Another Public Defender Blog on pro bono awards:
"They sicken me. I'm sorry, but they do. When I pick up a copy of the latest Law Tribune or similar legal publication and see High Partner of Major Law Firm felicitated for taking precious time out of his/her busy busy schedule to fight for an innocent man, for free no less, I want to vomit. "
"Why do we do this? Why do we give out awards to people who make ungodly amounts of money, doing mostly boring work anyway, for some "charity" work that they have done, mostly only to comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct."
"No one ever gives awards to the Legal Aid lawyer, or the countless hard-working public defenders. So what is it about the big corporate attorney who provides pro bono representation that is so special? I'm not seeking recognition, or awards, or even a pat on the back. I do what I do, at serious financial loss, because I love my job. I love representing the indigent and I won't stop doing it."
"It is repugnant, however, for our profession to honor someone who didn't make that decision If you want to give pro bono awards, they should be given every year to every single public interest lawyer in the state. Not the High Partner."
"Thanks a lot, big lawyer guy - the indigent population was shit out of luck before you decided to come along."
So true. The reason, of course is that all the other partners pony up a lot of cash to see their friends honored. The sad thing is, not much of that cash ever goes to front line criminal defense work.