Sonia Sotomayor.
Sonia Sotomayor. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/NLJ)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor this week said she’s in favor of “forced labor”—mandatory pro bono. Not a new concept, sure, but the justice’s remarks generated considerable buzz on social media and in the story comments.

“If I had my way, I would make pro bono service a requirement,” Sotomayor said at the American Law Institute’s annual conference in Washington. Read our full story here: Sotomayor Urges Mandatory Pro Bono for All Lawyers

Here’s a snippet of some of the commentary about Sotomayor’s statements: “First, would it include the Justices on the Supreme Court? If not, instant fail.” And this: “Until this justice works as a solo practitioner for a year, which she never has, and see what it‘s really like to try to earn a living as an attorney to support one‘s family, I suggest she keep her mouth shut and focus on her own job.”

What do you think? Is mandatory pro bono a good idea or bad? How would it be implemented? Should it apply to in-house, government and private lawyers the same?

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