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Is Virtual Pro Bono a Thing Yet?

By George Khoury, Esq. on April 03, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

For many of us attorneys, the days of using the old 'not enough time' excuse to rationalize not doing any pro bono work may soon be over.

Thanks to virtual legal services becoming more and more common, it is only natural that the conveniences that make working more efficient would get used to deliver pro bono services in a better and more cost effective manner. In addition to the many ways modern tech has helped to streamline pro bono operations, there are now programs that allow attorneys to provide virtual legal consultations, as well as perform remote pro bono work.

Bridging Gaps Both Ways via Tech

Attorneys that don't have enough hours in the day may still not be able to find the time for pro bono work. However, organizations that are leveraging tech to make volunteering opportunities more accessible to attorneys likely won't have problems with recruitment.

Take, for example, the Pro Bono Network. It started in 2011 as way to capture the time and talent of legal professionals that decided to take time off for various reasons, and initially was focused on getting stay at home lawyer moms on board. The organization's goal is to use tech in an Uber-like way to match volunteers with clients based on the time commitment the attorney can make. The organization quickly discovered that many other legal professionals wanted in thanks to their focus on making the operations side of volunteering easier.

How Can You Get Involved?

If you're looking for easy volunteer opportunities, the first place you'll want to check is your local bar association and their affiliates. However, if your local bar doesn't have opportunities that fit with your schedule, with a quick Google search, you can find many different organizations seeking attorney volunteers, as well as lists from respected organizations, like the ABA, or legal blogs, like ATL, with various opportunities.

Lastly, if you find that your area has a lack of accessible volunteer opportunities, you may be able to score some excellent public outreach points for your law firm by partnering with an organization to provide remote pro bono consultations.

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