The Need for Pro Bono Programs at Law Firms

Lisa Dewey

Lisa Dewey

Over on Thomson Reuters’s Legal Solutions blog, an interview with Lisa Dewey, a Partner and Pro Bono Counsel at DLA Piper. Lisa chats about the need for pro bono programs at law firms and DLA’s pro bono strategy.

Why should law firms (of all sizes) implement a pro bono program?

The obvious answer is that it’s the right thing to do, and it’s our ethical obligation as lawyers. As such, law firms should do everything they can to support pro bono work and, when possible, to create an infrastructure that supports those efforts and the projects that have the most local impact.

Our dedicated pro bono program ensures lawyers at our firm get the support and training they need and that we focus on projects  where needs are greatest and where our lawyers can have the most impact. Dedicated staff members serve as liaisons to local communities to learn where the gaps and needs are – which is how we create many of our signature projects.

Over the years, there have been great examples of the efforts stemming from those projects, but I’ll share two. In Washington, D.C., our first organized signature project was working with the Children’s Law Center, which had a need for attorneys to work on adoption cases. We helped people who needed assistance going through the adoption process who were dealing with a lot of red tape and delays in the court system.

Another example ties into family law and housing cases, a huge issue nationally. Specifically in the San Francisco area, we’ve worked for years on domestic violence cases, particularly with immigrant women who are trying to find safety and leave their abusers.

Read the rest of the interview, here.

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