Pro Bono Initiative Report Released

July 15, 2015

In 2014 the 61 law firms in the District of Columbia that participated in the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Initiative contributed a total of 803,520 pro bono hours among 9,676 full-time equivalent attorneys, with each attorney contributing an average of 83 hours.

Additionally, 59 of the responding firms reported that they credit nonpartner attorneys’ pro bono hours toward billable-hours requirements and bonuses, with 36 of the reporting firms providing partner attorneys with billable credit.

Under the Pro Bono Initiative, participating firms pledge to provide pro bono legal services at specified levels. Firms agree to an annual commitment of either 3 percent or 5 percent of total client billable hours. These standards were created by and are used with permission from the Pro Bono Institute and are modeled on the institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge.

Beginning in 2001, with 41 of the District’s largest law firms participating, the initiative has since grown and encourages firms to establish programs for attorneys to provide pro bono legal services without sacrificing billable hours. Throughout the year, participating firms track their progress and report it to the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center to provide statistics on pro bono service in the District.

View the full report.