Mark Pulliam on pro bono excesses

Lawyers’ pro bono publico work has long since expanded past the provision of legal services to indigent persons to include a range of ideological, social-change, and “impact” litigation and legal work. While such figures as Second Circuit chief judge Dennis Jacobs and my former Manhattan Institute colleague Heather Mac Donald have proposed critiques of its excesses over the years, big-firm pro bono is still wrapped in a cocoon of self-congratulation, spun in part from unexamined premises about (among other issues) who should count as the poor and what as the public interest. Mark Pulliam has a two-part series at Law and Liberty (and thanks for the citations in each): first, second based on a longer article on his Misrule of Law blog. My views of what is in the public interest don’t always line up with Pulliam’s, but in a way that reinforces one of his points here, doesn’t it?

One Comment

  • Those who announce that they are doing pro bono work are not really doing pro bono but are doing it for their own aggrandizement. When I see a worthy individual oppressed by the Hun but who can’t afford my high fees, I do pro bono, but no one ever knows.

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