A pro bono survey released today shows that more than 80 percent of U.S. attorneys believe that pro bono services are important, but that time remains the biggest challenge for many in providing free or low-cost legal services.
The new study, “Supporting Justice: A Report on the Pro Bono Work of America’s Lawyers,” is the fourth of a series — and first since 2013. The survey reached out to more than 50,000 attorneys in 24 states, seeking data in such areas as their interest, time spent and key influencing factors related to pro bono work to determine how the culture of volunteering manifests itself in the legal profession.
The results showed that 81 percent of attorneys believe that pro bono services are important and that most lawyers perform some type of pro bono work during their career. Just over half of the attorneys surveyed had provided some pro bono legal services in 2016, with a lack of time cited most often as the single most important challenge to pro bono participation. Just over half of the attorneys providing pro bono services did so on a limited scope basis, meaning their efforts were directed at specific tasks or services. Approximately 20 percent of surveyed attorneys reported that they had never provided pro bono legal services.