pro bono

play
adjective \ˌprō-ˈbō-(ˌ)nō\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of pro bono

  1. :  being, involving, or doing professional and especially legal work donated especially for the public good pro bono work

pro bono

adverb

Did You Know?

In Latin, pro bono publico means "for the public good;" in English we generally shorten the phrase to pro bono. Donating free legal help to those who need it has long been a practice of American law firms; the American Bar Association actually recommends that all lawyers donate 50 hours a year. Pro bono work is sometimes donated by nonlegal firms as well. For example, an advertising firm might produce a 60-second video for an environmental or educational organization, or a strategic-planning firm might prepare a start-up plan for a charity that funds shelters for battered women.

Origin and Etymology of pro bono

Latin pro bono publico for the public good


Financial Definition of PRO BONO

pro bono

What It Is

Pro bono refers to any work or service that someone provides free of charge for the common good.

How It Works

From the Latin phrase "pro bono publico" meaning "for the public good," the motivation behind pro bono work is to benefit society as opposed to making money. Pro bono work often refers to legal services offered without taking a fee. In countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, it is recommended by professional law associations that legal practitioners volunteer a certain number of hours for pro bono service each year. Although pro bono work is most often associated with legal services, it has become common for members of other professions such as medicine and consulting, to extend themselves in a similar manner for the benefit of those less fortunate.

To illustrate the nature of pro bono work, suppose an attorney provides some legal service to low-income families in his community free of charge. The unpaid work done for these families would be considered to be pro bono work, because the attorney is providing his services solely for the benefit of the less fortunate in the community.

Why It Matters

The altruistic nature of pro bono work can be thought of as more important that the actual work. Attorneys, for instance who engage in pro bono work donate their time and expertise in order to help improve the lives of others in their community.


PRO BONO Defined for English Language Learners

pro bono

play
adjective

Definition of pro bono for English Language Learners

  • law : involving or doing legal work for free


Law Dictionary

pro bono

adverb or adjective \ˌprō-ˈbō-nō\

Legal Definition of pro bono

  1. :  being, involving, or doing legal work donated especially for the public good

Origin and Etymology of pro bono

Latin pro bono publico for the public good



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