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For plenty of good reasons, in-house lawyers generally do not do nearly as much pro bono work as those in law firms, according to Rachel Epps Spears, executive director of the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.

A big part of the why is groups that offer pro bono services — such as the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation — help low income individuals find attorneys. In-house lawyers are used to representing corporations. Private practice lawyers are often experienced in litigation, which often is what an individual needs. Corporate lawyers are more likely to handle transactions, contracts, intellectual property issues. The services needed by many consumers don’t match their expertise.

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