Corporate Pro Bono: Unique Opportunities for Lawyers to Utilize Transactional Skills to Help their Community

Today’s National Celebration of Pro Bono guest blogger is Robin Jacobs, Esq. Ms. Jacobs serves as the Staff Attorney for Pro Bono Programs at the Community Law Center.

Many attorneys who work in transactional law wonder, are there any ways I use my legal skills as a volunteer? The answer is there are lots of ways!

Nonprofits all around Maryland need your expertise in reviewing or drafting contracts, forming employment policies, drafting bylaws, applying for tax-exempt status, and negotiating agreements. These small nonprofit organizations and community groups can not afford corporate counsel – some struggle to survive these tough times – yet they are often the groups that need legal advice the most.

Nonprofit pro bono opportunities allow attorneys to interact and serve some wonderful volunteers in their community, while providing attorneys with a chance to learn new areas or apply corporate knowledge in a new setting. Moreover, these cases also allow attorneys to schedule pro bono hours around their practice. Community groups often meet in the evenings, and attorneys can work on their own time reviewing and drafting documents in many cases.

For young attorneys looking to gain experience in transactional law, these cases are a perfect opportunity to merge learning a new area and honing legal skills with the satisfaction of helping out a client. For older attorneys, corporate pro bono provides an opportunity to share expertise with a community-based organization. At the end of a case, attorneys will find they are more likely to get a hug in the boardroom than a handshake.

This week, legal services organizations across the country celebrate pro bono services. Countless volunteer attorneys serve as counsel to those who can not afford attorneys, bridging the gap between low-income clients and the justice system. In addition to individuals who lack access to legal services, there are many organizations that need pro bono assistance. This year, accept the challenge to provide pro bono assistance to low-income corporate clients as well.

Community Law Center’s Pro Bono Program matches volunteer lawyers with community associations and nonprofit organizations throughout Maryland. Attorneys interested in volunteering with the Pro Bono Program may register here or contact Robin Jacobs at 410.366.0922 ext. 15 to find out more.

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