Talk:Pro bono

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unsigned comment[edit]

I am suprised to see that there are no comments on pro bono. Having been pro se for six years in both State and Federal Court, I have a very low opinion of lawyers which is not only shared by the populace but by the ex Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court Conservative Warren Burger who said: "75 to 90% of all American trial lawyers are incompetent, dishonest, or both."

So just how much would pro bono time be worth from those lawyers? According to Burger you would have no better than a 25% chance of getting good representation. Keep in mind that in the legal biz, being wrong can cost you big time!

Also, it is traditional for lawyers in their younger years to do pro bono work to "go to school' on certain legal fields and then use that experience later in their careers. For instance, pro bono work for the Environment and then later going to work for Corporate Polluters. "Know thine enemy" is the principle here.

In any case, pro bono is just a hype job for "public service" by a monopolistic and corrupt (according to Burger) legal industry.

From a lawyer's perspective part of what you are complaining about is the use of pro bono service as a way to gain experience for young lawyers. It is the way the profession covers up for the fact that law school teaches little about the actual practice of law. It is commonly said that law school teaches you how to think like a law professor, but not how to think or practice law as a lawyer. As far your experience filing pro se goes, that can work well for some people, but there are plenty of pro se litigants that think they know what they are doing, but really don't and they tend to alienate the Judge quite quickly. Yes there are plenty of incompetent and or corrupt lawyers, but not nearly as many as you think. One real problem here is that a litigant will think their lawyer is incompetent or corrupt if they don't get exactly what they want out of their case even if they had not legal basis to prevail on the begin with. Now a good lawyer would turn down those cases from the get go, but sometimes even a good lawyer finds out only later in discovery that the case has no merit based upon the facts. All too often the litigant then turns against their attorney when the attorney points out to them that they cannot win. Ideally that sort of case would never get filed to begin with and save everyone the time, money, and effort. However, sometimes you just don't know until you've been through discovery and uncovered all of the facts. --Kurtkoeh (talk) 21:47, 7 February 2010 (UTC)


Can anyone state a source to back up "Lawyers are recommended under ethical rules to contribute at least fifty hours of pro bono service per year."

If not, I propose it should be removed. This is nonsensical at best, what "ethical rules" are being refered to? Suppafly 03:51, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Here you go: This is from the American Bar Association. I will clarify the article. --Nelson Ricardo 04:17, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Pro bono publico[edit]

Since the full phrase is "pro bono publico", and since it is usually said in full in the UK (and presumably, therefore, elsewhere), I propose that this article be moved to Pro bono publico, with Pro bono linking there. It's also worth noting that "pro bono" doesn't actually mean "for the good" - that would be "pro bonum". The beginning of the article could be adjusted to help readers who search up "Pro bono" so that it looks like this:

  • Pro bono publico (often shortened to "pro bono") is a phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the public good". It is used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service. In some cases pro bono counsel may assist an individual or group on a legal case, in filing government applications or petitions or on appeal. If the case is won, occasionally the Judge may determine that the loser should compensate the pro bono counsel.

I'll move the article in a little while if there's no opposition, but I haven't put up a move request up because I don't think this is a very contentious issue (hopefully!). Polocrunch 19:49, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

My only comment would be that I believe that most of the articles link to it as "pro bono", I don't know if that has any bearing on this sort of decision, I am aware that this is not a technical concern. 20:12, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
That should be easily overcome when the article is moved, and as "pro bono" is explained in the opening words of the article, hopefully all bases should be covered.Polocrunch 15:18, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
The article has now been moved, and I don't think there are any double redirects to clear up. Polocrunch 12:26, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but most of the links are now redirects. It seems that "link consensus" (I just coined that term) is the article should stay at "pro bono". --Nelson Ricardo 19:05, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Is there a way to see all the redirects? I'd be happy to go and change incorrect links, where appropriate. Polocrunch 18:01, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, I haven't come across that as a reason for moving a Wikipedia page before. Is there a convention or policy that you can move an article for that reason? If not, I'd say that it's more important that we are pedantic about having the right article title than about ensuring slightly quicker hyperlinking.Polocrunch 18:05, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Phrase used in Dilbert[edit]

The phrase was used in todays Dilbert: -- RND  T  C  16:41, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

Minor Clarifications[edit]

This phrase is slightly unclear: "A judge may occasionally determine that the loser should compensate a winning pro bono counsel." I am not a lawyer, but perhaps that needs to be prefaced with "In a civil case"? (talk) 02:08, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved ≈ Chamal talk ¤ 12:54, 11 February 2010 (UTC) ≈ Chamal talk ¤ 12:54, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Pro bono publicoPro bono — While the current title may be technically accurate, the slight abbreviation "Pro bono" is by far the more WP:COMMONNAME; I'd not even heard of the "publico" bit before visiting this page. —Cybercobra (talk) 14:35, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Support per WP:UCN. Pro bono already redirects here. Check the sources for evidence of usage. However, the full name should remain prominent in the intro. — AjaxSmack 04:03, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. The proposed title is the most recognizable name for the subject. Jafeluv (talk) 12:20, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The article discusses more than just the use by lawyers. User:Cybercobra's point that he hadn't even heard of the phrase before visiting this page seems to indicate that Wikipedia is doing its job and educating him. Skinsmoke (talk) 18:25, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support Certainly the WP:COMMONNAME. However, I do believe the full term should be mentioned in the first sentence. --Labattblueboy (talk) 03:22, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Which is the more correct latin?[edit]

Uhh, my late father, whose (ok, it's my POV) Latin I believe to be very good, phrased it as "pro publico bono". Does there exist in the 21st century <anyone> who's Latin is good enough to make a definive pronouncement on this? 12:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Old wombat (talkcontribs)

Yes, surely there are Classics scholars who could make the determination. I know only a bit of Latin, but given how free Latin's word ordering is, I would suspect that both are grammatically valid. As to which would have been more popular usage among Romans, I've no idea. You might try inquiring at the WP:Reference desk. --Cybercobra (talk) 13:01, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

New External Link[edit]

I would like to add the external link below as I feel it is a good resource for reasons on why a lawyer should do pro bono work:

"Why Pro Bono-What You Need To Know"

Does anyone object to this being added to the pro bono entry under External links? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aostler (talkcontribs) 22:46, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Sense please[edit]

This line under "Korea" goes: "Those who have a good reason not to fulfill the requirement may pay 20,000–30,000 ₩ per hour instead" — seems ambiguous & vague. Who is paid? does the lawyer pay someone or body, or is this an acceptable low rate instead? Manytexts (talk) 00:13, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Unable to pay?[edit]

I don't think that it is correct to say that "the specific skills of professionals to provide services to those who are unable to afford them". The ability of the recipient to pay is not directly relevant. I provide services on a pro bono basis to several organisations. Some could pay, some could not. The point is that the service is provided free of charge, not whether or not the beneficiary could pay.Royalcourtier (talk) 19:45, 30 May 2016 (UTC)


Supposedly a "Marathon" is "An event where people meet up to do pro bono work for many hours". I have never heard of this term. Can someone provide a source, and clarify where these "Marathons" occur?Royalcourtier (talk) 19:48, 30 May 2016 (UTC)