Pro Bono

Pro bono work by BigLaw firms continues to slide, even as revenues climb


Pro bono work among Am Law 200 lawyers slid for the second consecutive year—even as law firm revenue climbed. Both total pro bono hours and average hours per lawyer both dropped, the American Lawyer reports.

In a series of graphs and feature stories, the magazine offers a glimpse of the lawyers committed to pro bono work and what types of matters they are handling, including offering guidance to emerging regimes and challenges to voter ID laws.

Also highlighted are 34 firms that declined to participate in this year’s pro bono survey, which saw 88 firms boost their pro bono scores, while 72 firm scores sunk.

In slightly more encouraging news, the actual number of lawyers performing at least 20 hours of pro bono work in 2012 rose from 43.6 percent to 44 percent. While the 0.4 percent increase may seem modest, it at least arrests the sharp declines in 2011 (down 10.6 percent) and 2010 (down 8 percent), according to the American Lawyer.

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