pro bono gavelAttorneys give more of themselves than do those in other professions? They may be fightin’ words.

I discovered that this past weekend, when I repeated (via Twitter and in person) new research showing that attorneys rank pretty highly in the generosity department. They came out near the top in a “professional social responsibility by professions” ranking.

First, I have to say that the findings didn’t surprise me. Most of the lawyers I know give legal services for free or at a reduced price. I can’t identify many of the many professions and vendors I deal with doing the same.

And yet, when I shared the news, many people rolled their social media eyeballs at me. And those I spoke with in person were willing to declare the study “a fraud” or “a joke.”

The study I pointed to is noted here. (And the research was done by the Taproot Foundation.) As the article notes, “This ranking is created based on US Census data on hours of pro bono services provided per member of each class of profession.”

Here is more from the Taproot Foundation on the importance of pro bono in many fields.

If you need another window into how lawyers are viewed by many, simply scroll down to the comments beneath the story. Eeesh.

Here is one of the kindest remarks I got in response: When the person saw that lawyers came out near the top of the pro bono heap, her only reaction was, “I want to see the raw data on that.”

Do you also doubt the reliability of the study? Tell me what you think.

FINALLY, while I’m on the subject, I just heard from a Phoenix connection with the following question: “I’m looking for a recommendation of a corporate lawyer who may be willing to work with a small professional orchestra (501 c3) on more of a consulting basis, i.e. pro bono if possible.”

That’s all I know about the legal needs. Do you have any suggestions? Any interest in following up?