November 15, 2015

Our Mini-Theme: Pro Bono for Business Lawyers

Kathleen S. McLeroy

Welcome to the Pro Bono Committee’s mini-theme issue of Business Law Today. In this edition of Business Law Today, you will find articles demonstrating how business lawyers can make a difference through pro bono work. The Business Law Section of the ABA has a strong commitment to pro bono, which is demonstrated not only by its active Pro Bono Committee but also by the pro bono work performed by its various committees and individual members. And, the articles in this issue demonstrate something our Section recognized long ago – pro bono is not just for litigators. To the contrary, nonprofits who serve underrepresented segments of our society have the same legal needs as our corporate clients. As these articles demonstrate, business lawyers can and do use their corporate skills to help solve the problems and advance the causes of these important nonprofit organizations.

Model Rule 6.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct states that lawyers should aspire to render – without fee – at least 50 hours of pro bono legal services per year, with an emphasis that these services be provided to people of limited means or nonprofit organizations that serve the poor. The attached articles are just a few examples of how business lawyers can fulfill the aspirational goal set out in Model Rule 6.1. I hope these stories inspire you to seek out opportunities to use the special skills and knowledge that you obtained as a legal practitioner to fulfill the aspirational goal set out in Model Rule 6.1. If you do, you will likely find it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of your legal career.

Additional Resources

For other materials on this topic, please refer to the following. 

Program Materials (Co-presented by the Pro Bono Committee)

Disaster and Emergency Planning for the Nonprofit Organization: Preparing for and Responding to the Zombie Apocalypse (PDF) (Audio)
Business Law Section 2015 Annual Meeting

The Basics of Representing Unaccompanied Children in Immigration (PDF) (Audio)
Business Law Section 2014 Spring Meeting

Kathleen S. McLeroy

Kathleen S. McLeroy
Former Chair, Pro Bono Committee