Microsoft to Receive Street Law’s 2024 Corporate Champion Award

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Street Law, Inc. is proud to announce that its 2024 Corporate Champion Award will be presented to Microsoft Corporation. The award will be accepted by Beth Henderson, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel and Pro Bono Director, at the Street Law Awards Gala in Washington, DC on April 25.

The Corporate Champion Award recognizes Street Law’s corporate partners that have an exemplary commitment to making positive change in their communities. The award also honors companies whose employees have chosen to volunteer their time and other resources in support of Street Law’s mission.

Microsoft has been a Street Law partner since 2020, implementing the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program with Cascade High School in Everett, Washington—a school where the majority of students are people of color from low-income backgrounds. Through this partnership, legal professionals from Microsoft have—upon receiving curricula and training from Street Law—volunteered to teach hundreds of young people from under-resourced backgrounds about everyday legal concepts and pathways to careers in the legal profession.  

Microsoft’s Street Law program is exceptional. The program began at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic—a period where the odds were stacked against organizations attempting to conduct effective programming in schools. Schools were closed to in-person learning, and educators were scrambling to find ways to adapt to teaching in a virtual environment.

Thanks to its dedicated and tech-savvy volunteers, Microsoft’s program overcame these long odds. With tutelage from Street Law, Microsoft’s initial virtual cycle of the Legal Diversity Pipeline Program was a resounding success. Attorneys taught Street Law-authored modules on cybersecurity and conducted a simulation of an environmental law case, and students were enthralled by a rare opportunity for interactive learning during such an isolated time. “I really liked how most of the class was on Zoom and [not] busy work,” one student said. “I learned that pursuing a legal profession is not an easy task and it’s a lot of work, but in the end, I think it will be worth it.”

As schools began to reopen in 2021 and beyond, Microsoft continued to strengthen its Legal Diversity Pipeline activities. The company added a capstone event to its program, hosting Cascade High School students for a day each semester onsite at its Redmond campus. This component of the program enables students to see firsthand a day in the life of a corporate legal professional and learn about the products and services the legal department supports. During the capstone events, students have participated in guided tours of Microsoft’s Executive Briefing Center, Cyber Defense Operations Center, and Visitor Center, and met with Microsoft employees from diverse backgrounds. 

“The impact on the students was tremendous,” says Hung To, Microsoft’s Director of Business Management and a volunteer in the program. “The conversations we had at the workshops we hosted helped reinforce pursuing and proving what is possible.”

Last year, 71 Microsoft employees volunteered in the program, making it one of Street Law’s most active Legal Diversity Pipeline partnerships. Collectively, they contributed nearly 125 hours of their time to the program.

“I am deeply proud of the commitment and contribution that Microsoft makes to the Street Law program and legal education of students while also being grateful for the learning and enrichment I am able to take away from every student interaction,” says Amy Pannoni, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft’s HR Legal Group. “I hope I can pass that same spark onto the next generation and I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together as we enter our next chapter.”

“Our longstanding with Microsoft is a testament to their commitment to strengthening our communities,” says Ashok Regmi, Street Law’s CEO. “We are proud to present the 2024 Corporate Champion Award to Microsoft and thank all their staff and employees who have given numerous hours of their time in support of Street Law’s mission.”

Microsoft’s ever-growing program underscores the company’s commitment to Street Law’s mission— advancing civic and law-related education to empower all people to positively transform their world. Street Law is proud to honor Microsoft with the 2024 Corporate Champion Award.

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