Pro bono work is an important part of any attorney’s practice, whether you work at a large commercial law firm, a smaller private practice, or a non-profit organization. In any of these environments, pro bono practice presents unique challenges and issues that attorneys may not face elsewhere. For example, attorneys taking on a “direct services” pro bono case may find themselves needing to become quickly familiar with a specialized practice area or a specialized court in which they normally do not appear.
In impact litigation, attorneys may need to consider conflicts between an individual client’s interests and the greater public good that a case attempts to serve. In cases by smaller firms, an attorney may need to consider the line between pro bono and “low bono” services. And, in any pro bono matter, there may be unique challenges with record-keeping and engagement matters, such as maintaining consistent contact when the client is not being billed for your work.
Legal sources like case law and ethical rules provide useful guidance to attorneys facing these challenges. The experiences of attorneys who have a depth of knowledge about this work are also important to attorneys engaging in a new type of pro bono work for the first time – as well as for those who are more experienced but may have access to the same resources or set of experiences.
This course, moderated by Jenner & Block Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Michael W. Ross – and featuring speakers from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, Brooklyn Defender Services, and the law firm Mandel Bhandari LLP – explores practice issues in pro bono matters from a variety of angles and offers practical, best practices advice on managing a pro bono matter.
This course originally appeared as a part of our February 2017 Bridge the Gap Event.