“Mandatory Pro Bono: Get Ahead by Giving Back”

From the New York Law Journal, this abstract:

By Grant S. Palmer and Norman S. Heller, New York Law Journal

Grant S. Palmer and Norman S. Heller of Blank Rome write: Mandatory pro bono programs are the wave of the future. More firms are likely to revise their policies to make clear that pro bono work is a requirement for every attorney—no exceptions.

Very good. Now, if only Messrs Palmer and Heller can develop a policy for getting  information about a law firm’s pro bono program out to the people who need it, i.e., indigent potential clients or clients who may not be indigent but can’t come up with retainer money, that will be very, very good.

A related incident: I once talked to a partner in a big, big white shoe law firm about whether his firm did pro bono work. He told me — this is pretty funny actually — that his firm had a pro bono program and he would send me the (glossy) brochure about it but…I couldn’t mention it to anyone. It was a deep, deep secret.

So how does his law firm find pro bono clients? And how do pro bono clients find the law firm?

Who knows? He didn’t.

Note: In case you didn’t know, “pro bono” is the short form of “pro bono publico,” i.e., “for the public good.” But the public doesn’t know there’s all this goodness out there, just waiting for them to locate it and lap it up. This is semi-nuts.

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