Ford Motors Recognized With Corporate Pro Bono Partner Award, First Time Honor For The Company

Nov 19, 2012 10:26 AM EST | Matt Mercuro

Corporate Pro Bono awarded Ford Motors this weekend with the CPBO Partner Award for the company's "partnership to serve the needs of the local community" the auto manufacturer announced. This is the first time the company has ever won the prestigious award.

The CPBO recognized Ford's commitment to good corporate citizenship according to the website for the award. The award was designed to represent a "unique pro bono partnership between in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest organizations" according to a press release issued by Ford.

"At Ford, we have a strategic goal to provide opportunities for our attorneys to perform meaningful pro bono service," said David Leitch, general counsel and group vice president of Ford Motor Company in the company's press release. "It's important to support the communities in which we build and sell vehicles. This award recognizes the hard work of our Ford team and builds the momentum for our pro bono work for 2013."

In 2009 the company updated there pro bono program when Ford paired up with Dykema Gossett PLLC, Legal Aid and Defender Association, INC and Michigan Community Resources. The new partnerships established new pro bono projects to serve the needs of communities directly.

The newly formed program also joined forces with Ford's corporate social responsibility programs as well.

"The fact that more than 40 percent of the lawyers in Ford Motor Company's Office of the General Counsel participated in the clinics speaks volumes to Ford's dedication and level of commitment," stated Veta T. Richardson, president and CEO of the Association of Corporate Counsel in the press release. "Ford's leadership and service to the community sets a high standard for all organizations. Most importantly, Ford's program demonstrates that good corporate citizenship is possible even during times of economic downturns."

Two of Ford's pro bono partner programs are:

Nonprofit Survival Series Clinics:

MCR, Ford and Dykema established the clinics to help promise local nonprofit organizations that they can continue to serve the community without having to worry about being shut down. Ford's attorneys meet with the community-based nonprofit organizations to address legal problems that could prevent the organizations from running properly.

Over 40 percent of the attorneys in Ford's Office of the General Counsel have taken part in the clinics since being introduced in 2009, and the number has grown every year since.

Food Stamp Clinic:

Ford's Food Stamp Clinic was developed by Ford and LAD to "identify individuals and families who are either eligible to receive food stamps and don't or are not receiving the amount to which they are entitled to." Thanks to the clinic, hundreds of clinic participants have been identified, helping them receive the proper amount of food stamps that they deserve to make sure they live healthy lifestyles.

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