As lawyers, one of the best ways to give back is through pro bono work. And in taking on meaningful pro bono projects, you may find that you are doing some of the most significant work of your life.
(My friend Bill Colby comes to mind. Early in his career, he took on a pro bono case, Cruzan v. Missouri Dep't of Health, that spanned the course of his 20 years at his law firm, went up to the Supreme Court, and remains one of the seminal death and dying case in this country.)
As a younger lawyer, doing pro bono work provides you with an excellent opportunity to expand the breadth of your legal practice, sharpen your skills, and hone your craft. Seeking out pro bono projects will also reflect that you are committed to your own development as a lawyer, committed to serving others, and committed to your practice.
No matter your position within your office or firm, however, as the holiday season approaches, it is important to think of others. Instead of viewing pro bono work as just one more item on your check list (or, not on your checklist), view it as an opportunity to share the gifts you have been given, the privileges that have been bestowed upon you (intellect, physical health, abundance), with others.
Desiree Moore is the President and founder of Greenhorn Legal, LLC. Greenhorn Legal offers intensive practical skills training programs for law students and new lawyers as they transition from law school into their legal practices. Ms. Moore is also an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and was an associate at the law firm of K&L Gates. She can be found on Twitter at @greenhornlegal.