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Law Firms

In light of the increased demand for legal services for the poor, bar associations and private law firms across the country increasingly encourage private attorneys to fulfill their professional obligations by providing the legal representation needed to address the unmet needs of the poor.

In 2006, the ABA House of Delegates adopted Report No. 121A urging all law firms to participate in pro bono and public service activities. It also recommends effective strategies to provide lawyers with opportunities to do pro bono work and urges firms to adopt specific internal policies and procedures to support such work.

Despite the countless hours of pro bono service being contributed by lawyers in private firms, there are several obstacles which constrain them from doing more. A recent ABA study, Supporting Justice III: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America's Lawyers indicates that these obstacles include lack of time, lack of employer support, billable hour expectations, and the lack of specific expertise or skills in the required practice areas.

The ABA Center for Pro Bono provides technical assistance and planning advice to encourage law firms to develop pro bono policies and projects. The Center also produces a number of publications, maintains a national Knowledge Center of materials on a wide range of pro bono topics and operates the Peer Consulting Project. This web page is intended to support current and prospective lawyers seeking information about law firm pro bono.

Sample Law Firm Pro Bono Policies

Resources to Create a Law Firm Pro Bono Program

Resources for Evaluating Law Firm Pro Bono Programs

For more information on pro bono opportunities for law firms, please email the Center for Pro Bono at [email protected]


Updated March 5, 2020

Featured Videos

These law firm videos highlight the value of pro bono work.