In the US legal profession, it is a well-entrenched principle that lawyers have an ethical obligation to provide pro bono legal services to poor clients. The American Bar Association, in its Model Rules of Professional Conduct, states that “every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay,” and the association recommends that each lawyer donate a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono service per year. (In Latin, pro bono means “for good.”) But outside the…

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