6 Reasons You Should Commit to Taking on Pro Bono Cases
The term “pro bono public” is a Latin phrase meaning “for the public good.” Those who’ve recently entered the field of law may have dismissed pro bono work as something cut out for lawyers who’ve got a good nest egg, need the experience, or have a special heart. While these reasons can be part of why any attorney offers his or her services for free or at a reduced rate, there are plenty of other reasons why one should commit to taking on pro bono cases.
In some countries, such as Korea, attorneys are required to spend a certain number of hours on pro bono work each year. Participating in this type of service positively impacts more people than one might realize, including the lawyer involved.
Read on to learn why taking on pro bono cases is something to which every attorney should commit.
Pro Bono Cases: Why Should You Get Involved?
- Participate in Community Service. Giving back to the surrounding community causes a ripple effect that impacts many people. Selfless giving of one’s time is an enriching experience that benefits the client as well as the attorney.
- Gain a Different Kind of Experience. The type of work a lawyer does in a pro bono case is likely to be very different from other type of work that’s usually done. As a result, a different kind of experience is gained, and it can add value to the lawyer’s resume.
- Hone Negotiating Skills. Learning how far one can push the envelope and win the case for a client is an experience that will help the attorney sharpen his or her negotiating skills. These skills are often put to the test during pro bono cases, so the more experience gained, the better the lawyer can serve all clients.
- Build Experience and Expertise. Those new to the legal field can gain vital courtroom experience while working on pro bono cases. Additionally, this type of work is an excellent way to build experience after moving to a new area. Pro bono work provides a great service, while also giving the attorney useful experience to add to his or her resume.
- Participate in Something Meaningful. Taking part in a pro bono case serves as a special reminder of how an attorney can have a positive, lasting impact on the life of another human being. Since many of these types of cases provide lawyers with up-close and personal views of their clients’ lives, they can serve as a reminder of what the real world is like.
- Small Investment, Big Return. Pro bono cases often require little time on the part of the lawyer, but the benefits reaped are much bigger.
What’s Your Reason?
These are just a few of the many reasons why every lawyer should spend some time working on pro bono cases. Whether they’ve just passed the bar exam or have recently entered retirement, taking on pro bono cases is an excellent way for attorneys to use their education, experience, and position to give back to those around them. Most lawyers find that in the process of giving back, they end up getting just as much out of pro bono work as they give. Sometimes, even more.
Mary Ylisela is an entrepreneur, writer, and motivational business coach. She believes that community service plays an important role in the success of every person’s career, whether they’re an entrepreneur like Steve Wynn or an attorney doing pro bono work.