One of the most sincere ways a law firm can say thank you to the community and to clients, is by doing pro bono work for people or organizations who would otherwise have no access to legal services. The American Bar Association suggests that every attorney should spend at least 50 hours per year doing pro bono work, and many attorneys do much more than that. If your firm is looking for ways to increase its involvement in pro bono work, or ways to promote the charitable work it has done, here are a few resources that may help.
The Pro Bono Institute
For individuals or firms who would like to develop or expand a pro bono program, the blog of the Pro Bono Institute should be one of the first places to look. The site provides among other things, information on what pro bono is, offers suggestions on types of pro bono projects a firm can undertake and offers training about pro bono to the legal industry. According to their web site, the mission of the Bono Institute is to support, enhance and transform the pro bono efforts of major law firms, in-house corporate legal departments, and public interest organizations in the U.S. and around the world.
This site provides resources for pro bono and legal services attorneys and others working to assist low income or disadvantaged clients. In addition to providing a wealth of information on managing pro bono cases, increasing a firm’s pro bono capacity, and more, the site also provides, by geographic region or area of law, links to pro bono opportunities for legal practitioners.
This blog offers discussions and articles about various pro bono issues as well as information on pro bono activities at law firms throughout the country. On the blog now are several articles about Pro Bono Week (October 20 – 26, 2013), information about the newly launched IllinoisProBono.org web site that helps legal professionals find volunteer opportunities and training, as well as information on a new pro bono initiative in New York. Reading this blog is a great way to stay informed on the latest developments and activities in the pro bono arena.
Puget Sound Business Journal
This article, written by Karie Trujillo, board member of the Northwest Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association and marketing director at Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf, provides some rationale for using your firm’s pro bono work for marketing. Trujillo offers a host of tips for boosting credibility for the firm, and leveraging the good that the firm does to promote not only the expertise of the firm, but the charity the work was done for.
JD Supra® Law News
Lisa Borden of Baker Donelson discusses how pro bono work can be a two-way giving street. She makes the case that pro bono work can give back to the firm in the form of enhanced morale, professional development, and community reputation. She also offers ideas for marketing pro bono work and feeling good about it.
By Ellen Katkin, Director of Marketing, Gilbert LLP for the November/December 2013 Issue of the Capital Ideas Newsletter.