Although you probably love your job as a paralegal, there is something else that you can do in addition to your regular job. Pro Bono work is a way in which you can use your knowledge, skills, and experience, to benefit others. Not only does Pro Bono work provide a much-needed service to people who would not otherwise be able to have the benefit of legal assistance, it can give you a great deal of personal satisfaction at the same time.
When you do Pro Bono work, you will not merely be donating your services, you will also be donating your time. Even if you are inclined to feel that you do not have any extra time to spare, it is quite likely that you will be able to make the time when you consider that it is truly a worthy cause.
In Pro Bono work, you will be furthering your own skils and widening your own range of work experiences also. There is much that you can learn in the process of a Pro Bono assignment which you simply would not have in your everyday office life. Even the factor of assisting people whom you would not ordinarily have the chance to meet can be quite a bonus to you.
If you would like to do Pro Bono work but do not know where to start, a good way to begin is to assess the specific needs of your community. Depending on the area where you live, it should not be very difficult to find a number of agencies, organizations, and businesses which would be glad to have your assistance. Most will welcome your offer of help, especially those which are understaffed in general, or experiencing a heavier than usual workload during a specific period of time. You can check in advance to find out when your help will be most needed.
You may also be able to be directed toward Pro Bono work that is the most appropriate and suitable to your specific skills by requesting this information from your attorney. While some attorneys do not like the idea of “lending out” their staff, if you are clear that you wish to do this work on your own time you will decrease the likelihood of your attorney’s objections.
You can also check with the other paralegals who work in your law firm. If they have done Pro Bono work in the recent past, they may be able to advise you as to who to contact directly for information and possibly an assignment also.
The only actual drawback to doing Pro Bono work is that you will not get paid for your services. However, the combined benefits to both you yourself and the people whom you serve will be much more than an adequate compensation. However long you have been working as a paralegal, the knowledge, skills, and experience that you can bring to Pro Bono work will be a very valuable contribution to both the specific people whom you serve and the community as a whole.