As attorneys in private practice, we do not always have the luxury of choosing the case or transaction that lands on our desk. Our work, at times, may leave us looking for new outlets and new opportunities to oil up a rusty skill set or step outside of our practice area. These are just a few of the many reasons to incorporate pro bono into our practices. Apart from the ethical obligation we all share to dedicate a portion of our time to assist those with limited access to the justice system, pro bono work provides a rare opportunity to select the matters we work on and the clients we work for. Several of our lawyers, myself included, focus our effots on matters entirely outside of our day-to-day practice area – in my case (and with several of our colleagues) representing kids in neglect and abuse cases. This approach to pro bono typically requires some additional training, which our partner organizations provide on a periodic basis to make sure that all their volunteers are confidentand qualifiedto handle their matters. Other Robinson+Cole attorneys bring their unique skill set to a not-for-profitorganization or client that otherwise would not be able to affod legal services.
Regardless of how you choose to spend your pro bono time, there is no shortage of opportunities. For attorneys interested in stretching outside of their practice areas, our primary, but certainly not exclusive, pro bono partner organizations provide services in the areas of domestic violence, immigrant children’s legal status, veterans’ housing and benefit, and children in neglect and abuse cases. For attorneys looking to apply their expertise to the underserved, the Pro Bono Partnership provides business lawyers with opportunities to work with nonprofits that hae a social justice mission. Litigators often volunteer through court-sponsored programs. And the Pro Bono Committee always welcomes new pro bono clients and matters brought to us directly by our Robinson+Cole family. The most rewarding work we do is often for clients and causes we feel passionate about.
It’s an exciting time to work at Robinson+Cole, where positive change is afoot. We look forward to seeing each other in person as we return to our offices in the weeks and months ahead. We’ve just been joined by a new class of summer associates, to be followed in a few short months by a new group of firstyear lawyers. All under the guidance of a new Managing Partner! This is the perfect environment to energize and broaden our individual practices. By incorporating pro bono work, we enrich our professional lives as well as the individuals and businesses we support.
Peter R. Knight
Partner, Chair Pro Bono Committee