There are many preconceptions about lawyers in the media. What is typically imagined as a money-seeking industry is actually a great platform for helping the less fortunate. What many don’t realize is that the American Bar Association, in Module Rule 6.1, states that every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services free of charge to individuals unable to pay for a lawyer. This is called pro bono work.
It might seem unfair to some that some have to pay for legal services while others get these favors. However, this is a great public service that lawyers have the pleasure of doing. In fact, there are many benefits of providing pro bono work that many do not realize.
Serves the Community
The most notable part of providing pro bono services is the positive impact it has on the community. Simply put, some individuals do not have the funds available to hire a lawyer should a situation arise in which they need legal help. It is hard to predict whether or not a legal matter will emerge in one’s life, which means many individuals do not have an emergency fund set aside for such a thing.
Being able to serve others in this way is a great encouragement to all pro bono lawyers. Lawyers have an important platform that should be used for helping others. Pro bono work is a great way to use this platform.
You’ll Develop as a Lawyer
It’s natural to work hard when you are guaranteed a paycheck. However, working for free or for a minimal cost can expose a lawyer’s true work ethic. If you prove yourself to be just as dedicated and hardworking for a non-paying client as you are to those who pay you thousands, you will find yourself evolving into a better lawyer by the second.
Not only will this stretch you in your job skills, but it may also even open your eyes to new perspectives or cultural differences that can help you develop in your career. Gaining this experience will help you both professionally and personally.
Gives Your Firm a Good Reputation
Providing pro bono services increases the number of clients you take on, which increases your word-of-mouth marketing by default. Because of the selfless services your firm offers, others will be much more likely to give you and your associates positive reviews and refer you to other potential paying clients. Not only will you earn a good standing among past and future clients, but your firm will also be much more likely to be recognized by associations and earn awards for your services.