What phone number do you give to your clients when providing pro bono assistance? And better yet, what email address? Providing pro bono clients effective representation certainly requires accessible and practical levels of communication, which raises the question: Do you use your work or personal contact information?
The following graphs from CPBO’s 2012 Benchmarking Survey Report show the percentage of respondent legal departments that permit volunteers to use company letterhead, email accounts, and phone numbers when communicating with pro bono clients:
When volunteers are not permitted to use company letterhead, email accounts, or phone numbers, 45% of the time the company provides an alternative method, often generic letterhead and P.O. boxes.
Regardless of the method used to communicate with your pro bono client, you still have to identify yourself. The 2012 Benchmarking Survey found that 61% of responding legal departments require their attorneys to undertake pro bono representations as an individual, while the remaining 39% permit attorneys to undertake pro bono representations as a representative of the company.
This is the first in a series of blogs featuring information gathered in the 2012 Benchmarking Survey, an expanded and updated version of the 2010 Benchmarking Survey. While the 2012 Benchmarking Survey Report has yet to be publicly released, you can check out The PBEye regularly for highlights. For information about in-house pro bono, including the 2012 Benchmarking Survey, contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.