6 Reasons Lawyers Should Take on Pro Bono Work
Category : Pro Bono Work
It’s easy to pass on pro bono work when you’ve got a demanding caseload and are already working long hours. In your free time—you want to relax! But, before you stretch out on the backyard hammock or head to the idyllic vacation spot, consider these compelling reasons to do pro bono work, not the least of which is that it will make you happier:
Help People Who Really Need It
As a practicing lawyer, you are in a unique position to help people desperately in need of services you can provide, but they cannot afford. You have the opportunity to impact their lives in a meaningful and significant way – protect them from eviction, ensure their electricity stays on, or some other urgent issue. Whatever the issue, it’s a chance for you to make the legal system work for those who have nowhere else to turn.
Gain New Experience
Pro bono work can be a great opportunity to learn. For more experienced attorneys, it’s a chance to handle a different type of case. For junior attorneys, who don’t yet have much autonomy, taking on pro bono work allows you to get into the courtroom and obtain valuable experience appearing before judges, building client relationships, arguing motions, etc. Here’s a great article in the ABA Journal about several attorneys’ experiences with pro bono work.
Discover New Opportunities
Pro bono work is a great way to network and ultimately explore new opportunities. You can meet people with different backgrounds and interests, and who would not otherwise enter your daily world or work. It can lead to new business by connecting you with local business leaders or others in need of services; new professional opportunities, like serving as a board member for a nonprofit; or simply lead to new friends. Regardless of whom you end up meeting, chances are the experience will benefit you in some way.
Work on Issues That Interest You
Maybe you’re already in your absolute dream job and work on issues that you feel passionate about. If so, that’s great! Sadly, for many people, that’s not the case. Pro bono work offers such a wide variety of opportunities, you’ll likely be able to find an issue that legitimately interests you. If you’re wondering what kinds of opportunities exist near you, check out the ABA’s Directory of Pro Bono Programs.
It’s Not the Time-Sucker You Think It Is
Because most pro bono cases do not contain complex legal or factual issues, the amount of time you invest in the work tends to be relatively small. Most clients simply need a lawyer to evaluate their legal rights and present their case.
You’ll Be Happy You Did It
Pro bono work is very rewarding. Studies show that helping others makes people feel happier, and pro bono work is no exception. We are social creatures – biologically predisposed toward creating social connections – and pro bono work gives us the opportunity to make social connections through engaging in service to others. I think we’re also happier when we engage in pro bono work because we know it’s the right thing to do – a chance to practice kindness in a world that can often be unforgiving. There’s a lot to be said for that.
Whatever pro bono work you decide to take on, it always helps if you have more time to do it. JurisDOC can help save you time in your practice by making it easier and faster to generate pleadings and other legal documents. The software also helps you tabulate billable hours (for attorneys and staff) and manage invoicing and receivables.