Why Offer Pro Bono Work?

Posted March 1st, 2023 by Urban Legal Recruitment

Team-building and effective recruitment—these are just two of the reasons law firms may offer pro bono work. The need for pro bono services is evident, and most lawyers who tackle social problems find joy in helping clients in need. This article will describe the benefits of offering pro bono legal services.

What does pro bono work entail?

While paid work certainly matters, many firms balance lucrative cases with fulfilling volunteer work. This is where pro bono legal services come in. These services refer to the work lawyers and firms provide on a volunteer basis. In other words, lawyers do not charge clients for pro bono work. Yet they still benefit in many ways.

We’ll discuss the advantages of pro bono work shortly. First, let’s talk about the origins of this key concept. The term pro bono comes from the Latin phrase pro bono public, which translates to “for the public good.” Pro bono work aims to help a person or community that wouldn’t otherwise have access to quality representation.

Pro bono legal assistance may cover issues involving:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Income and taxation
  • Consumer fraud
  • Elder or disability law
  • Environmental law

Now let’s discuss why firms might offer pro bono services.

The benefits of pro bono legal services

It can be difficult for firms to make time for pro bono work, but the returns are massive. Here are some of the rewards of offering legal services at no charge:


Looking to strengthen your firm culture? Pro bono work is an excellent way to foster team-building. When lawyers take on pro bono cases, they can work together toward a common goal. This cultivates trust and camaraderie, which will help your team excel in paid cases down the road.

Job satisfaction

By encouraging your team to find meaningful pro bono cases, you can boost lawyer morale and job satisfaction. Many firms find that pro bono services provide a sense of purpose. These positive feelings can carry over to paid cases, resulting in higher productivity and job satisfaction. 

Professional development

Often, pro bono cases let lawyers expand their skill set or practice in new areas of law. A corporate lawyer, for example, can take on an age discrimination case pro bono. Similarly, a litigator who has yet to enter a courtroom or write a contract can gain practical experience via pro bono work. 

Reputation management

Employers who want to boost their reputation should offer pro bono services. By volunteering on certain cases, law firms can send a message that they are committed to social justice. This can increase visibility and even lead to promising media coverage. You may even attract new paying clients.


Pro bono work lets lawyers work with new colleagues—in other departments or at other firms. This helps professionals build key relationships and share insight into how others approach their work. Essentially, it’s a learning opportunity for everyone involved. This brings us to our next point.


A good reputation can be a powerful recruitment tool. Many lawyers, for instance, are drawn to firms that show a commitment to social responsibility. By sending a message to potential employees about your firm’s values, you can attract top talent with relative ease.

Giving back

For most lawyers, pro bono work brings a sense of purpose. Taking on meaningful cases for free can serve as a reminder that the goal of practicing law is to help other people. It’s no wonder that so many law firms emphasize the power of giving back.

Ultimately, there are many reasons law firms may offer pro bono work in their community. Team-building, recruitment, and professional development are just the tip of the iceberg. By providing complimentary legal services to people in need, firms can make a real impact.

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