Providing pro bono legal services is an excellent way for attorneys to give back to their community. Offering pro bono legal services can be beneficial to attorneys for many reasons. Not only can providing free or reduced-fee legal services make a positive impact on the lives of others, but attorneys who donate their time and professional expertise to help those in need can use the experience to help build and develop their solo law firm.
If you are considering offering pro bono legal assistance to an individual or an organization in your community, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
Is it your duty to provide pro bono legal help to those in need? It’s nobody’s duty to work for free. However, volunteering your time and effort is something that could dramatically assist someone or an organization that desperately needs your help. Also, it’s something that is charitable – which is admirable.
Will you meet people and learn new things that might interest you? If you provide pro bono legal services to an organization that is meaningful to you, it’s likely that you will meet new people and learn new things that align with your personal interests.
Can pro bono work help you build professional bridges? Absolutely! When you provide pro bono legal services, it’s highly likely that you will encounter others who either work or aspire to work in your professional realm. It’s always a good idea to meet and network with as many potential colleagues as possible.
Do you have enough time to complete pro bono work? Not every solo attorney has enough time to provide pro bono legal services. If you don’t have enough time today, you may have time next month or next year. If you take on pro bono work, it’s important to remember that you have an obligation to your pro bono clients and you cannot leave them high and dry if/when you sign new, paying clients.
Offering legal services on a pro bono basis is a noble thing to do. Many attorneys make a commitment to work for free or for a reduced fee for at least a few hours per week, month, or year. While there may not be a rule that says all attorneys must work on a pro bono basis, many commit to providing pro bono legal services because it helps them meet their personal needs and goals.
There is no shortage of people and organizations in need of pro bono legal assistance. Working in a pro bono capacity is an excellent way to meet new people, build professional relationships, and provide valuable service to those facing a hardship.
Find a pro bono opportunity that works for you today!