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Should lawyers work for free?

The Pro Bono Predicament: A Debate With Myself

Should lawyers work for free?

About Monica Geyen

Monica Geyen is an associate in the Minneapolis office of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP. She is a former law clerk for former Chief Justice Eric Magnuson. Monica got married in October 2009 to her husband Chad, who is finishing up his masters in marriage and family counseling. They are active members of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis who strive to stay grounded in their faith. Monica enjoys writing and is particularly interested in exploring the human side of the legal profession.

2 comments

  1. Food for thought! As for the last point regarding law firms’ responsibility, I’d add that it’s an entirely different discussion from the point of view of a solo practitioner or someone at a small firm, than it is from a salaried associate at a larger law firm. If a solo or small firm lawyer provides pro bono service, they do so at their own expense and don’t get paid for their time. This makes pro bono work much more difficult. I’m glad the rule is aspirational only. I’d hate to see solo practitioners getting disciplined for failing to provide pro bono service, when they might not be able to afford to work for free one week per year.

  2. how do I find someone who is willing to take on a case for two Bi polar individuals with very limited income. They need a good lawyer for a case of someone having a seizure disorder who has lost custody of their young child because she had a seizure and fell and injured the child. trying hard to get him bck but public defender is always some one new who really doesn’t even care.

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