For the Public Good
PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project recently released its annual Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Report, which examines the pro bono activities Challenge Signatories.
Last week, we shared our optimistic view of pro bono and focused on overall attorney participation. Another notable highlight from 2015 is the increase in the percentage of total pro bono time committed to those of limited means and the organizations serving them. The Challenge asks firms to devote “a majority” of their pro bono time “to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means” (Principle 3). In 2015, 70.9 percent of all pro bono time was devoted to those of limited means and the organizations serving them, which is up from 65.4 percent in 2014. We are pleased to report that this important Challenge goal is being met. Furthermore, this data helps expose as myth the perception that large law firms are not adequately supporting legal aid programs and that they should do more before other funding streams, particularly public ones, are tapped.
Check out the complete Challenge Report, including analysis of the data, new information regarding firm size and pro bono, detailed graphs, and more. And stay tuned to The PBEye for additional highlights from this year’s Report. Also, check out the Law Firm Project’s recent discussion of the state of pro bono on its podcast, the Pro Bono Happy Hour.
If your firm of 50 or more lawyers would like to join the Challenge, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Elysse DeRita.