On the up

Our survey results suggest that more partners are participating in their firms’ pro bono programmes. While the increase may be small, the greater involvement of senior lawyers is nonetheless encouraging given the impact it has on a law firm’s overall output

This year’s survey produced some welcome news: the proportion of law firms saying that more than half their partners did 20 hours or more of pro bono a year has doubled since the previous survey, to 14%. While the percentage is still low, the growth reverses the steady decline seen in partner participation between 2011 and 2015, which had caused concern among those that count on partners to set an example to younger lawyers. The 20-hours target is based on guidelines provided in the Pro Bono Declaration of the Americas, which the Vance Center created with others in 2008. By signing the declaration, firms commit to building the infrastructure to allow their lawyers to do 20 hours of pro bono a year. Just over half this year’s respondents are signatories.



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