“[I]t is the right thing to do. Everyone should have access to justice. A lot of people do not have access to justice because they cannot afford it. It is my spiritual view on humanity and my personal belief.” (Graduate Lawyer, Medium Law Firm.)
We recently learned about an intriguing empirical study that examines the motivations of lawyers who participate in pro bono work. Over a four month period, the University of Queensland Pro Bono Centre at TC Beirne School of Law interviewed lawyers across Australia. The lawyers came from firms of various sizes, practice areas, and seniority levels. The Centre hoped that the study would offer insight into lawyers’ personal reasons for doing pro bono work and their thoughts about pro bono practice and trends. In June 2016, the Centre published their findings, which shed light on lawyers’ values. Highlights and key takeaways include:
- Intrinsic motivators were ranked highly by lawyers. Many described a “moral calling” to do pro bono work as a motivating factor.
- Workplace settings and policies greatly influence and impact the involvement of law firm lawyers in pro bono.
- A majority of lawyers who provide pro bono services reported that they apply the same professional and ethical standards to their pro bono work as to their fee-earning, billable work.
- Lawyers expressed a greater concern and preference for directing their pro bono efforts towards satisfying domestic, unmet legal needs as opposed to engaging in international pro bono work.
Check out the study, “What does pro bono public mean to lawyers? A report on the findings of the Pro Bono Values Project,” to learn more.
What motivates you to do pro bono work? Leave a comment below!