Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Pro Bono Publico

I did another session for the Kent Law Clinic last night (see my previous posts here and here), advising four clients in two hours - reminded me of the bad old days when I used to do legal aid work, turning clients over as quickly as possible, in a desperate attempt to make a profit. Still, the clients all seemed satisfied with the advice that I gave them.

Having given two hours of my free time to help others I woke up this morning with a warm altruistic glow and found myself typing 'pro bono' into Google. My self-satisfaction soon evaporated when I read the following on Wikipedia: "Lawyers in the United States are recommended under American Bar Association (ABA) ethical rules to contribute at least fifty hours of pro bono service per year". Fifty hours? Now, I don't know how many American lawyers contribute their full quota, but giving up twenty five evenings like last night each year seems a bit excessive to me.

[The Kent Law Clinic website is under currently under development, but can be found here.]

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