Pro-Bono work is good for everyone involved. It allows someone of less than modest means to get the help that they need without depleting the resources that they otherwise depend on for food and shelter. It also allows a professional to practice his craft, hone his skills and have the satisfaction of doing service. Everybody benefits.
There are hidden benefits for a bankruptcy professional as well, such as the building up of good will. Not only can a pro-bono client be a good source of future referals but, by doing pro-bono work, you also build rapport with the trustees that review your cases. For example, the Debt-Line Law Office took on a client referred to us by Legal Aid. This was a lady that was down on her luck. It was a simple bankruptcy to prepare and file and, of course, there was no charge for our services. When I attended the 341 Meeting of the Creditors the Trustee said to the client, “I see here that you did not pay your attorneys for their services.” To which the client responded that she did not and that it was done pro-bono. The Trustee then turned to me and said, “Wow, that’s great”, and he proceeded to try to solicit me to do pro-bono cases that he had come across.
The point is not that we got a pat on the back by the Trustee but rather it is that we fulfilled part of our professional responsibility and, in the process, esteamed ourselves a little to a person who weilds some power over our clients. Again, pro-bono work is good for everyone involved.