By Bob Glaves | CBF Executive Director
…there was a magic potion that will give you a happier, healthier and longer life. Who wouldn’t want that?
Well, it turns out that potion indeed does exist, and all of us who are lawyers and legal professionals can easily take advantage of it. And no magic is required. So, what is it?
The answer is doing pro bono work and giving to support pro bono and legal aid services. And the timing could not be better to take advantage of it.
Find Your Pro Bono Potion
It is now well-established that volunteering is good for you, and lawyers and legal professionals are uniquely positioned to use their time to help people in need of legal assistance.
The National Institutes of Health recently published a synopsis of the many studies showing volunteering is good for your health and happiness. As they point out, “the beneficial effects of volunteering on health outcomes have been well documented. Research has found that participation in voluntary services is significantly predictive of better mental and physical health, life satisfaction, self-esteem, (and) happiness,” among other positive health outcomes.
Give Until it Feels Good
Just as science confirms that volunteering is good for us, studies show that giving to help others has a whole range of benefits as well.
Just a sampling of some recent research headlines tells the story: “Giving: The Science of Lasting Happiness,” “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier,” and “Giving, Rather Than Receiving, Leads to Lasting Happiness: Study.”
And once again, we as lawyers and legal professionals can make a distinct difference by supporting pro bono, legal aid and related access to justice efforts. This is a cause where we have a unique understanding of the need and what is necessary to meet that need.
No Time Like the Present
With this year’s CBA/CBF Pro Bono Week just around the corner, there are a number of free and easy opportunities to get involved throughout the week of October 21st. And if you are outside of the Chicago area, next week is a national celebration as well, and the ABA can help you find a way to get involved.
If you can’t make it to one of the Pro Bono Week events or are reading this later, don’t fret. The CBF is your year-round resource on all things pro bono, and you should always feel free to get in touch if you have questions on how best to get involved.
And finally, attorneys have one more reason to be happy right now: when you fill out the pro bono reporting sections on your annual attorney registration statement for the ARDC, you will feel even better by reporting on your pro bono and giving.
So there you have it: do pro bono, give generously, and be happy!