Lawyers and paralegals within the firm are encouraged to take on a minimum of 60 hours of pro bono work each year. Rome Blank supports pro bono efforts by offering training sessions in relevant areas of law and providing partner guidance to associates who are involved in pro bono work. The firm also recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional dedication to pro bono work through the annual Edwin P. Rome Pro Bono Achievement Award. This award is presented in honor of Edwin R. Rome, a founding partner, who served as a court-appointed counsel for an African laborer accused of killing a factory employee. Rome's dedication to the matter spanned over 11 years and through five separate trials. The laborer was convicted of murder five times and sentenced to death four times before Rome's unwavering dedication to the case paid off and the laborer was granted his freedom.
Summer associates are also invited to participate in pro bono issues ranging from asylum cases to domestic violence to estate planning for low-income senior citizens. The firm offers a Blank Rome Public Interest Fellowship to first- year law students who receive an offer to return the following summer. The fellowship enables the student to spend half of their summer working at a public interest organization, while still receiving pay from Blank Rome.
The firm also encourages attorney development through training at the Blank Rome University. First and second -year associates benefit from a curriculum of analytical thinking, interviewing and counseling, legal writing, communication skills, time management skills, negotiation skills, ethics, risk management, and law firm as a business, all of which are covered during a two-year time period. The Blank Rome University Gold Series is designed to give mid-level associates a deeper understanding of the business background and operations of clients. Accounting and finance, business development, capital markets and securities, as well as personal finance issues are all addressed in this training. Blank Rome has also developed partnerships with colleges, universities, and law schools in order to support ongoing educational programs. The firm's Connections program further encourages the development of new and lateral attorneys by providing the assistance of both a partner mentor and an associate mentor for the first year.
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