Pro Bono Mandate Misses the Mark

, New York Law Journal


Consider, most, if not all practitioners at one lawyer shops and small firms make every effort to work with clients who do not or cannot pay, including cutting down on their bill as a courtesy, or offering discounted retainers.

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What's being said

  • Jill Zuccardy

    Well said.


    Amen to everything you wrote brother. We should all be "appreciative" of how those in positions of "authority" who earn significant salaries and benefits, and don't have to chase business and then chase fees, are so generous with OUR money and time. It has been my experience (32 years in this profession) that those clients who don't pay, also don't appreciate the services performed pro bono. It is my fervent hope that those lawyers who aren't in the trenches every day trying to survive, will concentrate on their photo ops and political dinners, and leave the rest of us alone. Ain't gonna happen though. Maybe we should be required to disclose how many hours we were ripped off by clients that didn't pay, how many hours were wasted in criminal court when an ADA couldn't find a file, how many hours were spent going to court only to find that the "judge wasn't in that day" and nobody told anybody. Can we disclose that O great ones?

  • Queensatty

    I am glad someone said what everyone was thinking out loud. Once the retainer is gone and Judge's refuse to relieve us as counsel in some cases, is that when the pro bono service begins? Then I have completed my requirement tenfold.

  • stevelaudig

    Requiring a person to report what they have done [which they are not required by law to do] is compulsory speech and seems a violation of the First Amendment. I don't see anyway around it. Requiring work without pay is, of course, slavery.

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