Social Impact


PBI spearheads initiatives aimed at bolstering pro bono legal services and reducing barriers to access to justice. Through cutting-edge programming, PBI cultivates innovative strategies that amplify the impact of pro bono programs and drive systemic change that promotes greater equity and fairness in the legal system.

PBI 2024 AI + Pro Bono Pre-Conference

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been championed for its potential to enhance pro bono legal services and help close the large gap between available legal aid and the need for services in the community.

On March 6, 2024, PBI hosted the AI + Pro Bono Pre-Conference, which convened pro bono and access to justice leaders from law firms, in-house legal departments, and public interest organizations to examine the use of AI in legal practice and determine opportunities to support, advance, and enhance pro bono and access to justice.

The Pre-Conference featured a day of programming that addressed the rise of generative AI; how it is and can be used by law firms, legal departments, and public interest organizations to increase efficiencies in both the administration of pro bono programs and the delivery of pro bono legal services; and the ethics and responsible use of AI.

Themes that were identified at the 2024 Pre-Conference included:

  • The development and use of AI is moving quickly. Now is the time to investigate and determine how AI may be beneficial to your organization.
  • While AI is not the solution to access to justice, nor should it be used as a substitute for meaningful legal advice, it brings great efficiency and can help expand access to legal information and assistance.

To access programming on AI, pro bono, and access to justice, visit:

2023 Social Impact Pre-Conference

Hosted on February 22, 2023, the PBI Social Impact Pre-Conference advanced the conversation started at PBI’s 2022 Social Impact Summit, focusing specifically on the unique aspects of ESG and pro bono practice at law firms, whose primary purposes embrace the delivery of quality legal services.

The Pre-Conference convened pro bono, ESG, and other law firm leaders to examine the development of ESG in law firms in the U.S. and around the globe and determine strategies to support, advance, and enhance law firm pro bono, access to justice, and social impact goals.

Themes that were identified at the 2023 Pre-Conference included:

  • ESG is neither the flavor of the month nor a rebranding of Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Key drivers of ESG include profits per partner or shareholders, but other stakeholders – clients and employees – also hold sway.
  • ESG can provide opportunities to leverage your firm’s impact beyond the work of its lawyers.
  • ESG provides an opportunity to call out existing deficiencies in the legal system and push for change.

PBI 2022 Social Impact Summit

Hosted September 29–30, the PBI Social Impact Summit convened senior management and other leaders from law firms, companies, and other key stakeholders to analyze the “S” in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards and to determine how access to justice and pro bono can play a critical role in amplifying an organization’s commitment to measurable social impact.

Themes that were identified at the 2022 Summit included:

  • Access to justice and pro bono legal services should play a critical role in the “S” in ESG.
  • The legal profession’s focus on pro bono as its primary lever of action limits progress toward access to justice.
  • Law firms and companies should do more and different things to have more of an impact on access to justice.
  • Law firms and companies are in the early stages of understanding and advancing the “S” in ESG.
  • Currently, ESG and pro bono operate in separate silos but they don’t have to.

For more information about PBI’s Social Impact programming, contact PBI staff.