Pro Bono and Skills-Based Volunteering

2020 SUSTAINABILITY REPORT : Collapsed

Committing to Provide More Confident Futures

MetLife employees have a wealth of expertise and skills, which they generously share with the social sector to extend their community reach and impact. We sustained this commitment in 2020, pivoting to virtual volunteering and working with young people and organizations to meet growing needs.

Taproot: Joining Forces to Build Nonprofit Capacity

Opportunity Workshops, run by Taproot Foundation in partnership with MetLife Foundation and Dell Technologies, brought together teams of specifically skilled MetLife and Dell Technologies employees to assist nonprofits in developing solutions for an issue critical to their day-to-day success. The workshops benefitted 28 nonprofit partners, with the majority focused on racial opportunity and justice and COVID-19. Over 120 volunteers—60 from MetLife—participated in the two-day fully virtual event, with each nonprofit paired with three to five MetLife and Dell Technologies volunteers to improve an approach, process, or tool fundamental to their success.

Legal Affairs: Advancing Justice, Voting Rights, and Financial Well-Being

Legal Affairs builds stronger communities and strengthens our workforce through pro bono and volunteer opportunities. We partner directly with legal services organizations and law firms to create meaningful opportunities that support our communities and allow employees to grow as leaders. In 2020, the team continued its commitment to pro bono—adapting to a virtual environment and increasing its focus on racial justice.

Legal Affairs mobilized volunteers to work with the Equal Justice Initiative. With outside counsel Sidley Austin LLP, MetLife lawyers and paralegals worked on two EJI capitalcases where Sidley represented defendants who were wrongfully convicted or sentenced to the death penalty. Legal Affairs volunteers helped Sidley update legal research and prepare for the appellate court hearings in mock oral arguments.

Supporting Election Protection

As in past years, Legal Affairs participated in an Election Protection call center organized by our law firm partner, Proskauer Rose LLP. Election Protection is a nonpartisan organization with a goal of making sure that every eligible voter can cast a ballot.

MetLife’s 17 participants contributed more than 100 hours for virtual shifts and training, and provided assistance such as identifying polling places and registration status, supporting COVID-19 protocols and escalating nonworking voting machines.

Support to the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC)

Legal Affairs has a longstanding pro bono partnership with CBJC, which grew in 2020 through virtual legal clinics and small business counseling.

  • In February, we worked with the CBJC Bankruptcy Project to host an in-person clinic at our New York City headquarters to prepare bankruptcy filings for New Yorkers in need. Approximately 15 MetLife attorneys and paralegals participated, helping clients in English and Spanish.
  • In the early days of the pandemic, we worked with CBJC to design a virtual clinic as a model for in-house and law firm partnerships. We hosted the clinic in September, with 10 MetLife attorneys and five clients. We continue to work with CBJC on this project.
  • A cross-functional team from Legal Affairs and Global Government Relations also supported CBJC’s COVID-19 Small Business Counseling Initiative by providing regular updates on the Paycheck Protection Program that participating attorneys could use to advise small businesses on the benefits available to them.
When I saw the chance to work on a pro bono project, I was very excited. I have a law degree, and I was able to use my skills and be part of really meaningful legal research.
ALEXANDRIA HORTON
A Cleveland, Ohio-based paralegal for MetLife and Equal Justice Initiative volunteer

Awards

2020 City Bar Justice Center award for leadership and dedication to public service

LatinoJustice 2020 Corporate Leader Award for championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in programs for and outreach to the communities we serve

Human Rights Campaign “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” for our Legal Affairs pro bono project to support LGBTQ immigrants

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