What Is Pro Bono, And Why Every Lawyer Have to Do it?


PRO BONO activity entails collaborating with external organizations to assist in providing legal services, research, and training. This could be accomplished through charitable organizations, schools, or law centers. It could be working in a law clinic, conducting legal research, or presenting to kids on a legal topic. You should not mistake Pro bono work with experience working in a law firm. The two may overlap in some instances.

Thus, pro bono encompasses a broad range of voluntary activities with a legal focus. There are numerous additional chances for Career and Skills Development. This may include reading to children in local schools or volunteering at a local hospital.

Why should I bother?

The primary motive for performing pro bono work is to provide a service to the community that is not available. You possess legal and other expertise in short supply and high demand. The cost of expert legal services is prohibitively expensive for most people. The public funding system is insufficient. Legal charities are also constantly needing assistance from persons with legal knowledge. To give an excellent service, you must show dedication to your pro bono work. This means that you should get involved if you are prepared to make that commitment.

Pro bono work of the highest caliber will undoubtedly aid in your development as a lawyer and person. It may provide you with the necessary experience dealing with real-world clients, interviewing, conducting research, and drafting. It may open your eyes to new ideas on social and other cultural issues unfamiliar to you. This will benefit you both professionally and personally.

Pro bono experience relevant to your preferred professional path may assist you in achieving your goals. Thus, students interested in careers in criminal law may find that dealing with juvenile offenders is appealing to prospective employers. However, high-quality pro bono work may reflect a dedication to justice. It also shows employers’ diligence, flexibility, teamwork, open-mindedness, organization, and other desirable characteristics and values.

Volunteering or pro bono work?

It makes sense for students interested in pursuing a career in law to engage in pro bono work. This best utilizes their abilities and helps them develop as lawyers. The opportunities are not limitless. Finding suitable solutions that fit studies, jobs, and other responsibilities can be challenging. Additionally, some students are uninterested in pursuing a legal career. It is critical to consider volunteering in a broader context for all of these reasons. This can benefit the community and students as pro bono labor. There are much more general volunteer opportunities than pro bono opportunities. It is unquestionably preferable to volunteer than to give up looking for a good pro bono opportunity.

What form of pro bono work is available?

Students should consider a variety of variables when selecting pro bono employment. Specific activities would be more appropriate for sure students than others. The following are the factors to consider:

A word of advice to undergraduates

There are numerous initiatives in which you can get involved, and these opportunities expand as your degree progresses. You may like to begin with a presentation in your first or second year and progress to leading Debate Mate seminars. You can participate in advocacy with the Free Representation Unit in your last year. For additional guidance, please read the remainder of these remarks. Several projects are for postgraduates or senior undergraduates due to the providers’ preference for more experienced students.


You must devote sufficient time to a project and be dependable. If you’re worried about a conflict with your studies or paid work, choose a project that meets your needs.

Depending on the project, you may be required to volunteer one day each week at a local charity. This necessitates a consistent commitment. Pro bono activities, such as campaigning for the Free Representation Unit, maybe more uncommon. Other jobs may need you to research on your own time on weekends or evenings. This is also more adaptable.

Appropriate and level

You should choose pro bono work that is a good fit for your abilities, skills, and objectives. Students with less experience may prefer to begin with administrative duties, such as assisting a lawyer at a law clinic. Those interested in developing their advocacy skills may start with presentations in schools. Students interested in practicing advocacy can then progress to giving free advocacy. Some engage in research-based activities that help them improve their writing and case-research skills.

Interests and qualifications

It’s great to expand on prior experience and interests. As a result, you may be interested in the environment, human rights, children’s rights, refugees, or criminal justice. The most critical factor is demonstrating a high level of commitment to the project you intend to participate in. Suppose you have already volunteered with a charity and would like to do so again. That is perfect if their work includes a legal component, all the better. You might be able to create such a project on your own. While it is worthwhile to seek out pro bono work related to your professional goals, it is not required.

Opportunities available to City Law School students

Many students’ challenge is securing opportunities to perform pro bono work. Numerous organizations do not publicize this type of work. Other, more recognizable charities, such as Amnesty International, have a high demand for their internship programs. These frequently need three to six months of full-time devotion and are incompatible with full-time students. Often, small organizations may not respond to unsolicited letters submitted by students.

Students should research organizations in their neighborhoods and approach them personally. Additionally, they should discuss launching projects with charities they have already collaborated with. We may be able to explore new opportunities with several local charities.