“Many plaintiffs’ firms do not work pro bono. There is already a public-interest element in the practice, and so they do not feel it is necessary.” — Glenn Danas, Clarkson Partner
In contrast to the many plaintiffs’ firms that do not integrate free legal services into their model, Clarkson is honored to represent underserved clients through our new Pro Bono Initiative. As a firm, we are committed to providing legal services to those unable to pay.
At a kick-off meeting last week, our attorneys with significant experience in offering free legal services discussed their work. They reflected on some of their most meaningful cases: achieving compassionate release for a prisoner who deserved to have her incarceration reconsidered; helping a war interpreter find asylum after being wrongfully accused as a U.S. terrorist.
A major takeaway from the discussion is that working pro bono is an effective way to gain practical, on-the-ground experience alongside law school and early-stage legal careers. But more than that, these opportunities are so purposeful and interesting that they often do not feel like “work.” Here are the key benefits of working pro bono, according to our attorneys:
1. Exposure. Offering legal services free-of-charge exposes attorneys to a broad variety of issues, including statutes and areas of law that they never would have come across had they not taken the unique opportunity to help people in tricky legal situations or who cannot afford an attorney.
2. Experience. Our attorneys strongly believe they are more informed and better at their job because of the experience of working pro bono.
3. Tradition. Expanding your legal services to include working pro bono means being part of something bigger than you; it means being part of a community and continuing a long and important tradition.
4. Direction. Working pro bono was often a life- or career-changing experience that directed our attorneys to where they are now.