Posted Apr 23, 2010 12:53 pm CDT
Marietta, Ga., lawyer Dawn Levine actively seeks out pro bono work and thinks others ought to do the same.
Writing in the Fulton County Daily Report, Levine says that while she knows she’s appreciated by her regular paying clients, “the appreciation is different when you’ve helped someone who had nowhere else to turn.”
Topping her list: Take a pro bono case and you’ll undermine at least one lawyer joke. She writes later that she’s never heard any Atticus Finch jokes.
No. 2: Pro bono allows her to make money in her day job, while holding onto the ideals that pushed her to become a lawyer.
She also argues that democracy demands lawyers take on pro bono and that “God does not really care if I am ‘this close’ to a billable hours bonus.” Plus, with the state of the economy, more and more people are in need of free legal services; and there are fewer and fewer government and nonprofit organizations around to jump in.
And finally, Levine, who practices with Lyle Detling & Levine. argues that pro bono makes her a better lawyer and happier about career choice.
Read more detail and how Levine was rewarded with home-baked cookies in her column in the Daily Report.