Benefits of Volunteer Work for Attorneys
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Volunteering is a great way for attorneys to connect with their community and offer a valuable service to those in need. There are many ways for lawyers to get involved, from offering presentations at local schools to helping out regional legal aid groups with pro bono work. With so many people in need of legal aid, counsel, and education, the limits of volunteer work are only as limited as the imagination.
While many attorneys view volunteer work as a great thing to be involved in if they find the time, it might be worth it to carve out a dedicated part of your schedule to volunteer once a month or more if possible. The time and effort a lawyer spends serving their community can come back to benefit them in big ways.
Some of the biggest benefits lawyers experience from engaging in community service include the following:
- Gaining experience. Volunteering is a great way for attorneys just stepping into the field to gain valuable experience. Not only can taking on pro bono work or otherwise volunteering your legal advice to a group or person in need provide you with practical, valuable experience, it also looks great on a resume and may increase your chances of joining a law firm and attracting future clients.
- Networking. You never know who you’re going to meet when you volunteer. You could make valuable contacts with other industry professionals, especially if you choose to volunteer for established organizations or pro bono programs.
- Connecting with potential clients. Just as you never know when you’ll run into another industry professional, you never know when you’ll run into a potential client. In addition to meeting potential future clients, it is quite possible that potential clients will see your work and remember your volunteer service, making them more likely to refer others to you and even reach out to themself.
- Building a strong reputation. Community service is a great way to build your reputation as an attorney who cares about your community and has the skill set necessary to help. When a potential client feels assured that your motivation in practicing law is to help people, they are more likely to inquire about hiring you. Thanks to the often negative perception of lawyers, anything an attorney can do to increase their reputation and garner trust with the community is a good thing.
- Feeling good about yourself. Volunteer work is known for making people feel good. The best way to turn your day around is to help someone else; attorneys who regularly engage in volunteer work and community service report feeling more fulfilled in their career, and derive personal satisfaction from their ability to help people through volunteering.
As an attorney, it can be difficult to know where to start volunteering.
Unlike committing a few hours to move boxes around at the local food bank, attorneys will likely want to use their legal training and expertise in their volunteer efforts. This is important given how many people are in need of legal counsel and may not be able to afford it themselves. Reaching out to private organizations such as schools and even churches is a great way to suss out whether or not their people have a need for a lawyer’s industry knowledge. Another way to seek out volunteer opportunities for lawyers is to visit the American Bar Association’s Center for Pro Bono site. This website allows you to search by state for existing pro bono opportunities in your field of law, and it’s a great resource for those who don’t quite know where to start with volunteering.
To learn more about the benefits of volunteering as an attorney, or for help identifying volunteer opportunities, reach out to a legal marketing professional.