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Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is working with the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which announced a two-year, $316,361 Pro Bono Innovation Fund Grant for the city of St. Louis. The grant gives LSC the opportunity to expand volunteer lawyer involvement in its Neighborhood Vacancy Initiative to better serve neighborhoods struggling with disinvestment and provide immediate direct assistance to resident-led community groups. 

“These grants are able to stimulate public-private partnerships to reach more people in need of civil legal assistance,” said Bob Newmark, managing partner of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s St. Louis office. “One of our firm’s core values is to make a positive difference in our communities and society. This is an effort we are proud to support.”

Services provided to neighborhoods through the grant include litigation support to hold absentee owners of vacant property accountable and assistance on matters related to corporate governance and compliance. LSC plans to expand services to vulnerable residents to prevent displacement through estate planning and help resolve land title issues that prevent people from obtaining home repair services.

“My colleagues and I are excited to work with fellow St. Louisans who are dedicated to improving their neighborhoods,” said Tim O’Connell, a Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner attorney who worked previously for the city of St. Louis as the clerk and legal counsel to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and as chief of staff to the mayor.

Building on the long history of LSC’s pro bono support, a press conference announcing the grant was held during the American Bar Association (ABA) National Pro Bono Week, Oct. 20-26.

“Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner regularly undertakes a tremendous amount of pro bono work for the benefit of the underserved and we strive to make a positive difference,” said Ellen Bonacorsi, chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. The firm’s St. Louis office reported 7,874 hours of pro bono work from January through September.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri is one of 14 recipients of grants from LSC’s $4.5 million Pro Bono Innovation Fund, a competitive program that invests in projects intended to encourage and expand pro bono efforts and partnerships to serve more low-income clients.

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.