Initial reports from a Pro Bono Institute survey suggest that the push to have deferred associates spend their downtime at pro bono organizations worked out better than expected, or feared.

Institute President Esther Lardent said that many of its member law firms and public interest groups worried about how well young lawyers who had expected to join major law firms would fit in at public interest groups. By the time the 170 public interest organizations and 45 law firms who responded returned the survey by the end of the polling date in February, those fears seemed overblown. Indeed, 97.3 percent of public interest groups said they would host associates again.