Pro Bono Program

Evaluating a Law Firm's Commitment to Pro Bono

Are you seeking a law firm that takes pro bono seriously?  Do you hope to work in a place where you will be encouraged or even expected to do pro bono? If so, the following questions are designed to help you assess the quality and strength of a law firm’s pro bono program.

The best way to learn about a firm's commitment to pro bono is by talking with other attorneys at the firm — both partners and associates. While you may not want to ask about pro bono during your on-grounds interview, you can find out more about the firm’s pro bono commitment in its on-grounds hospitality suite or during your call-back interviews. If you never ask about pro bono the firm may conclude that such work is not important to you.

Ask for a copy of the firm’s written pro bono policy. In addition, by reviewing the firm's brochures and its online and printed materials you can see if pro bono is barely mentioned or if it is highlighted. If you are interested in a particular substantive area, such as immigration, find out if the firm does pro bono work in that area and ask for some examples of recent cases the firm has taken on. This information will help you determine if the firm will let you pursue the type of pro bono case that you care most about.

1. How is the pro bono program structured?

2. How does the firm encourage pro bono work?
3. Is the firm a signatory to the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge?

4. Where does the firm rank in the Am Law 100 or Am Law 200 pro bono charts and has it been recognized by any legal services providers for its pro bono contributions?

Additional Information: