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 The Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, working in conjunction with local small business nonprofits, has begun offering pro bono legal consultations for small business owners in cities and states across the country. Jeanne Sahadi, CNN, "Here are 4 free resources that small businesses can access right now," 16 Apr. 2020 About 60 local attorneys, coming from many different law backgrounds, pledged pro bono legal consultation on evictions. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "Supreme Court of Texas extends suspension on evictions until April 30," 6 Apr. 2020 Public Counsel, the pro bono legal service representing the students and organizations, posted about the filing Tuesday on Instagram. Li Cohen, CBS News, "California universities using SAT for admissions are violating civil rights, lawsuit claims," 10 Dec. 2019 The fellows will receive full scholarships, pro bono legal services, workforce training, and externship rotations in the cannabis industry that come with college credits., "A coalition of local elected officials, cannabis leaders, and academics is teaming up to launch an educational program that will offer scholarships, training, and mentorship to help people harmed by marijuana prohibition to find jobs in the cannabis industry.," 25 Oct. 2019 Though there are no formal royalties, the foundation does solicit donations as pro bono publico gestures from firms that employ RISC-V architecture—for what was once a tool for academics is now proliferating commercially. The Economist, "A new blueprint for microprocessors challenges the industry’s giants," 3 Oct. 2019 Weitzman spent a few years working at another pro bono Orange County firm, Public Law Center, before the duo decided to go out on their own. Ben Brazil,, "Nonprofit legal firm represents homeless populations in Orange County," 15 June 2018 His Paris lawyer, Juan Branco, whose other clients include members of the Yellow Vest protest movement, is helping him pro bono. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "An Artist Who Aspires to Be ‘a Bone in Everyone’s Throat’," 28 Feb. 2020 Farris said the development of bringing in attorneys still is new and that the program is looking for other attorneys willing to work pro bono to help the homeless. Sara Cline,, "San Antonio ID Recovery program is first step to getting out of homelessness," 18 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pro bono

Time Traveler

The first known use of pro bono was in 1966

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Statistics for pro bono

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pro bono.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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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

How to pronounce pro bono (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pro bono

law : involving or doing legal work for free

pro bono

adverb or adjective
\ 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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