McGuireWoods Taps Full-Time Pro Bono Director

By Kevin Penton | April 21, 2019, 8:02 PM EDT

Angela H. Zimmern
Angela H. Zimmern
McGuireWoods LLP is looking to cement the importance of its pro bono program by appointing a senior counsel with a history of such work as the firm's first full-time pro bono director.

Angela H. Zimmern will work with attorneys in McGuireWoods' offices — more than 20 of them in the United States, Europe and Asia — to identify pro bono opportunities and ways to coordinate with local corporate law departments, which the firm has said tend to have lower pro bono participation than larger firms.

"I'm excited to be able to focus full time on being able to help pro bono attorneys and the clients they serve," said Zimmern, who's based in the firm's office in Charlotte, North Carolina. "We're really interested in making a meaningful impact on the communities that we serve."

McGuireWoods' pro bono program tends to focus on assisting individuals and their needs rather than on promoting specific political policies or setting legal precedent, firm officials have said.

For example, Zimmern since last year has coordinated Charlotte Triage, a firm program that aims to assist low-income residents in matters such as evictions, difficulties accessing medical care or expunging criminal records.

The program relies on local legal service providers to guide individuals who are in particular need of pro bono services. It coordinates with attorneys working in the legal offices of various corporations that are McGuireWoods clients, such as Wells Fargo, Duke Energy and Bank of America, the firm has said.

"Angie has impressed us with her pro bono leadership in Charlotte, particularly her efforts to strengthen pro bono partnerships with nonprofit organizations and clients," J. Tracy Walker IV, the firm's managing partner, said in a statement. "She is ideally suited to help us build on this success throughout the firm."

Zimmern said that for now she will not look to replicate Charlotte Triage in other McGuireWoods offices.

Rather, she will look to enhance efforts that local offices already find important, such as the New York offices' plans to assist LGBTQ veterans with estate planning and to provide legal services to refugees at the Mexican border.

Other projects include San Francisco office's work with domestic violence victims and the Pittsburgh office's work with transgender individuals.

While Zimmern's individual practice focuses class actions, commercial litigation and counseling clients on matters involving consumer credit and business disputes, she said she has not actively worked on it for several years, as McGuireWoods has tasked her with coordinating other internal projects full time.

Zimmern received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her graduate degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law, according to McGuireWoods.

--Additional reporting by Emma Cueto. Editing by Brian Baresch.

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