Pro Bono Me-Tooism
A few years ago, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren E. Buffett created the Giving Pledge—to stimulate discussions about philanthropy among the ultra-wealthy and unleash a wave of “me-tooism” among others that would help solve our most pressing problems and bring about “the Second Great Wave of Philanthropy.” Each person who chooses to pledge makes a public statement in support of a moral commitment to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes and serves as a role model to others, of all financial means and backgrounds. The concept has caught on quickly; Giving Pledge commitments have increased from 40 families to 92 families. Making the world a better place is a great way to keep up with the Joneses!
The Giving Pledge reminds us of our own Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®. Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatories are role models in the profession and publicly acknowledge their institutional, firm-wide commitment to providing pro bono legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals and families and nonprofit groups. The Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® has also created a sense of me-tooism and positive “peer pressure” with major law firms joining others to subscribe to the Challenge. Just as Giving Pledge Signatories come together throughout the year to discuss challenges, successes, failures, and how to be smarter about giving, we work with Challenge Signatories to ensure that their pro bono efforts are as strategic, efficient, and impactful as they can be.
Has your firm caught the pro bono me-tooism bug? For more information, check out the Report on the 2011 Pro Bono Institute Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Statistics, the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, and the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Statement of Principles and Commentary. If your firm, of 50 or more lawyers, is interested in joining the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®, please contact Law Firm Project Assistant Christine Sutherland.