BOSTON – On my first day in Weil’s Boston office, I attended a presentation by a partner on the firm’s pro bono work. I listened as he described the firm’s belief that, as attorneys, it is our obligation and privilege to volunteer our skills to the most vulnerable in our society in need of legal representation. I learned that the firm has a goal for each attorney to perform at least 50 hours of pro bono work a year and that the Boston office was the recipient of Weil’s Pro Bono Cup for commitment to service this year. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until I was staffed on a pro bono assignment that I really understood what the firm means when it says that pro bono service is ingrained in its culture.
On my second week, I was assigned to assist two associates on a pro bono case. I was given a lot of responsibility right away to draft documents and prepare for a motion hearing for the case. This experience was a great opportunity to develop skills in areas that I would not otherwise have exposure to. With each assignment that I completed for the case, the associates took the time to review my work thoroughly and provide feedback with the same diligence and attention as any other billable assignment that I have completed.
Moreover, last week I was able to sit in on an interview with the pro bono client. I observed the manner in which the associates interviewed the client: with compassion, patience and respect, and, of course, the same standard of legal excellence and professionalism they would use in an interview with any client.
It was in the interview that I really understood what it meant for pro bono to be ingrained in the culture. Pro bono service is not a box to be checked at Weil, but rather a deeply held firm value and a responsibility carried out by the attorneys with dedication and earnestness. I am grateful for the opportunity to have an active role in this commitment and to understand this dimension of Weil’s culture within my first few weeks as a summer associate.