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

No amount of protesting, tweeting, empathizing, donating, or pro bono work today is going to be as powerful as your vote. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Do I Have to Vote? Here Are Some of the Scary Things That Could Happen If You Don't," 6 Nov. 2018 As a result, Ms. Rashid has relied on pro bono attorneys helping immigrants at the detention center. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Government Says It Has Reunited All Eligible Migrant Parents With Children," 27 July 2018 The law firm of Polsinelli is on board, offering three of its top litigators and additional staff pro bono. kansascity, "The U.S. government is in a hurry to deport Kansas chemist Syed Jamal | The Kansas City Star," 9 Mar. 2018 The companies advised the Ad Council and the New York office of McCann Worldgroup, which did creative work pro bono, on the campaign’s development. Jane L. Levere, The Seattle Times, "Role models at Microsoft, Google, GE tell girls that STEM’s for them in new campaign," 10 Sep. 2018 Ford, Hawley’s Senate campaign spokeswoman, told The Kansas City Star that Cooper & Kirk represented Hawley in the lawsuit pro bono, or at no charge. Lindsay Wise And Jason Hancock, kansascity, "Heavyweight D.C. law firm represented Hawley for free in 2016 | The Kansas City Star," 9 Mar. 2018 Another Ford attorney, Michael Bromwich, said during the hearing that Ford's attorneys have been working pro bono. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Emotional Kavanaugh decries ‘circus’ and maintains innocence, as Ford testifies he ‘sexually assaulted me’," 28 Sep. 2018 And during his confirmation hearings before the committee in 2003, Kethledge emphasized his pro bono work with criminal defendants and low-income residents trying to keep their homes. Dara Lind, Vox, "If Republicans sour on Kavanaugh, here are 4 alternatives waiting in the wings," 27 Sep. 2018 In 2000, Kavanaugh represented pro bono the Miami relatives of 6-year-old Elian, who wanted to keep the child in Miami despite his father's wishes to have custody of him in Cuba. Monique O. Madan, miamiherald, "New Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh has ties to big Florida moments," 9 July 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 Feb 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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