DEFINITION of 'Pro Bono'

Professional services dispensed on a voluntary basis at no cost to the recipient. Derived from Latin, pro bono means to work for the public good, and is most commonly used in the legal profession. The provider of a pro bono service may generally do so only to a party that is unable to afford the service. In doing so, the provider is perceived to be imparting a benefit for the greater good, rather than for the usual profit motive.


Some financial planners provide pro bono services to non-profit organizations and individuals who have impoverished themselves through financial mismanagement. Pro bono services offered may be of immense value to someone who can avert bankruptcy. For example, a family in financial troubles might need advice, but can not pay for it. Pro bono services are the only help available when the family needs it most.

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  1. What does 'pro bono' really mean?

    The term pro bono is short for the Latin "pro bono publico," which means "for the public good." Read Answer >>
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