CHICAGO, November 2, 2020 – United Way of Metro Chicago and the law firm of Jenner & Block announced today that Jenner & Block litigation Partner Andrew W. Vail has agreed to serve as the first-ever United Way general counsel. In this role, Mr. Vail will provide important strategic advice and pro bono legal counsel to help the United Way and its partners throughout Chicagoland fulfill the organization’s mission of improving communities and the common good.
"We are delighted to have Andrew and Jenner & Block join our team," said Sean Garrett, president and CEO of United Way of Metro Chicago. "This year has challenged our region in so many ways. However, United Way has seen our community band together to create new and complex partnerships. These partnerships have united local government, Chicago philanthropy, business leaders, and generous individual donors to support our neighbors across the region. Having a talented and committed General Counsel on the team will help us build upon these collaborations to deepen our investment in neighborhoods."
“Jenner & Block has a long history of supporting United Way and an even longer commitment of supporting pro bono service in the communities in which we live and work,” said Jenner & Block Co-Managing Partner Randy Mehrberg. “Through Andrew’s service as their first general counsel, we are very excited to continue to deliver on our firm’s pro bono commitment and support United Way’s important work. Both Andrew and United Way will have the full support and resources of the firm in their efforts.”
Mr. Vail has long served as a chair of Jenner & Block’s pro bono program. Under his leadership, the program has been ranked and recognized repeatedly by The American Lawyer as the Number 1 pro bono program in the United States. More recently, Mr. Vail spearheaded the firm’s publicly announced commitment to provide at least $250 million in pro bono services to those in need of legal services over the five-year period from January 1, 2021, through 2025.
“It’s truly an honor and a privilege to be asked to assist United Way as its general counsel. It is an important institution that I admire for its tireless efforts to bring leading organizations and individuals together to uplift our community,” said Mr. Vail. “I look forward to being part of the United Way team and to working with all of the organization’s supporters and partners.”
At Jenner & Block, Mr. Vail will continue to focus his practice on strategic business counseling and complex litigation. He is a first-chair litigator with significant trial experience and success, including recent high-profile trial verdicts and arbitration awards. He has received numerous awards and accolades for his achievements, including being annually recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer, named as one of the 100 best lawyers in Illinois in Chicago Magazine’s “Best of the Best” lists, chosen for the Law Bulletin’s “Forty under 40” recognition, and his selection to participate as a Fellow in Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC), the region’s premier leadership development program. Mr. Garrett is also an LGC Daniel Burnham Fellow.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, he received his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a Harno Scholar.