Cisco’s Chief Legal Officer shares her perspective on the power of pro bono work.

Cisco’s purpose is to power a more inclusive future for all.

This is not just abstract sentiment; our purpose is ingrained in everything we do. It guides the design of our technology, the culture we cultivate with our teams, and our efforts in the communities where we live and work. For three years running, Cisco has maintained more than 80 percent employee participation in community impact activities. When four out of every five Cisco employees, representing 95 countries, are finding opportunities to give back in ways that are meaningful to them, it’s clear we have a purpose-driven culture—one in which acts both large and small add up to create incredible outcomes.

Cisco’s pro bono work

Dev and the Cisco Legal team based in the Seattle/Portland area joined
The Seattle Clemency Project (SCP) and Perkins Coie for a Pro Bono Clinic earlier this year.

Within Cisco Legal, we are passionate about living this purpose through pro bono. As legal and compliance professionals, we have a profound opportunity and responsibility to lean into our unique strengths and areas of expertise to increase access to justice.

Our pro bono program is based on two core tenets. First, pro bono is not one size fits all. Just as we encourage individuals across Cisco to give back in alignment with their personal passions and interests, Cisco Legal colleagues can pick and choose how they want to shape their pro bono experience. Our people perform traditional pro bono work, partnering with law firms and nonprofits to address a variety of issues, including immigration, contracting, and expungement. They provide operational support for nonprofits focused on access to justice, creating greater impact for communities in need. And they use our proprietary Cisco technologies to put justice within reach of those who often lack the resources or ability of the more privileged.

Second, pro bono is for everyone. More than half of our Cisco Legal team in the United States, across all of our diverse disciplines and professions, participated in Pro Bono in our last fiscal year. We’ve also made great strides in participation across our global teams.  When you open pro bono opportunities across the organization, you’re not only making a meaningful impact in the community at large, but you’re building connections and strengthening your own internal community.

Introducing the Cisco Pro Bono report

In our inaugural Cisco Pro Bono report, I’m pleased to share just some of the ways in which our employees– working hand in hand with law firms, other in-house law departments, and nonprofits – have helped increase access to justice. You’ll read about Cisco Legal team members who devote their free time to advocating for children and refugees; who help restore individuals’ ability to get places they need to go; who make the legal system accessible to people in trying circumstances; and who use data to level the playing field for those who lack equal access to justice.

It’s a privilege to share their stories.  



Dev Stahlkopf

Executive Vice President

Chief Legal Officer