2023 – Melvin Flowers

Melvin Flowers has been a dedicated leader and advocate for pro bono work throughout his legal career, and across varied cases and communities. Currently Accenture’s Global Legal Lead for Strategic Initiatives as part of the Global Data Privacy Legal Team, he has also co-developed and directed the company’s Midwest Market Unit pro bono program for many years. During his time helping to lead Accenture’s pro bono work, Melvin has significantly expanded the program and encouraged many members of Accenture and other Chicago area law firms to get involved.

As a leader of Accenture’s Legal Access Program, he has directly launched the Expungement and Record sealing program and assisted in launching ten new pro bono projects while initiating multiple partnerships with organizations across the city. For example, Melvin collaborated with Chicago CRED (“Creating Real Economic Destiny”), an organization that supports young adults in neighborhoods impacted by gun violence. In partnership with Chicago CRED, Melvin worked with Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Legal Aid Chicago to host multiple expungement clinics. The clinics have continued their work to this day because of Melvin’s design and dedication.

Melvin also initiated and led a partnership with a local law firm to provide pro bono legal services to the non-profit social enterprise Growing Home, a Chicago Organic urban farm and workforce development center. The partnership is focused on providing pro bono legal support to assist in operation expansion while providing legal services for workforce participants and individuals with criminal backgrounds. Additionally, he assisted in the development of partnerships with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to represent asylum seekers, provided pro bono legal services to local Chicago churches and their constituents on not-for-profit governance under Illinois law, created and facilitated a pro bono business startup workshop to teach local entrepreneurs how to create a legal entity and sustainable businesses, assisted in providing legal guidance on pro bono matters for constituents of DisabilityIN, partnered with the Cook County Bar Foundation to deliver Expungement and Record Sealing workshops in the Woodlawn community, and advocated for small businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs with Lawyers for the Creative Arts and Sky’s the Limit. Melvin’s pro bono influence has been varied and expansive, designing new programs while recruiting many volunteers to bring them to life and run them sustainably.

Melvin’s peers praise his efforts to nurture and expand the pro bono community in the Midwest. At Accenture, more than half of their Midwestern employees now do pro bono work in large part due to his influence. He continually invites different law firms and legal aid groups to form partnerships, encouraging collaboration and goodwill in the legal community. Melvin is also Accenture’s Chicago Lead for the Black Tech Founders Entrepreneurship Initiative, an experienced public speaker, certified Mediator through the Center for Conflict Resolution, and the Executive Director of the Kappa Leadership Institute of Chicago (“Kappa League”) – a high school mentoring program designed to accelerate success for young men. His extensive background and passionate commitment to furthering the pro bono community make him a very worthy recipient of the Exelon Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award.