CBA Record October 2017


We should reexamine that thinking. If you think that tutoring an under- privileged student through a program like the YLS’ Law Explorers is commendable, but not workable given your schedule, ask yourself if you would feel the same way if you knew that student would grow up to become the general counsel of a Fortune 500 company and you missed the oppor- tunity to be his or her mentor. Then ask yourself if you would feel the same way if that student didn’t grow up to be a general counsel because he or she didn’t have the tutoring you could have provided. Whether you look at that example from an altruistic perspective or a business perspective, the point is the same: helping others does not present the dichotomy between opportuni- ties and costs that we often assign it. Most of us never know where our busi- ness will come from tomorrow, much less several years from now. All we can do to ensure that business is there in the future is to plant as many seeds as possible, occa- sionally revisit and water them, and hope they eventually grow and bear fruit. Pro bono work provides excellent opportunities to do exactly that while raising your profile in the community. Every hour we dedicate to pro bono work is an hour in which we meet new people, expand our networks, simultaneously broaden and sharpen our legal acumen, and all while growing and showing our worth to others. But of course the benefits of pro bono work are greater than our own narrow self-interest. Pro bono service is important because we live in the communities we serve. At a time when the institutions of our civil society are coming under constant attack and are more strained than they have been in generations, it is our duty as attorneys to serve on the front lines with those defending the integrity of our civic institutions and communities. Whether that service comes in the form of tutoring a student, helping a member of the military draft a will, or providing free legal counsel to nonprofit organizations, it makes a dif- ference one person or task at a time. Con- sciousness is contagious, hope ripples, and

CBA YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION Chair Jonathan B. Amarilio Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

First Vice-Chair Brandon E. Peck Peck Ritchey LLC Second Vice-Chair Octavio Duran Hart & David LLP

Doing Well by Doing Good By Jonathan B. Amarilio YLS Chair A s attorneys, our working hours are too often viewed as a zero-sum game or in terms of opportunity cost. The equation is familiar, if often unspoken. If we dedicate one hour toward pro bono work, we miss one hour of billable work. This thinking is an almost inevitable part of practice, as seemingly unavoidable as it is daunting. But, as with other ostensibly simple truths, the reality is far different. While the benefits of pro bono work to our own practices are not always obvious, they are real and worth pursuing, both for ourselves and others. Of course, the pressures of being a young lawyer are greater than ever before. Whether you are an associate at a big firm, a young lawyer starting your own firm, or a newly minted Assistant States Attorney or Assistant Public Defender, there is often more for you to do in one day than those in the preceding generation had to do in one week. And so we tell ourselves that we don’t have the time this year to do pro bono work, but if things work out and our schedule opens up, we’ll be able to do it next year. Then the next year comes and we tell ourselves the same thing again, and again, and again. We understandably deprioritize pro bono work because, while we think it’s admirable, it doesn’t seem as critical to us as other aspects of our careers.

Member Service Manager Jeffrey Moskowitz J. Moskowitz Law LLC Public Service Manager Carl Newman City of Chicago Department of Law Project Officer Emily Roschek American Bar Association Project Officer Svetlana Gitman Bruce Farrel Dorn & Associates Secretary/Treasurer Alexis Crawford Douglas K&L Gates LLP YLS Journal Co-Editors in Chief Natalie C. Chan Sidley Austin LLP

Nicholas D. Standiford Schain, Banks, Kenny & Schwartz, Ltd. Assistant Editor Daniel J. Berkowitz Aronberg & Goldgehn

YLS Director Jennifer Byrne

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44 OCTOBER 2017

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