When a lawyer provides legal services for free, it’s called pro bono work. Doing so is a long-standing tradition within the profession. 

No law says attorneys must waive their fees in exchange for their legal services, but it is widely recognized that doing so is not just the morally right thing to do – it’s good for business too.

The question is: Should an attorney go a step further and market his or her pro bono work?

The answer is yes, for a variety of reasons.

Most lawyers take on pro bono jobs because they genuinely want to help others and care about social issues, community initiatives, specific causes, and more. Some fear that advertising or promoting one’s pro bono work takes a bit of the luster away from what should be viewed as a selfless act, but the reality is that promotion of good outcomes in pro bono cases is likely to result in more lawyers taking on pro bono cases, which is a good thing.  Where a law firm wins a big case which, for example, would simply not have been possible had it not taken the case on, it is a missed opportunity not to showcase that achievement.  It’s a reputation enhancer for both the individual lawyers who were involved and the law firm. 

There are various ways of marketing pro bono efforts and outcomes effectively.  Many law firms issue press releases, have dedicated pages on their websites and use social media platforms to great effect in this regard. 

In short, all manner of media marketing tools can be deployed to promote pro bono work. It’s superb publicity for a law firm and raises your profile in the professional community as well as among the public.