Pro-Bono work in decline at US law firms

July 4, 2011 The American Lawyer magazine has released statistics showing that pro-bono output declined at the top 100 US firms in the past year, during which those same firms enjoyed solid profitability growth overall. The magazine reports a 10.8% decline in the average number of hours lawyers at the 100 highest-grossing law firms spent on pro bono work.

AmLaw editor Robin Sparkman provided an explanation for the plummeting charity work: “The fact is that associates do the heavy pro bono lifting at big firms, and those [associates] who survived the recession layoffs found themselves loaded up with paid work in last year’s turnaround.”


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