Pro Bono News

The Benefits of Recommitting to Pro Bono

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

  • Christian A. Andreu-von Euw & Mark Zebrowski
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report
The Benefits of Recommitting to Pro Bono

"While most people set resolutions in January, there’s no better time than August to readjust your yearly goals. That is especially the case for pro bono. Our state bar “urges” us to devote 50 hours a year to pro bono work, and many lawyers do that and more. Others have every intention of giving back to their communities through pro bono, but the challenges to doing so get in the way.

This article offers two perspectives designed to encourage lawyers to make a renewed commitment to pro bono. Pro bono work can be personally fulfilling and, as Mark Zebrowski describes, a tradition of pro bono can also strengthen a firm. Christian Andreu-von Euw describes how pro bono provides enriching career development opportunities.

Mark Zebrowski: Pro Bono Can Help Your Firm

Pro Bono work is one of Morrison & Foerster's core values, and lawyers in our offices around the world live out that tradition every day. Each of our offices has made a commitment to pro bono, which in 2018 resulted in providing over 78,000 hours of free legal services. 

There are many reasons for our strong commitment to pro bono work. First, it is the right thing to do. There are many people in our communities who cannot afford counsel and this are left to tackle legal issues alone. This not only affects their chances of achieving a positive outcome, but also puts a tremendous strain on our judicial system, which was not designed for pro se litigants. Second, it is our duty in exchange for the privilege we have to practice law in our state and our country. As lawyers, we have a monopoly on the practice of law; not everyone can be a legal advocate. Third, pro bono allows us to use our skills and training in areas in which we have personal interests, such as the environment, youth, education, poverty, and the like. Fourth, it gives us the opportunity to accomplish truly life-changing outcomes for individuals, organizations, and society at large. It is some of the most personally rewarding work a lawyer can do..."

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