Historically, pro bono was a priority issue for very few law firm managers. Individual lawyers were largely left to identify and pursue their own pro bono involvement. Most firms provided little more than tacit support and then subject always to that involvement not getting in the way of chargeable work.
Recent years, however, have seen a major change in outlook from many firms, with far more attention being given to the role pro bono has to play in the successful modern firm. This has, in no small part, been driven by client demands, often, in pursuance of their own corporate social responsibility agendas. But enlightened managers, as well as recognising the need to meet client expectations, have also begun to appreciate the other, substantial benefits that can accrue from the development of a vibrant pro bono ethos and practice within their firms.