NBCUniversal Legal Team Gives Back
December 07, 2015
This holiday season, six Los Angeles families grew a lot richer.
They adopted 10 children from the foster care system and welcomed them into loving, permanent homes, as part of National Adoption Day, on November 20, an annual event where nearly 5,000 adoptions are finalized in courts around the country. And a team of 12 NBCUniversal lawyers was there all along the way to help make it happen—and celebrate the outcome.
Adoption can be a lengthy process; the average child waits nearly four years, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While many families are eager to adopt foster children already living with them, they face backlogged courts, long waiting times and mountains of complicated legal filings.
This is where NBCU lawyers and staff, donating their legal skills and time, have been able to make a real difference. For more than seven years, in association with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, they’ve helped families navigate the adoption legal system. They’ve met with families, helped to prepare their court filings and represented them at the hearings where the adoptions are finalized.
“It’s the difference between having a temporary home and a forever, loving family,” says Jennifer Dominitz, SVP and Deputy Head, NBCUniversal Production Legal.
Adoption is just one area in which the NBCUniversal legal team gives their time and expertise.
“We have a really vibrant pro bono program,” Dominitz says. “We’re looking for segments of the community, people who can’t afford legal services, and we provide free representation and other assistance.”
NBCUniversal’s legal pro bono committee is comprised of about a dozen employees. They identify opportunities where their colleagues can participate, then share them on the department’s intranet page and internal newsletter. Employees have worked at name-change clinics for transgender people, manned voter fraud election hotlines, helped veterans procure benefits, represented unaccompanied children from other countries in immigration proceedings and judged high school mock trial competitions.
"It's long been in the DNA of the NBCUniversal Legal group to deliver vital pro bono services to people that need them. The robust and continuous participation across the team demonstrate how much we believe in this program and our ability to affect real change through this work," said Kimberley Harris, EVP and General Counsel, NBCUniversal.