February 2013 Issue
Working for free: Lawyers incorporating pro bono into their lives talk about its rewards, challenges
Over the years, and especially during the last several decades, pro bono legal service has taken many forms.
A lawyer files an insurance claim for a neighbor after a fire. Two attorneys help a group of Vietnam veterans get recognized as a nonprofit by the IRS. The general counsel of a corporation joins a charity board. A large firm, better known for its work on mergers and acquisitions, files a death penalty appeal. A local tax lawyer runs for the school board.
Once perceived and defined as “charity work” governed solely by personal conscience, pro bono has evolved into a professional responsibility and a powerful force inside the practice of law.