August 11, 2014 11:30 AM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
During the time I have been managing Baker Donelson's pro bono programs, I've been impressed and gratified to see lawyers and bar associations and groups across the country step up en masse to tackle some very important legal issues. The death penalty is an issue that has received a great deal of attention for many years, and more recently the focus on immigration has increased dramatically. Civil rights cases, including issues like marriage equality, voting rights and human trafficking have made the news, and helping veterans is a mainstay. I've gotten involved in many of these issues myself, especially death penalty cases.  But I find myself increasingly frustrated. read more
May 14, 2014 3:14 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
Pro bono has come a long way in the last decade or two. More and more law firms have effective, structured pro bono programs, and many corporate legal departments either have pro bono programs or are working on developing them. It's a particular thrill for me to learn about the pro bono interests of a client, especially when I have the opportunity to help the client advance those interests.

Still, some business clients may wonder whether they are really footing the bill for work that is given away by their outside counsel. While it is certainly true that we would not be in a position to do pro bono work if not for our paying clients (for whom we are exceedingly grateful), I would argue that the work we do without charge for low income people and non-profit organizations does not come at the expense or detriment of the clients who pay our bills. In fact, I would argue that it benefits those clients.

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April 10, 2014 5:28 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
I had the great pleasure today of attending the Alabama Appleseed Brewer-Torbert Awards Luncheon. What an inspiring event! read more
February 27, 2014 3:33 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
Over the last several months, I have had the privilege of being part of a team that has created and launched a new homeless court program in the City of Birmingham. We had some wonderful examples on which to model our effort, including the training provided by Steve Binder of San Diego, and the work in New Orleans that has been led by Baker Donelson attorney Sherry Dolan. With three monthly hearings now under our collective belt, and a full slate of participants for next month, I think we can say that we've had a successful beginning! read more
January 16, 2014 11:34 AM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
I was very excited to learn this morning that Baker Donelson is #31 on this year's Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list (and top law firm)!  You can see the write up here.  It's the fifth year in a row that we have made the list, and we moved up from 45th on last year's ranking. For the second time in those five years, our pro bono program has been among the factors mentioned as what makes us so great!  read more
January 2, 2014 1:26 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
We live in a very superficial culture, especially when it comes taking care of things that are hard, or expensive. Or things that can't be fixed overnight. We like instant gratification. We like to congratulate ourselves for a job well done and walk away.
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December 30, 2013 4:18 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
Recently, I was going through boxes while cleaning out my mother's house when I found something that was at once a historical relic and a timely reminder that the more things change, the more they stay the same - it was her receipt for a $1.50 poll tax paid in Blount County, Alabama in 1956. Doesn't sound like much, but in that time and place $1.50 was probably a barrier to many. I don't know why she kept it - I'd be hard pressed to explain why she kept many things I have run across - but I am glad she did. read more
December 6, 2013 3:50 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
Nelson Mandela

Over the past two days, I have listened and watched as people around the world, from journalists and celebrities to presidents and other politicians, remembered and honored the life and work of Nelson Mandela. read more
December 3, 2013 12:07 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
This Fall, I had the privilege of teaching the Poverty Law class at the University of Alabama School of Law. Since it was my first experience teaching a law school class, I will have to leave it to my students to judge how well it was taught, but it was definitely a great learning experience for me! read more
August 5, 2013 2:50 PM | Posted by Borden, Lisa | Permalink
Our Birmingham office had the honor last week of hosting a training conference for those who will be participants in the operation of a new Homeless Court in the City of Birmingham Municipal Court. We were very fortunate (and thrilled!) to have Steve Binder, the founder and administrator of the original homeless court docket in San Diego, as our instructor. It was so inspiring to hear and see what has been accomplished in San Diego, and what a tremendous difference it has made in so many lives. I think it is safe to say that Birmingham's conference attendees left the session with great enthusiasm to make our own Homeless Court a reality.

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