Legal Law

What every lawyer should know about pro bono work

Lawyers generally have a moral responsibility in representing clients and in choosing the methods by which the interests of their clients can best be preserved. Beyond this, there is an overriding moral premise that lawyers, who have benefited greatly from the gift of legal education and have been well equipped with useful skills, have an obligation to help the less fortunate in society.

This is the community foundation of legal ethics that requires a lawyer to be more than a court official or guardian of the law, but also to possess the virtue of good character. A character through which he personally influences and positively affects people. The moment a lawyer with integrity realizes how privileged it is to have been favorably placed in society, he is driven to do good. This is not to downplay the efforts each attorney made to become who they are, but without the good fortune of being in a community where a lifelong gift of knowledge and discernment can be imparted, those efforts might not have happened. given the expected results. So why shouldn’t we give back to that community that made it possible for us to be who we are today?

There is no doubt that attorneys have faced widespread disgrace over the years, as our profession and practice often make us look like the enemy. The image of lawyers is a subject of great debate and, in most cases, lawyers are subject to criticism, both fair and unfair. Reviews of the legal profession you read often quote Shakespeare’s line, “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” It is understandable that there is always a negative image of lawyers, since lawyers will continue to play a role in an adversarial system that produces winners and losers. The effect of this point of view, however, can be dissipated by our direct involvement in the community. This is not a defense for a complicated or exaggerated participation. It is simply a call to help those less fortunate than us, with the sincerest wish. Until our focus is on how we can capitalize on those abilities, skills, and motivations that we possess to do good, we cannot expect great adulation from the public.

Therefore, to generate good, lawyers must get involved in the business of the underprivileged. We have a responsibility to provide legal services to those who cannot pay. Attorneys who are already involved in pro bono legal services can testify that helping this group of people can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of any attorney. The rewards range from the gratitude of the person who has just emerged from a difficult situation to the fact that you form an established and rewarding relationship when the person’s story changes for the better.

For young attorneys who do not always have the opportunity to handle things on their own as a result of the complexity of the law, pro bono work is beneficial. It not only feels good and gives a sense of satisfaction, but it also provides experience and creates an avenue to exercise and develop skills and techniques that would later be used on larger matters. As such, pro bono work confers an immediate benefit to young attorneys in both satisfaction and experience.

For more experienced attorneys, there may come a time in their legal career when they begin to feel dissatisfied, uninspired, and bored. When they have boarded and conquered the legal world and amassed a great fortune for themselves. The question “and then what?” begins to resonate in their minds. This is the moment when they wonder if what they have been doing was really what they wanted to do. It takes much more to feel satisfaction and personal pride than material enrichment. Marshall Jones, in his memoir, ‘A Lawyer’s Mid-Career Memoir’ acknowledged that despite having been involved in literally hundreds of business transactions and lawsuits, most of which, thankfully, involved paying a legal fee, his recollections The most endearing involved matters in which he won without charge. Her account of how she argued the case of Sarah Hoffman, a brave girl who was born without unusable arms and lower limbs, to the Caddo Parish School Board that federal law required the School Board to provide disabled access to children with disabilities physics is compelling and inspiring. .

Success in the legal profession should be understood less related to the financial rewards of the practice and more related to established relationships and lives that feel the touch of humanity through us. If your life in the legal profession does not have a great purpose, it will not bring you great joy. I implore everyone who can make a difference to make that decision today!

Bukola Helen Olusolade


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