Shook, Hardy & Bacon and the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel hosted Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, in a joint effort to encourage attorneys to volunteer for pro bono assignments. A small group of attorneys in St. Louis formed the Missouri Coalition for the Right to Counsel (MCRC) in 2017 to help relieve pressure on the attorneys practicing for the Missouri State Public Defender. Through Shook Partner Charlie Eblen’s involvement and leadership, Shook became the first firm in Kansas City to join the coalition. MCRC relies on volunteer attorneys across the state to provide legal counsel in criminal matters.
“We can’t thank Shook enough for all of its support,” stated MCRC Co-Founder Richard Scherrer. “This is not to diminish the work of other firms but I can say Shook handles 25 percent of the work handled by the 44 law firms that participate in MCRC. They do not take one case. They volunteer for multiple trials.”
Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough led off the event noting the value a program like MCRC plays in not only developing young attorneys but for the community.
“We’re honored to have Attorney General Schmitt at our firm as we together encourage early-career attorneys to take advantage of this opportunity. Shook attorneys volunteer for often very tough trials and that can be a tremendous learning experience. It begins with the proper training and I’m proud to say Shook has hosted three CLE training events for attorneys state-wide,” stated McDonough.
Schmitt commented on the important role attorneys play in society, ensuring that even citizens without means have legal representation.
Shook annually commits to 30,000 hours of pro bono service across the firm’s 13 offices. Shook Partner Charlies Eblen serves on the board of directors of MCRC and chairs Shook’s Pro Bono Committee.
Watch a short video of Scherrer thanking Shook for supporting MCRC.