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Highlights from 2016 Law Firm Pro Bono Roundtable

Web postOver 20 law firm pro bono leaders sat down at Sidley Austin on Tuesday, January 26th for the 2016 Law Firm Pro Bono Roundtable to discuss pro bono opportunities, challenges, best practices and strategies for successful pro bono programs.

This year, one theme that emerged from our discussion was casting a wide net and creatively exploring all available resources when building a pro bono program. Some highlights of the discussion were:

  • Develop pro bono policies and customize practices that engage all possible volunteers, including partners, associates, contract and hourly attorneys, paralegals, support staff, operations staff and retired partners.
  • Be creative about ways to visibly denote pro bono participation: hold internal firm competitions, advertise notable pro bono victories firm-wide, and indicate pro bono participation on individuals’ office nameplates.
  • Create good will and build advocates internally and externally: respond to client-driven pro bono requests, encourage nonprofit board service, and share firm resources with pro bono partners, such as PLI subscriptions and CLE trainings.
  • Identify all relevant firm budgets that might help support specific pro bono efforts, but  be vigilant about what activities get classified as charitable.

Interested in joining this discussion? PILI holds this and other Pro Bono Roundtable events every year. Learn more about our Pro Bono Roundtables and Forums »

You can also join us for our Illinois Forum on Pro Bono in Chicago later this year. More details are coming soon.

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