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Raising The Bar: One In Three Lawyers Report 80-Plus Hours Of Pro Bono Work Annually, Survey Finds

MENLO PARK, Calif., July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite busy schedules and rising caseloads, lawyers are making more time for pro bono work. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of lawyers recently interviewed by Robert Half Legal said they donate 80-plus hours to pro bono or volunteer service each year, up seven points since the survey was last conducted in 2014. Sixteen percent of survey respondents contribute fewer than 10 pro bono hours annually, up from eight percent in 2014.

The average number of annual pro bono hours lawyers reported is 64, an eight-percent increase from 2014, which exceeds the minimum goal of 50 hours recommended by the American Bar Association. Lawyers employed at law firms donated an average of 70 hours to pro bono service each year, while their corporate counterparts logged 36 volunteer hours.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing and consulting solutions 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, "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






*Totals do not equal 100 percent due to rounding.


The average, or mean, response was 64 hours, compared to 56 hours reported in 2014.

"Providing pro bono legal services not only benefits the recipient and local community, it's also good for business," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "A strong volunteer program can help lawyers hone skill sets and gain valuable experience in new practice areas, leading to greater job satisfaction, improved retention rates and enhanced client service."

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal provides a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. The company offers in-demand expertise across practice areas as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. More information about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions 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,