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Ballard Spahr's Pro Bono Counsel Sees the Bright Side of Deferrals


Associates given stipends in 2009 to defer their start dates at Ballard Spahr developed advocacy skills and an interest in poverty law, according to the law firm’s pro bono counsel, Mary Gay Scanlon.

Deferred associates are “in-house experts and in-house advocates for a variety of different pro bono opportunities,” Scanlon tells the Legal Intelligencer.

Scanlon says she is a “big proponent” of deferral programs, but the challenge is making the deferrals “a regular part of the diet” without deferring all associates at once.

The law firm has sent a few associates at a time to work for a couple months with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. The larger group of deferred associates from 2009 returned to Ballard Spahr in 2010.

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