College Columns Dec 2015 Issue - Page 8

James L. Baillie, Chair,

Pro Bono Committee

bono programs in the country. The Pro Bono Committee this year selected 34 programs to receive grants of up to $10,000 each for a total of awards of $320,337, received by those grantees by the end of October. The grantees are in all parts of the country. Over the years all circuits have been the beneficiaries of these grants. Another service of the Committee and College staff is to make available the training materials and best practices of those programs on our website.

The Committee is a committee of the Foundation, but its funds come from both the College and the Foundation. Nearly all funds raised by the Foundation- meaning from us personally- are devoted to these grants. As members of the College we contribute several ways: by contributing money, by strengthening the network of these programs through our website, and by our personal pro bono services provided through our local programs.

Twelve new members were added to the Committee this year and brought with them a wealth of knowledge and special expertise to share with the other members. Four members served as special advisors or in another special capacity. The thirty-six regular members of the committee made the policy decisions and plans for the year, prepared written evaluations of each of the thirty-eight applications, made oral presentations, and participated actively in the six conference call meetings and one in-person meeting at the NCBJ to select the grantees. The Committee members come from all of the circuits.

Despite the fact that we have sufficient numbers of grants for the funds we have available the Committee especially wishes to help start new programs or to assist programs new to us. So one takeaway is that we encourage College Fellows to lead on the development of new programs to provide bankruptcy pro bono services in your own communities, working with the local bankruptcy judges, bankruptcy bar associations and law schools. Or encourage existing programs in your area to apply for one of our grants. The deadline for next year is likely to be July 1, 2016.

The other takeaway is to give generously to our Foundation. A related idea is to direct to our Foundation cy pres type funds, such as undistributed chapter 11 plan dividends, or foundations that would like to make bankruptcy pro bono one of the objects of their charity. Those dollars will help strengthen our bankruptcy systems and assist people who really need representation and won’t get it without our help.

For a complete list of 2015 grantees, please see page 9.

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Thank You from the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (“IWIRC”)

Dear Members of the American College of Bankruptcy,

On behalf of IWIRC and the IWIRC Programming Committee, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the American College of Bankruptcy and its members for hosting a roundtable breakfast at the IWIRC Fall Conference in Miami, Florida on September 27, 2015.

At the suggestion of Judge Karen Jennemann, members of the College and approximately 35 members of IWIRC met and discussed restructuring issues and the mission of the College over breakfast. Specifically, the roundtable discussion covered the benefits and requirements for membership in the College, the selection process, how different regions of the country interact within the College, and how the College gives back to the bankruptcy community at large. In addition, many tables discussed the need for diversity

Pro Bono Committee Awards Grants

The College and the Foundation continue to be the largest supporters of bankruptcy pro

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