PBI’s Law Firm Pro Bono Project recently released its annual Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Report. One hundred thirty-three Challenge Signatories reported performing more than 4.2 million hours of pro bono service in 2014. A few additional highlights include:
The percentage of partners participating in pro bono increased to 65 percent from 63 percent in 2013, while the percentage of associates participating in pro bono essentially held steady at 81 percent. The cumulative participation rate increased slightly, with 73 percent of attorneys participating in pro bono in 2014.
- Pro Bono for Those of Limited Means
After making a concerted effort over the past year to improve reporting of the hours and percentage of total pro bono time committed to persons of limited means and the organizations that serve them, 121 Signatories reported this data in 2014, up significantly from 80 firms in 2013. The total number of these hours increased from 2.0 million hours in 2013 to 2.9 million hours in 2014. Approximately 69 percent of all tracked or estimated pro bono time was devoted to those of limited means and the organizations serving them in 2014. Collectively, Signatories are meeting their Challenge commitment to devote a “majority” of their pro bono time to people of limited means.
Check out the complete Challenge Report, including analysis of the data, detailed graphs, and more!
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 clear and shared goals 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 There is no downside as we do not publish disaggregated statistics, nor do we in any way identify individual firms as having met or not met their Challenge goal.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 Signatories 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.
We’re excited to welcome two new Challenge Signatories: BuckleySandler*† and Duane Morris*†. Now is the perfect time for your firm to follow their lead and join our efforts to improve access to justice, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Challenge.
* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project