When Shook, Hardy & Bacon hired a former Houston prosecutor this summer to lead an expansion of the firm’s civil rights and racial justice pro bono efforts, the Missouri-founded firm was right on trend, as firms increasingly hire specialists to handle certain aspects of their pro bono initiatives.

Firms taking that extra step of hiring a lawyer to concentrate on targeted pro bono matters shows a commitment to public service, but in many cases telegraphs a firm’s focus on a societal problem. It also provides an employment opportunity for lawyers who desire to bring their deep commitment to pro bono to a Big Law firm and its deep resources.

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