A Brief History of Pro Bono: Part One
By Anne Daly
The term pro bono comes from the Latin phrase pro bono publico — “for the public good.” In the context of providing legal services, attorneys have understood their pro bono obligation for generations.
Often, pro bono is viewed as an attorney’s obligation to ensure the fair administration of justice without pay; even for politically unpopular causes and clients. John Adams defended British soldiers who fired upon colonists in the “Boston Massacre” and attorneys representing Casey Anthony in her murder trial worked for free for more than three years.
Early in our history, pro bono was performed...