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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 2,781
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I figure there are enough attorneys on this board to make for some interesting insight/discussion on this topic.

California has a Senate Bill pending which includes a section providing that every lawyer practicing in California will be "expected" to make a "contribution" by providing pro bono (free) legal services. Where it's not feasible for a lawyer to directly provide pro bono services, the requirement may be fulfilled by providing financial support to organizations providing free legal services to persons of limited means.

I have done, and continue to do, some pro bono work; and I'm a proponent of giving back to my community, but should it be required?????

I can never remember which is better . . . safe? . . . or sorry?
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 133
I'm not a lawyer, Leah-Ann, but the government requiring anyone giving to charity is ridiculous. I feel its similar to mandatory tips in certain places. If they are going to require a certain tip from me, they will get it, and no more. Ordinarily I'm generous but if they demand something, they will get exactly what they demand and nothing more.

Many many people are very generous when giving to charity voluntarily. Why does the government think its their job to require it? I'm suprised they're presenting it as they are. Typically they'd just tax all lawyers and earmark the money for a new government-funded law-bill relief plan of some sort.

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 3,677
Not a lawyer either (he he he), but that idea stinks. Only in California (not meant in a disrespectful way, of course)would that idea be floated. Just my opinion. My wife says it sounds like Minnesotas medical provider tax. Obviously in California they need more legal help than medical.

Been there, done that, the washing machine ate the T-shirt
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Or, mental help.

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,200
I don't agreed w/ "required".. Some do enuff work to "satisfy" that requirement. Gov. sux..

Take the road less traveled
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 440
California has always been different and always will...kinda miss the weirdness!!! But, I'm sorry, don't tell me what I can or cannot do in my own yard!!! (smoking cigarettes) That's why I live here. I think we are more free than the "home of the free"

Can't find my plane...
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,041
Are doctors and veterinarians and marriage counselors and probation officers and taxi drivers and cops all required in California to donate their time and/or money to the common good? All serve functions that can be of benefit to those in society who need help. If California wants to become a utopia, they better get buy-in from everyone who can possibly contribute . .unfortunately, they might find that human nature can't be legislated.

When you find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it.
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 4,701
ah, the left coast...isnt it just wonderful? going...going...

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,888
But the government won't reduce interest rates on the attorney's student loans...
Hubby of the Deputy DA!

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 4,672
LA, have not heard about that bill and wonder who the proponent is, but I doubt it would ever be required - seems a form of blatant "involuntary servitude". A great violation of rights argument here. Plus, I agree with KC, major discrimination. Do I look like the Bank of America? However, I guess if something like this came to be, my firm would have to deal with it financially, not me personally.

Re pro bono: not a lot of lawyers in private practice have extra time, especially if we are billable hour associates, along with balancing family life, and just life in general. I do my share, when I can, but mostly with family and friends. Quite frankly, after a long week of satisfying the boss, my clients, the insurance companies, etc., the last thing I want to do is work for free.

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