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Mandatory Pro Bono Requirements: Making Lawyers Complicit in Bar PR Scams

On the surface, mandatory pro bono reporting requirements, such as that recently adopted in Illinois, seem innocuous enough.  After all, what could be controversial about simply asking lawyers to report to the bar annually how much pro bono they've done?   Yet, I oppose these requirements, vehemently, as I describe in this post today at My Shingle.  As I describe, I resent the bars collecting information on pro bono that I perform in the privacy of my law firm and then using my pro bono hours, along with those of my colleagues, to show what great guys and gals we lawyers are.  (You've seen the adoring headlines: "Oregon Lawyers Provide 86,000 Hours of Pro Bono in 2005.)   The fact is, lawyers have a long way to go to ensuring availability of affordable legal services for lower- and even middle-income individuals.   I'd rather not boast about my pro bono work until the bar is closer to making access to law a reality.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on June 21, 2006 at 05:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (37)


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