In honor of the National Pro Bono Celebration, Bench & Bar of Minnesota asked attorneys, “What do you get out of doing pro bono work?” Labor and employment partner Dan Prokott shared his experience providing pro bono legal services and discussed the benefits of such work.
Prokott believes strongly that every attorney should provide pro bono legal services. He started doing pro bono work during law school and has continued to provide pro bono services for over 20 years. “In my mind providing some amount of pro bono services — which, for a given person, may be a lot or a little, and may vary year to year — is simply part of being an attorney,” he explained.
Additionally, Prokott emphasized the numerous professional, community and personal benefits of pro bono work. He said, “Pro bono work has allowed me to develop and extend my knowledge about the law, including areas outside of my primary area of specialization, and has resulted in my being able to help many clients navigate and move forward from very stressful and significant life events.”
Prokott added that pro bono work “has provided me with numerous opportunities to develop, improve, and use many skills, including effective client interaction, negotiation, and oral and written advocacy skills.” Further, he noted that pro bono work created opportunities to collaborate with many colleagues and interact with numerous other professionals, enabling him to learn from others, to become a mentor and adviser to other attorneys, and to help judicial and administrative systems be more efficient and effective.
In conclusion, Prokott stated, “Using my time and talent to provide pro bono legal services simply makes me feel good about myself, my profession and our legal community.”