pro bono

\ ˌprō-ˈbō-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce pro bono (audio) \

Definition of pro bono

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

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Other Words from pro bono

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.

Examples of pro bono in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This year's trio of national winners include Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst, a civil litigation lawyer who does pro bono work for prisoners. Holly Yan, CNN, "Miss Tennessee Brianna Mason makes history in an already historic year," 30 June 2019 That hasn’t dissuaded Tim Ramis, who served as city attorney before the disincorporation, from acting as a pro bono city attorney again., "Zombie city Damascus in a battle for its soul, future," 22 June 2019 Employees have the opportunity to nominate their favorite charity for pro bono work. Leigh Farr, azcentral, "Small Company Rankings," 13 June 2019 Another regular, an attorney, fought it pro bono on the chef’s behalf, and the Bee Gees came back on. Rachel Levin,, "At Tekka, they found owners who offered an old-school haven in a changing city," 10 June 2019 The findings of the report were shared in Lafayette by former Louisiana Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek, an attorney who oversaw the investigation pro bono., "FBI investigating college application practices at T.M. Landry: report," 4 June 2019 The current coloring dates back to the early 1960s, when President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy had industrial designer Raymond Loewy redesign the plane pro bono. Renae Reints, Fortune, "Trump Wants to Make Air Force One Look "More American"," 12 July 2018 Also recognized for their pro bono representation and service to the Harford County Bar Foundation were Kevin Urick and Matthew Hurff, of Love, Fleming, Bearsch & Hurff, and Matthew Hall. The Aegis, "Harford Bar Foundation honors two lawyers for their pro bono work," 18 Apr. 2018 Starting next week, lawyers will be able to apply online to the NWLC to request disbursements, although many of the 500-plus attorney volunteers are already offering their services pro bono. Rebecca Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, "Time's Up, 60 Days In: "This Was Launched on the Carpet, But Was Never Intended to Live on the Carpet"," 2 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pro bono.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pro bono

1966, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pro bono

Latin pro bono publico for the public good

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Statistics for pro bono

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for pro bono

The first known use of pro bono was in 1966

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More Definitions for pro bono

pro bono


Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

pro bono


English Language Learners Definition of pro bono

law : involving or doing legal work for free
\ ˌprō-ˈbō-nō\

Legal Definition of pro bono

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

History and Etymology for pro bono

Latin pro bono publico for the public good

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Comments on pro bono

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