ABA Study Finds Nearly Three-Fourths Of America's Lawyers Do Pro Bono Work

Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 01:00

Pro bono work by America's lawyers is on the increase, with nearly three-fourths of lawyers providing free legal services to disadvantaged individuals or to the organizations that serve them. That's one of the significant findings of a new study done by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

The study, Supporting Justice II: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America's Lawyers, shows that lawyers do pro bono work at nearly three times the rate that members of the general population do volunteer work. The ABA study done in 2008 shows that 73 percent of lawyers do pro bono work compared to 26.2 percent of the general population that does volunteer work.

According to the study, lawyers provide pro bono service because they are aware of the needs of people or organizations, the personal satisfaction of giving back and the belief that lawyers should give back to their communities.

The study surveyed lawyers as a representative sampling of the legal profession as a whole with 83 percent of respondents coming from private practice, 9 percent who are corporate counsel and 8 percent who are government lawyers.