Pro Bono Institute, Microsoft

Pro Bono Evolution: A New Maturity Model for In-house Pro Bono

Pro Bono Evolution: A New Maturity Model for In-house Pro Bono
Published on 30 October 2023 In-house pro bono has grown over the past three decades, with more corporate legal departments creating and implementing formal pro bono programs. The Pro Bono Maturity Model is designed to assist pro bono leaders at departments with robust or longstanding pro bono programs who may wonder how to take their program to the next level.

The Maturity Model offers guidance to departments to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their existing pro bono programs and spark ideas for how to evolve their programs to be more successful, impactful, and sustainable. At the same time, this tool can help pro bono leaders at legal departments with fledgling pro bono programs to build a roadmap and goal-set for the future.

The Maturity Model provides a framework for identifying specific opportunities for growth in seven core areas:

  1. Vision and strategy
  2. Internal engagement
  3. External relationships and partnerships
  4. Impact
  5. Risk management
  6. Program administration and tools
  7. Communications and recognition

Departments can gain a better understanding of how advanced they are by reviewing each of these seven issues and assessing their maturity level. Some departments may find they are fairly advanced in one or two areas and still developing in others. While the tool was designed with larger law departments in mind, smaller law departments may still find instructive recommendations within the Maturity Model. Pro bono leaders at departments of all sizes are encouraged to use the tool to prompt discussion about priorities and setting goals for growth.