From Chronicle of Philanthropy

The nation’s 100 highest-grossing law firms reduced their pro bono hours by an average of 10.8 percent last year, reversing a decade of steady growth in top firms’ provision of free legal aid, The Wall Street Journal writes, citing The American Lawyer magazine’s annual pro bono report.

The decline came as leading law offices saw solid growth in profits, The Journal’s Law Blog says.

The transition out of a downturn “is a challenging time for charitable legal work,” Esther Lardent, president of the Pro Bono Institute, told The American Lawyer. “Often what happens [is that] firms are still so nervous from the downturn that they don’t staff up to meet the pickup in client demand, and when you have limited resources, fee-paying work takes priority.”