Law Firms

Economic Downturn Didn’t Lead to Pro Bono ‘Nosedive’ After All


Pro bono continues to thrive at the nation’s top law firms, despite the economic downturn.

Some had feared a “nosedive” in pro bono hours in 2009, but it didn’t happen, the American Lawyer reports. Instead, the top 200 law firms collectively devoted 5.7 million hours to pro bono work last year, a 2 percent increase.

That’s a more moderate hike than the double-digit increases of the past, the story says, but it’s welcome news to pro bono advocates. Ninety-nine law firms had increases in pro bono hours while 80 had declines.

A separate chart lists the top pro bono firms. They are:

1) Jenner & Block

2) Arnold & Porter

3) Dechert

4) Covington & Burling

5) Latham & Watkins

In a separate story, the American Lawyer profiles the five law firms with the biggest increases in pro bono scores over a five-year period. They are:

1) Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker

2) Dechert

3) Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ceresi

4) Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

5) Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

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