When I was coming out of law school, the common wisdom was that you had to check your deepest values at the door to land a job with a top firm. We heard that firms would allow a limited amount of pro bono for young lawyers who wanted to do “good guy work,” but otherwise you should set aside all those causes that you might have worked on in law school for a while.
Happily for me, I found a firm that emphasized commitment to the community as part of the fabric of the firm. From day one I was given both sophisticated, complex transactional for-profit real estate deals and sophisticated, complex pro bono transactional real estate deals to work on. It was not lost on young attorneys that almost every partner on the firm’s management team was also active in pro bono matters and other civic contributions to our community.
Goulston & Storrs has always understood the business case for pro bono – not only is it good work to do intrinsically, but it leads to greater attorney satisfaction, a factor that distinguishes our firm from other high quality firms. This enables us to compete for top talent, and in many cases adds an additional aspect of our relationship with clients who themselves support such work. I am proud to see that this spirit continues in the firm today, and it reinforces my belief that the common wisdom of 35 years ago is just as misguided today as it was then.