Pro Bono Promise Task Force
Task Force Chair: Ben Pace
Task Force Goals: To strategize how to promote the Pro Bono Promise initiative & increase the impact of this program on the critical unmet needs of our area.
Richmond Firms in Service Make the Pro Bono Promise!
The Greater Richmond Bar Foundation is proud to announce that all thirteen members of the Richmond Firms in Service (listed below) have adopted the Pro Bono Promise! As the hub for pro bono service in Central Virginia, the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation is committed to encouraging and facilitating Central Virginia’s lawyers in meeting their professional obligation to provide pro bono services. To that end, GRBF rolled out a new and improved Pro Bono Promise Project. “Pro Bono Promise 2.0” emphasizes the five key elements to a successful pro bono program, essentially, a set of modern “best practices” for pro bono. The Pro Bono Promise requires adherents to adopt (1) clear pro bono policies allowing attorneys to track their pro bono time; (2) a common definition of what pro bono is, emphasizing free legal work for persons of limited means; (3) a commitment to dedicate 2% of attorneys’ billable time to pro bono; (4) a pledge to support legal aid organizations financially, and (5) a commitment to identify a pro bono contact who will report its attorneys’ pro bono accomplishments to the Bar Foundation.
For years, the Bar Foundation’s active role in the Richmond Firms in Service group has been another way GRBF helps coordinate pro bono efforts in Central Virginia. When interested firms and corporate legal departments work together to address pro bono needs, good things happen. Because a goal of the Pro Bono Promise is to have Central Virginia’s attorneys “singing from the same set of music” in terms of what pro bono is, Firms in Service was a natural fit. Thus, the Bar Foundation set a goal of having each Firms in Service member sign on to the Promise. Of course, changing the pro bono culture at a law firm is no easy task. Adopting modern pro bono policies can affect everything from firm administration to simply how files are opened. It is not easy, just as closing the justice gap is not easy. Through outstanding pro bono leadership at each Firms in Service member, however, the bar Foundation is thrilled to announce that all the Richmond Firms in Service members have adopted the Pro Bono Promise!
The benefits of this accomplishment will accrue to the Central Virginia pro bono community for years to come. The Bar Foundation will now be able to focus on the greatest pro bono needs in our community. The Promise members will begin reporting their pro bono accomplishments, allowing the Bar Foundation to demonstrate the great work Central Virginia’s lawyers are doing to improve access to justice.
As attitudes toward pro bono evolve, signatories to the Pro Bono Promise will be in the vanguard. The Bar Foundation encourages all local firms, solo practitioners and corporate legal departments to “Make the Promise” today!
Firms in Service Members:
Christian & Barton
Goodman Allen Donnelly
Hunton & Williams
Richmond Bar Association Pro Bono Committee
For more information about making the Pro Bono Promise or joining the Pro Bono Promise Task Force, please contact Ben Pace at WPace@williamsmullen.com or 420-6932.