Committee , who spend significant time and effort on their review and evaluation of the grants . And without the dedicated assistance of Jenny Cudahy and Shari Bedker , the Committee could not do its work . My personal thanks as well to the Foundation Chair , Paul Harner , and the Committee ’ s vice chair , Norm Pernick , for their invaluable support and advice .
Best wishes to everyone for the holidays and a Happy New Year .