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American Bar Association

Argument in Favor and Against Pro Bono Reporting

ABA Model Rule 6.1 Table of State Ethics Rules Standards for Pro Bono Programs Emeritus Attorney Rules Pro Bono Reporting CLE Credit for Doing Pro Bono

Resources on Reporting Policies
State-by-State Guide for Bar Leaders and Others Arguments in Favor and Against

Arguments For and Against Pro Bono Reporting

In Favor of Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting

  • Simple mechanism for attempting to increase delivery of legal services to poor (e.g. actual increase in Florida) and level of service to community
  • Effective mechanism for collecting reliable, accurate, consistent data to evaluate delivery of pro bono legal services to the poor
  • Provides data essential for design of successful programs
  • Can increase monetary contributions
  • Creates positive peer pressure
  • Promotes increased access to justice/courts
  • Allows judiciary opportunity to safeguard constitution and individuals= rights to challenge government conduct
  • Promotes involvement in pro bono
  • Promises high rates of reporting
  • Data can send message to non-legal community about their responsibility to fund legal services for poor
  • Enables recognition of contributing lawyers
  • Can be inexpensive
  • Facilitates engendering confidence in the bar
  • Can make demographics collectible
  • Data can be used to enhance image of lawyers
  • Encourages fulfillment of professional responsibility
  • Can raise consciousness about professional responsibility
  • Can raise awareness of need for free or reduced fee legal services
  • Can raise awareness of opportunities for pro bono involvement
  • Can obviate mandatory pro bono service controversy

In Favor of Voluntary Pro Bono Reporting

  • Not a burden on attorneys because optional
  • No threat to constitutional rights
  • No need to focus energies on discipline
  • Easy to implement
  • Can collect data
  • Data can send message to non-legal community about their responsibility to fund legal services for poor
  • Enables recognition of contributing lawyers
  • Can be inexpensive
  • Facilitates engendering confidence in the bar
  • Can make demographics collectible
  • Data can be used to enhance image of lawyers
  • Can raise consciousness about professional responsibility
  • Can raise awareness of need for free or reduced fee legal services
  • Can raise awareness of opportunities for pro bono involvement
  • Can increase monetary contributions

Updated: 7/28/2006

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