The McConnell Valdés Pro Bono Program is marking a decade of continuous contribution to the development and strengthening of the nonprofit sector in Puerto Rico, to which it has granted more than 10,600 hours in free legal services — or more than $2 million — to some 300 organizations on the island.
“The McConnell Valdés Pro Bono Program offers free legal services to nonprofit organizations serving communities in need. These legal services focus on strengthening the organizational capacity and structure of the institutions,” said Arturo García-Solá, managing director of McConnell Valdés.
Over the past 10 years, 78 percent of the firm’s attorneys have contributed “time and talent to the program consistently,” he said, adding the program has shown a 133 percent increase in pro bono hours worked between 2006 and 2016 to benefit a diversity of nonprofit organizations.
“Our group of professionals has donated time and knowledge to the Pro Bono Program. All have served voluntarily, working for the public good while addressing the needs of the charitable organizations,” said García-Solá.
Ten years after its founding, the Pro Bono Program continues to be the only one of this kind institutionalized in a law firm in Puerto Rico, he said.
“Puerto Rico and the nonprofit sector need support at these critical times. It’s crucial to give back and contribute to the communities in which we live and work,” said García-Solá.
Meanwhile, Antonio Escudero-Viera, who chairs the Pro Bono Committee at McConnell Valdés that oversees the work of the Pro Bono Program, mentioned that the program’s effect goes beyond the 300 organizations that have been directly served.
“When providing pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations, we strengthen the institution’s organizational structure. Such organizational strengthening results in additional services, or new initiatives that reach those people in our community with the most limited means,” he said.
Most of the benefited institutions are affiliated to organizations like United Way of Puerto Rico or recipients of donations from the Puerto Rico Community Foundation or the Ángel Ramos Foundation.
“Our commitment to nonprofit organizations and Puerto Rico has always been strong. Today that we celebrate our 10th anniversary we confirm our continued support to the program,” he said.