Original Jurisdiction
Original Jurisdiction
The Rise Of Pro Bono Counsel: An Interview With Jackie Haberfeld

The Rise Of Pro Bono Counsel: An Interview With Jackie Haberfeld

As global head of pro bono at Kirkland & Ellis, Haberfeld has what many lawyers would regard as a dream job.

Welcome to Original Jurisdiction, the latest legal publication by me, David Lat. You can learn more about Original Jurisdiction by reading its About page, and you can email me at davidlat@substack.com. This is a reader-supported publication; you can subscribe by clicking here. Thanks!

If you’re looking for a more meaningful New Year’s resolution than losing five pounds, I have a suggestion for you: do more pro bono. To make it concrete, maybe even set a numerical goal for yourself, like 50 hours.

Over the years, as Biglaw firms have grown in size and profitability, many of them have invested more in pro bono. As a result, there now exists a job that really didn’t exist when I graduated law school: “pro bono counsel.” These lawyers oversee the pro bono programs of Biglaw firms, which means they get to work full-time on pro bono, backed by Biglaw resources (and earning Biglaw salaries). Not surprisingly, these roles are some of the most highly coveted jobs not just in Biglaw, but the entire legal profession.

As part of my continuing focus during the holiday season on pro bono and public interest work, I decided to interview a Biglaw pro bono counsel. And as is my wont when picking podcast guests, I decided to go straight to the top: my latest guest is Jacqueline Haberfeld, global program director of pro bono at Kirkland & Ellis, the world’s #1 law firm in terms of both revenue and profits per partner.

In our wide-ranging conversation, Jackie and I discussed her path to becoming pro bono counsel, some of her most meaningful projects, how firms handle political and reputational concerns related to pro bono work, and how to get a job as pro bono counsel today. I hope you enjoy this interview—and I hope that it inspires you to do more pro bono work in the coming year.

Show Notes:

Prefer reading to listening? For paid subscribers, a transcript of the entire episode appears below.

Sponsored by:

NexFirm helps Biglaw attorneys become founding partners. To learn more about how NexFirm can help you launch your firm, call 212-292-1000 or email careerdevelopment@nexfirm.com.

Jacqueline Haberfeld (courtesy photo via Kirkland & Ellis).

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Original Jurisdiction
Original Jurisdiction
Original Jurisdiction, a podcast about law and the legal profession, features host David Lat interviewing some of the most interesting, influential, and important people in the world of law. It's the companion podcast to Lat's Substack newsletter of the same name. You can follow David on Twitter (@DavidLat) or email him at davidlat@substack.com, and you can subscribe to his newsletter at davidlat.substack.com.