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Pro Bono

Do Something You Stink At…And Become A Better Lawyer

May 13, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Yesterday, I spent a beautiful Saturday outdoors, helping to build a house with Habitat for Humanity as part of an Energy Bar Association pro bono service project. I have to admit that I didn’t seek this project out: my decision to participate was a spur of the moment response to an email that came through […]

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How Doing Good Can Help You Do Well

April 12, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Many solos who’d like to perform more pro bono work can’t do so for lack of time.  So why not multi-task, and make pro bono work part of your marketing activities portfolio?  Consider the example of lawyers profiled in this article, Creating a nonprofit helps others – and doesn’t hurt business either (ABA Journal, April […]

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Attention: RFP FOR PRO BONO SERVICE BY SMALL LAW FIRM. Honestly, do you think a large firm would respond?

February 24, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Imagine that your law firm issues the following Request for Proposals: Busy solo practitioner seeking large firm to partner on pro bono matters for small, walk in clients with no funds to retain an attorney at full rates.  Firm must turn these clients down in the absence of pro bono support.  Matters include messy family […]

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To the Bars: Don’t Make Me Part of Your PR Scam With Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting

June 21, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

Evan Schaeffer posts here that the Illinois Bar is the latest bar to implement a mandatory pro bono reporting requirement whereby lawyers must report pro bono activity annually to the bar.  According to Schaeffer, “the Illinois Supreme Court hopes that the new reporting requirement will serve as a reminder that pro-bono work is important. In […]

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Please Don’t Call This Pro Bono

April 30, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

Why is it that when small firm attorneys represent court appointed indigents at rates equivalent to one third of market that the work is not classified as “pro bono,” but when a large firm takes a bath on fees for representing the former governor of Illinois, an ABA committee chair recognizes that as pro bono? […]

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Business As Usual When It Comes to Pro Bono

January 7, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

Last Saturday, the Washington Post published this op-ed piece, Pro Bono:  A Better Alternative by Joel Sheptow, a Stanford Law student who’s participating in a student project that provides pro bono service.  Based on his experience, Sheptow proposes that rather than refer pro bono matters to already over-worked large firm associates, the bar should encourage […]

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Can We Lawyers Please Stop Patting Ourselves on The Back?

August 7, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

What if you went to a client and boasted that in the past year, you spent 300 hours working on his case?  The client would probably respond, “So what, what kind of results did you get me?”  Yet apparently, the American Bar Association (whose efforts at blogging the ABA annual meeting are a little bit […]

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How Is this Pro Bono – Sounds Like Marketing To Me!

August 7, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

This Press Release (PR Newswire 8/4/05) proudly proclaims that “for the first time in the history of bioethics, a major global law firm, (that would be Milbank, Tweed) makes its legal resources available, pro bono publico, for the analysis of biotechnology and its impact on women.”  The release goes on to describe that Milbank will […]

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Federal Judges Honor Pro Bono – But Exclude Solos

April 19, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

According to this Press Release, the Chief Judges of the D.C. Circuit will be honoring eight Washington D.C. law firms for commitment to pro bono as evidenced by meeting a benchmark of 40 percent of lawyers performing 50 hours or more of pro bono service.  But sadly, though I’m a member of the DC Bar, […]

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The Law School Consortium

March 31, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Here’s a news item about the Law School Consortium.  It’s a program that recognizes the role that solo and small firm lawyers play in meeting the legal needs of the poor – and provides support for those who choose that route: [CUNY Program Director Fred] Rooney calls this Low Bono legal assistance. By joining forces, […]

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