When most of us think of pro bono work, the first thing that probably comes to mind is taking on a case free of charge, where the client can’t afford to pay for representation and the attorney feels strongly about the merits of the client’s position. As a former public interest attorney who represented victims and survivors of domestic violence without charge, I experienced the rewards of working pro bono-type cases while still getting paid.

Such cases can take a considerable amount of time and commitment to do them well. An attorney usually won’t take on a pro bono case unless she is invested in the goals of the litigation and prepared to give it her best shot. Such cases can be enormously time-consuming, and the necessary time commitment can be difficult to estimate at the outset, especially if the case involves an issue outside of your field of expertise.