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Survey: One-Third of Lawyers Report Taking On More Pro Bono Work in Last 5 Years

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One in three lawyers (33 percent) interviewed by Robert Half Legal recently said the number of hours they work on a volunteer basis has risen over the past five years. In fact, 45 percent of lawyers said they dedicate 50 or more hours of their time each year to pro bono service. The average number of pro bono hours reported was 56.

"Helping others" was overwhelmingly cited by lawyers as the greatest benefit of pro bono work, followed by "developing skills or legal expertise" and "enhancing professional reputation or career," the research found.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in the placement of lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 350 telephone interviews with lawyers at law firms and companies in the United States and Canada.

Lawyers were asked, "Has the number of hours you work on a pro bono or volunteer basis increased or decreased in the last five years?" Their responses:

 Significantly increased


 Slightly increased


 Slightly decreased


 Significantly decreased


 Neither increased nor decreased




Lawyers were also asked, "On average, how many hours each year do you work on a pro bono or volunteer basis?" Their responses:*

 Less than 10 hours


 10-19 hours


 20-39 hours


 40-49 hours


 50-79 hours


 80-99 hours


 100-199 hours


 200+ hours


 Don't know/no answer


*The average, or mean, response was 56 hours.

"While many lawyers provide legal services on a volunteer basis for goodwill, establishing a formal pro bono program within a law firm can yield added benefits," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "Pro bono work not only boosts associates' morale and enhances the development of important skills, it also can help improve a firm's reputation within the community and increase its ability to attract clients and prospective associates."

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing and consulting services division of Robert Half. A premier legal employment agency, Robert Half Legal provides highly skilled legal professionals for law firms and corporate legal departments on a temporary, project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, the company offers a full suite of legal staffing and consulting services to help organizations manage constantly changing workloads and access expertise across in-demand legal practice areas. More information, including online job search services, can be found at For career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog at

SOURCE Robert Half Legal

For further information: Lisa Hamilton, (650) 234-6234,