Insights > Legal Department Celebrates the Power of Pro Bono
Legal Department Celebrates the Power of Pro Bono
When Cathy Gracia, an attorney in the legal department, signed up for a pro bono shift at Wills for Heroes in Covington, La., she knew she would be helping families, but she had no idea she would be assisting a family member of an Entergy employee. Wills for Heroes is a legal clinic that prepares essential legal documents, such as wills, living wills and powers of attorney, to families of first responders for free.
Stephanie Suhre, payment processing, and her husband Sgt. Ryan Suhre were paired at random with Gracia to provide legal services when she learned that Suhre, and her brother-in-law, are Entergy employees – making it true a family affair. The following week, Suhre wrote a heartfelt thank you note to Gracia:
“I promise it’s things like this that help first responders feel needed and wanted. More importantly, it provides comfort for the spouses that think of these things but don’t say them out loud—for fear of what could come to pass at any day or time.”
“This is why I do pro bono. The little efforts on our part, like a few hours spent at a clinic, make such a big difference to the people that we help. We can’t even envision it.” said Gracia.
Since 2012, the company’s legal pro bono program increased the commitment of company lawyers and paralegals to provide free legal assistance to some of the most vulnerable citizens living in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Last year, the legal department donated nearly 3,000 hours of pro bono service, resulting in $700,000 of in-kind legal services to help more than 750 individuals in the communities we serve.
“Entergy’s pro bono program has grown substantially under the leadership of our General Counsel, Marcus Brown,” said Christy Kane, the company’s pro bono counsel. “Our entire legal department is dedicated to helping our communities. In fact, last summer, the department created a full-time position to manage our pro bono practice, making us the first company in the United States to have such a position at that time.”
Recently, the Louisiana State Bar Association honored members of Entergy’s legal department with the prestigious 2019 Friend of Pro Bono Award. In 2016, the department received the Corporate Pro Bono Organization’s Pro Bono Partner Award for supporting the Self-Help Resource Center. The center is a legal clinic that helps assist thousands of unrepresented domestic court litigants in the Greater New Orleans area.
October 20-26 marks the annual celebration of National Pro Bono Week. The legal department will be focused on giving back to the communities across our four-state service territory and creating sustainable value for all stakeholders through the power of pro bono.
For more information about Entergy’s pro bono committee, contact Christy Kane, pro bono counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-576-4330.
Wills for Heroes is a legal clinic that prepares essential legal documents, such as wills, living wills and powers of attorney, to families of first responders for free.