The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
April 3, 2014

2007-2012 CPBO Challenge® Report

Corporate Pro Bono just released the 2007-2012 CPBO Challenge® Report, which examines the pro bono activities of legal departments that are signatories to the CPBO Challenge® initiative. The publication summarizes data reported by CPBO Challenge® signatories from 2007-2012, and looks at the culture and performance of pro bono among a broad sample of legal departments. The video below captures highlights from the Report.


Highlights from the Report:

  • Meeting the Challenge Goal The CPBO Challenge® statement sets an aspirational goal of 50 percent participation by legal department staff. Since the inception of the CPBO Challenge® initiative, signatories have reported an average participation rate of lawyers between 42 and 50 percent. In 2012, 54 percent of signatories met or exceeded the CPBO Challenge® goal of 50 percent participation with regard to their lawyers.
  • Partnerships with Outside Law Firms Partnering with law firms is a common practice among CPBO Challenge® signatories; each year between 2007 and 2012, more than 50 percent of responding departments indicated that they partner on pro bono with at least one law firm. Responding legal departments also indicated that they considered law firm pro bono performance when evaluating outside counsel. In 2012, 52 percent answered that they considered law firm pro bono performance.
  • Global Pro Bono In 2012, CPBO Challenge® signatories reported providing pro bono legal services in more than 40 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
  • Informal Pro Bono Programs In-house pro bono is not limited solely to departments that have adopted formal pro bono programs with processes and systems to manage the departments’ pro bono engagement. The average lawyer participation rate for respondents without a formal pro bono program was 66 percent in 2012.

Since its inception, there has been a steady increase in the number of CPBO Challenge® signatories and in-house pro bono participation. For companies that have not yet joined, we encourage you to enroll and advance pro bono at your legal department. There is no downside as we do not publish disaggregated statistics, nor do we in any way identify individual departments as having met or not met the goal. Rather, we work closely with signatories to provide individual consultative services and support to help them improve their pro bono performance.

If you have questions about the Report or your legal department would like to join the CPBO Challenge® initiative, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

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