Making a Difference with Pro Bono Work
Like many of you, I am passionate about pro bono work and do my best to assist those in need. I believe that pro bono service is a noble and necessary calling for all lawyers, so I urge you to participate in pro bono week. The ABA launched this nationwide initiative because of the increasing need for pro bono services during harsh economic times and there has been an unprecedented response from attorneys to meet the demand. This is a time when pro bono is encouraged and celebrated, and we are reminded that we became attorneys because of our passion for justice and desire to advocate for others. Pro bono gives us an opportunity to use our talents for the public good and make an impact. It exposes us to new practice areas and allows us to hone our legal skills, expand our professional network, serve our communities, and feel that we have made a valuable contribution to someone’s life.
If pro bono work is so important and rewarding, why is it still a struggle to find enough volunteer attorneys? Most of us feel we do not have the time or the expertise to commit to a pro bono matter, but there are many ways to get involved, and you will receive training and mentorship in the process. Pro bono work takes planning and partnership, but it is doable and very gratifying. Whether you choose to provide free legal advice, participate in a legal clinic, directly represent indigent clients, or serve as co-counsel on a pro bono case, you will benefit tremendously from the experience, expand your professional network, and will make a difference that counts. I encourage you this upcoming pro bono week to get involved. Learn about local non-profit legal organizations where you can help, attend CLE presentations or workshops on pro bono, and meet other volunteer attorneys and talk to them about their experiences. I started my legal career handling pro bono cases and 14 years later, I continue to volunteer and am always happy to recruit and mentor pro bono attorneys. Through pro bono, I have met amazing legal professionals and served incredible clients. It has been a humbling, inspiring, and memorable experience. As the Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor once said, “We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.”
Please take a stand on this and join me and my colleagues at Fragomen to make a difference.
Learn more about Teodora Purcell.