Blue Cross And Blue Shield Association Recognized For Outstanding Pro Bono Legal Work
June 26, 2013
CHICAGO – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) legal division was recently named to the Public Interest Law Initiative’s (PILI) 2013 Pro Bono Recognition Roster for its outstanding pro bono work with Chicago’s poor. BCBSA was one of ten corporate legal divisions and 34 law firms chosen by PILI for this honor.
A not-for-profit organization based in Chicago, PILI works with Illinois law firms to establish, expand and promote pro bono services to underprivileged individuals with limited access to legal counsel and assistance. Criteria for this selection included participation in The Chicago Bar Foundation’s Leadership Circle, a percentage of a firm or corporations’ level of staff participation, significant increase in the number of pro bono hours over the previous year, and innovative steps to expand the pro bono program.
“BCBSA is committed to strengthening the communities we serve not only through healthy initiatives but through a variety of corporate volunteer programs, such as our legal division’s pro bono services,” said Roger Wilson, senior vice president and general counsel at BCBSA. “We are proud of the recognition that our team of experts has received from the Public Interest Law Initiative for their excellent volunteer efforts.”
Now in its tenth year, BCBSA’s pro bono program focuses on helping undocumented Hispanic women and children apply for deferred action and permanent resident status under the Violence Against Women’s Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. It also works to promote the civil rights of high school students who have disabilities.
Daniel Engel, senior associate general counsel, has been working with BCBSA’s pro bono program since its inception in 2003. “We in BCBSA Legal are honored to be recognized by the PILI for our longstanding commitment to help the underprivileged in our community,” said Engel. “On a personal level, it’s been gratifying to help strengthen my local community while increasing my understanding of Hispanic language and culture.”
BCBSA has recently expanded its pro bono program to include its Washington, D.C. legal team, which has partnered with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless to offer legal services to the low-income and homeless populations of Washington.
BCBSA was honored along with other law firms and corporate legal divisions, earning the special recognition at a special awards ceremony on June 19 at the Public Interest Law Initiative’s Annual Pro Bono Reception: Celebrating Pro Bono.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 106 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.