The State of Law Firm Pro Bono

snapshot thumbnailPBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project recently released its annual Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Report, which examines the pro bono activities of firms that are Signatories to the Challenge. We are pleased to report that 2013 marked another strong year of pro bono performance. One hundred twenty-eight firms reported performing more than 4.3 million hours of pro bono service in 2013.

A few additional highlights include:

Hours Per Attorney Increase
Average pro bono hours per attorney increased in 2013 to 65 hours per attorney, from 62.2 hours per attorney in 2012.

Meeting Their Challenge Goal
Seventy-six firms met or exceeded their stated Challenge goal in 2013, an increase of 22.6 percent over the 62 firms that met or exceeded their Challenge goal in 2012.

Charitable Giving Numbers Increase
Although fewer firms reported their donations to legal services organizations in 2013, the total amount of charitable giving increased to $24,500,422 from $21,402,171 in 2012. This represents a 14.5 percent increase over 2012 giving, with an average firm donation of $471,162.

Check out the complete Challenge Report, including analysis of the data, detailed charts, and regional breakdowns!

We encourage firms to use their status as Signatories as a rallying cry and points of pride and distinction. Publicize your participation and your pledge of pro bono service inside and outside the firm, to your clients, and to the public interest groups with whom you work. Making a public commitment to the Challenge heightens awareness of pro bono at the firm, increases attorney participation, engages firm leadership, and sets a clear and shared goal for success.

For firms that have not yet joined because of a concern that they cannot meet the Challenge goals, we encourage you to enroll and use this proven tool to advance pro bono at your firm. There is no downside as we do not publish disaggregated statistics, nor do we in any way identify individual firms as having met or not met their Challenge goal. Rather, we work closely with Challenge firms to provide individual consultative services and support to help them improve their pro bono performance. If your firm of 50 or more lawyers would like to join the Challenge, please contact Law Firm Pro Bono Project Assistant Eva Richardson.

Now is the perfect time for your firm to join in our efforts to improve access to justice, as 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Challenge. Be part of this special year.