Like countless others, I became a lawyer because the legal profession offers uniquely powerful ways to contribute to the common good. As legal employers in recent years have had to adapt to an ever more competitive legal market, however, lawyers’ opportunities to do pro bono work and public service have diminished. Lawyers today grapple with a difficult dilemma that previous generations of lawyers were spared: how to meet the demands of modern law practice and still fulfill their idealism and professional responsibility to give back to their communities.

Law firms, corporate law departments, government offices and other legal employers know that the answer to this question is crucial to the profession’s future and the well-being of society, but the right answer is hard to come by and often requires trial and error. To help find an answer without costly experimentation, the new American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on the Renaissance of Idealism in the Legal Profession has developed a free, online Pro Bono and Public Service Best Practices Resource Guide, available at www.abanet.org/renaissance.

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