Koch Pro Bono Awards 2021

Pro Bono. Delivering legal aid to those who need it most.

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For some Americans, making one mistake early in life can turn into a lifetime of consequences, from trouble securing employment, affording a home or supporting a family. The ongoing pandemic and calls for greater equality under the law have only underscored the challenges we face in realizing a more just society.

2021 Koch Pro Bono Awards

At Koch, we believe taking a bottom-up approach is critical. We know that each of us has a responsibility, regardless of our day job, to make a positive difference in the world in our own way. That is why we encourage all Koch employees to participate in our pro bono initiative.

While Koch has hundreds of employees passionate about volunteering their time for pro bono work, we can’t do it alone. We count on our panel law firms to partner with us to further the impact we can make on communities and the lives of those who need our help the most.

The following recipients have gone above and beyond in their work this past year. We are proud to recognize these firms and individuals for their passion and dedication to advancing pro bono through our first annual Koch Pro Bono Awards.

Jeremy Hilsman, Koch Pro Bono Award winner

2021 Pro Bono Service Award

Jeremy Hilsman, Chief Counsel for Real Estate, Koch Industries

In the past year, Jeremy has volunteered 200 hours on more than 20 legal matters. He helped seal records for two clients working with the Georgia Justice Project, and he assisted Stand Together Foundation Catalyst organization Café Momentum with leasing. He helped train partner organizations through knowledge shares around commercial real estate matters, worked through transactional matters with Atlanta’s Pro Bono Partnership, and negotiated a lease for the Georgia Innocence Project’s new headquarters. He is also working to develop a new site for Healing4Heroes, which pairs service dogs with veterans.

Jeremy's Story

“There is nothing more self-actualizing to me and my job than helping others. This is where I get my emotional return as a human, when someone smiles at you, says thank you or someone cries.”
- Jeremy Hilsman

Barnes & Thornburg - Koch Pro Bono Award Winner

2021 Pro Bono Partner of the Year

Barnes & Thornburg

In 2020, Barnes & Thornburg made a commitment of 10,000 hours to support Stand Together Foundation Catalyst organizations over a three-year period. Since our partnership began, Barnes & Thornburg has provided over 1,500 hours of work, an effort worth almost a million dollars. Their support has also benefitted several STF Catalyst organizations, including Boston UnCornered, Café Momentum, HoPe, Poetic, The Other Side Academy, The Phoenix and UnCommon Construction.

Alston & Bird - Koch Pro Bono Award Winner

2021 Pro Bono Innovation Award

Alston & Bird

Over the past year, Alston & Bird came up with new ways to partner in areas that are important to both of our organizations, but that we’ve traditionally not supported. This includes support for the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program and the Campaign for Fair Sentencing, two critically important organizations that deal with the unique challenges facing military veterans and those previously sentenced to life without parole as children (which is now unconstitutional), respectively.

Wilson Sonsini - Koch Pro Bono Award Winner

2021 Midwest Innocence Project Hero Award

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

In October 2020, Koch’s Pro Bono Committee decided to conduct an experiment, pairing in-house and preferred panel volunteers on Midwest Innocence Project case reviews. Wilson Sonsini had previously expressed interest in MIP and welcomed the opportunity when we approached the team with the idea. What started out as a single case by a single volunteer has grown to nine volunteers from the U.S. and Europe, representing Koch Legal, Koch Fertilizer, Guardian, INVISTA and INFOR, partnering with 41 Wilson Sonsini attorneys. This award recognizes the power of leveraging our teams; we are stronger together.