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Pro bono

Pro bono, is a Latin phrase meaning "for the good", it is sometimes stated as pro bono publico for the good of the public. It is a term used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service.

In the United States, which guarantees legal representation to anyone charged with a crime but who cannot afford a lawyer lawyers are paid by the state to represent indigent defendants, though the quality of this representation has been questioned as these lawyers are often underpaid and overworked. In some cases pro bono counsel may assist an individual or group on a legal case, in filing government applications or petitions or on appeal. Lawyers are recommended under ethical rules to contribute at least fifty hours of pro bono service per year.

See also: List of Latin phrases