Verizon's legal department has received the Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Award for the department's pro bono work in teaching underprivileged high school students about the law and encouraging them to consider legal careers. Verizon received the award at the Street Law Awards dinner Wednesday night (April 25) in Washington, D.C.
Through Street Law's Diversity Pipeline Programs, Verizon's volunteers serve as role models to students by providing career education and hands-on experiences in the legal field. Volunteers also provided advice on how to get into college and assisted students with their applications.
"Our company credo calls for us to share our success with our communities, which is why our pro bono work is such an important part of what we do," said Randy Milch, executive vice president and general counsel of Verizon. "This award is a testament to the efforts of Verizon's volunteers, who took the time during an otherwise busy year to work on meaningful projects that made a real difference in the lives of students."
Verizon began its Street Law programs, which are part of the company's overall pro bono program, in Basking Ridge, N.J., Arlington, Va., and Chicago. Last year, the company expanded the programs to Southern California and Ashburn, Va., and it is considering a further expansion this year. Verizon volunteers taught students at six high schools lessons on contracts, intellectual property, employment law, advertising law, constitutional law, business law, identity theft and sports law. Last year, the program in Basking Ridge also included an appearance by New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
Verizon formally launched its pro bono program in November 2009, and by 2011, the program's second full year, 63 percent of Verizon's U.S.-based attorneys were participating. The program, which was expanded last year to include attorneys in other countries, is focused on, but not limited to, education, domestic violence awareness and prevention, and support for returning veterans.
For example, in partnership with the National Veterans Legal Services Project, Verizon attorneys provide pro bono legal assistance for veterans injured in combat or other hazardous duty. Verizon attorneys have also helped returning veterans start small businesses and recently volunteered at an event serving more than 700 homeless veterans needing food, clothing and help reconnecting with loved ones. Verizon partners with law firm DLA Piper in its pro bono projects, including Street Law.
Verizon's legal department was also recognized in 2011 with three prestigious awards from the Pro Bono Institute, Association of Corporate Counsel and the Washington Metropolitan Area Chapter of the ACC.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with 93 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 192,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.