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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Friday, January 05, 2007

Pro bono in 2007

Well, since we know the IL Supremes are inching closer and closer to requiring us to fulfill "X" numbers of pro bono hours, I took on a pro bono client yesterday (Did you report your hours on your ARDC renewal?). Admittedly I'm required to fulfill a pro bono obligation I've made to the Alliance Defense Fund as well.

But shouldn't you nearly always have a pro bono case going too? Why?

1. Learn a practice area that can become a "billable" practice area. My experience has been that many of the legal service providers have very good mentor networks to access and I think the mentors are a bit more willing help on pro bono matters.

2. They produce fee-generating cases. This could be true at many levels...everyone has a network of people they know, right? I think some discernment is wise. Importantly, I've found many of the pro bono providers for seniors are particularly effective. Because, although a typical retiree many have a fairly low income, they're often asset rich and thus may have additional paid legal needs and/or be more apt to have family/friends for whom private counsel is appropriate.

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