In case you missed it ...
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a ruling yesterday that cancelled the Washington Redskins' trademarks because the team's name is disparaging. You may not know that my former colleagues at Drinker Biddle & Reath represented, pro bono, the 5 Native American plaintiffs in the case. Pro bono publica means “for the public good.” Thus, the firm took on the cause, the NFL and its lawyers on behalf of the people (and for free). In addition to a significant legal victory for those who object to the team’s name, the firm scored a huge public relations coup, as its name will remain in the news until a judge officially orders the team to change its name.

Volunteering is good for your business.
Everybody knows that most lawyers volunteer their time to help causes and people who can’t afford their services. I bet your business does, too. I believe that investing in pro bono or volunteer work is actually good for business. In addition to the good karma that donating your time creates, pro bono work often lends itself to professional development. Volunteering can apply your existing skills to a new problem, or allow you to develop new skills applicable in your workplace.  I’ve met countless awesome people through my volunteer efforts, including my girlfriend, for which I am very grateful. Finally, pro bono work demonstrates your humility and benevolence, traits often lost in modern-day business.

Spread the word; share your cause; make a friend.
As a marketer, I applaud the humility inherent in your volunteer efforts, but I ask that you show a bit more benevolence in telling people about what you’re doing. ”Aw shucks, I don’t want credit,” you say, but the organizations you support need your help as their ambassador. Whether you grow moustaches for cancer, volunteer for an arts organization or support the environment, don’t be afraid to tell customers, prospects and friends who you support and why the cause is important to you. You might be surprised who shares your passion for similar causes and the relationships that your common causes create. Investing in pro bono work is indeed good for your business.

Thanks, Leo, for the inspiration.