Don’t Hesitate to Share the Love on Love Your Lawyer Day
Everyone can use a little love. And attorneys are no different.
First established in 2001 by Fort Lauderdale business attorney Nader Anise, Love Your Lawyer Day has grown to become a global recognition of law firms’ contributions to their clients and their communities. This year, it falls on November 1. And now is the time to sign up for alerts and early access promotions to win an exclusive Love Your Lawyer t-shirt.
So why not celebrate? Parties, gatherings with long-time clients, and recognition of staff efforts are all great fun. But the best way is to spread that love around.
One of the chief objectives of Love Your Lawyer Day is to counter the less-than-positive images many people still have of attorneys. Even relatively flattering portrayals in TV and movies give the impression that the practice of law is more like a gaudy soap opera than a down-to-earth, practical vocation. Those who’ve worked with reputable attorneys or who have family connections to legal professionals know how valuable their services are.
And one thing that makes attorneys lovable is pro bono work. It’s a great way to build a firm’s reputation in your community. Most small firms operate locally, after all.
What’s more, the need is strong. At least 40 percent of low and moderate-income households experience a legal problem annually. But civil legal aid addresses only about 20 percent of the legal needs of low-income folks. According to ABA’s 2019 “Profile of the Legal Profession,” the biggest needs for pro bono services are in family law, followed by criminal law, litigation, estate planning or probate, and immigration. The ABA recommends that all attorneys perform at least 50 hours a year of pro bono services “to those unable to pay.”
But pro bono isn’t good just for your practice and its reputation. As a recent Super Lawyers publication called “Doing Good While Doing Well: A Road Map to Success with Pro Bono” observes: “Reaching out to those in need through pro bono work can rebalance your work life, regenerate your spirit and help you gain a greater sense of connectedness with the law.” In other words, pro bono work can refresh the impulse that led you to become an attorney in the first place.
You might be thinking: “My firm is too small to have a pro bono program.” But you don’t have to let that stop you from connecting with your community. Here are three ways law firms of all sizes can show their love:
1. Pick up the Playbook
If you’re looking for inspiration and ways to incorporate pro bono into your practice, the Super Lawyers Pro Bono Playbook is a splendidly useful resource. What’s more, it’s free. You can download it here.
2. Make it a Point to Volunteer
You might not be able to devote much if any work time to pro bono representation. Still, there are plenty of ways you can give back to your community after hours. What causes move you? Veterans’ well-being? Education? Kids’ sports? Habitat for Humanity home-building? There are organizations in your area looking for your help.
3. Consider a Donation
No time to volunteer? Plenty of community events and programs will gratefully accept your firm’s sponsorship dollars (which need not be a lot). Your gift will often earn your firm a shout-out online, at the event itself, or in a related publication.
Whatever way(s) you pursue, be sure to document it on your social media channels. You shouldn’t brag, of course. That would go against what you’re trying to achieve. But photos demonstrating your firm’s philanthropic and pro bono work can send the message: “My firm is part of this community, and it’s a community I love and want to help make even better.” If appropriate, engage your followers and inspire them to get involved.
Needless to say, you can celebrate Love Your Lawyer Day all year long. There will never be a shortage of opportunities to show you care. And don’t forget to check out our early access page where you can enter to win a Love Your Lawyer t-shirt and keep your inbox up-to-date with all things #LoveYourLawyerDay.
Also, be sure to check back with FindLaw throughout October and on November 1, 2019 for more ways to get involved!