As big law firms were widening their profit margins last year amid dizzying demand, the number of pro bono hours across the industry fell.

Large law firms, in a survey, tallied more than 4.6 million hours of pro bono service last year, according to the latest report from a nonprofit focused on charitable legal services. That amount represents a “significant” decrease from 2020, the Pro Bono Institute wrote this week, especially as the need has only increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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