The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
March 9, 2012

Pro Bono and Professional Development

The successful integration of pro bono and professional development is a hot topic – one that can serve the dual good of assisting indigent clients and promoting access to justice while fostering the growth and training of firm attorneys.  Developmental pro bono assignments, or targeting pro bono work to develop skills, are particularly effective ways for attorneys to develop and demonstrate many of the “hard” and “soft” skills that their law firms expect of them.  Pro bono assignments can be used to provide attorneys with opportunities to accelerate their development, demonstrate the quality of their substantive work, and develop and display judgment, confidence, leadership, client service, and other valued skills.

How can you use carefully selected pro bono opportunities as training vehicles to offer a wide variety of high-quality skills training?   How can pro bono be incorporated into the formal attorney evaluation process?   Want to learn about best practices for integrating pro bono and professional development and how pro bono leaders and professional development leaders at law firms can better work together?  We have several resources for you:

  1. Later this month at the Pro Bono Institute Annual Conference, we’ll be exploring best practices for integrating pro bono into your firm’s professional development system, including the skill development, evaluation, and advancement processes.  Don’t miss Using Pro Bono to Build and Evaluate Core Legal Competencies (Wednesday, March 28, 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.) — experts will discuss the intersection of talent management and pro bono and be available to answer your questions.
  2. The Law Firm Pro Bono Project’s toolkit Talent Management Trends: Law Firm Core Competencies offers guidance and tips for using pro bono opportunities as part of any core competency and performance evaluation system.  It is a valuable resource for law firm partners and professional development staff, including training, assignment, and evaluations committees, who should be mindful of how they can use developmental pro bono opportunities to boost their implementation of core competencies and performance evaluations in a cost-effective manner.  Likewise, the publication has been designed as a resource for pro bono responsible staff, who should be aligning their outreach and intake efforts to build core competencies, and satisfy attorney development goals.  This toolkit is available free of charge to Law Firm Project Member Firms and to all others for purchase.  To obtain a copy, please contact Law Firm Project Assistant Christine SutherlandIf your firm is not yet a Member, you can enjoy the many benefits, such as access to all publications free of charge, by becoming one today!
  3. Coming soon:  Be on the lookout for Esther Lardent’s article, “Solving the Professional Development Puzzle,” which will be featured in an upcoming issue of the The National Law Journal.