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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A sign of unity: Examination of pro bono work

By James Mayflower

It is no secret the US economy is struggling, in fact this economic struggle has been a dark reality for quite a few years now. Some say, “with struggle comes strength,” while others prefer, “with struggle comes progress,” and frankly, I do not prefer one to the other. Any sign of strength or progress in our nation during times like these would be quite a relief.

Americans are learning the struggles of economic crisis everyday. Unfortunately, the cost of living does not suddenly decrease nor do the trials and tribulations of everyday life go away during a struggling economy. Any sudden change, random accident, or bout of bad luck can send an individual and their family on a downward spiral. It’s safe to say in the US, we are a people who understand struggle.

In lieu of the hard times our country is enduring we do have our very own defenders of justice, masked vigilantes, if you will. A Google News search of the term ‘pro bono’ makes this point very clear. The advocacy for, and examples of pro bono work are on the rise. We should take pride in these hard-working and financially generous individuals who embrace the, “to whom much is given, much is expected” mindset.

From an industry that tolerates criticism and skepticism comes generosity. Lobbyists are often ridiculed more than they are commended. Yet in times like these we see Mike Corcoran and Brian Ballard, two Florida Lobbyists, advocating pro bono work for an accident victim in their state. The Nassau County Bar Association in New York is holding a pro bono legal fair for all residents of Nassau County and providing free legal advice to all who come out. Not to mention, this fair will provide bilingual attorneys in over five languages. If events like this do not restore confidence in our ability to be a united people then I am not sure what will.

Florida Coastal School of Law’s Public Interest Research Bureau has announced their new student-volunteer program. This program assists lawyers in specific fields by providing free research in five states. These students who are hit extremely hard by tuition and fees in our economy lend their helping hand, free of charge.

I will risk writing a post rampant with clich├ęs in order to prove my point. The fact here is that, the proof is in the pudding. Although we may be a nation hanging on by a thread financially those who can help, will.

The term ‘pro bono’ has been shortened form its entirety ‘pro bono publico,’ the full Latin term meaning ‘for the public good’. These examples of work ‘for the public good’ restore my faith in the unity of our society. During a period where individuals are fighting for employment and education, these hard working professionals and students are risking their financial security providing complimentary services. I do believe this should be a light for those doubting society during this very dark time.

About the author: This article was contributed my James Mayflower. You can read more of his work around the web. He's currently promoting an exciting homeowner loans offer from Money QED.