Fenwick & West managing partner Kathryn Fritz was interviewed recently for The Pro Bono Institute’s podcast project, The Pro Bono Happy Hour. She encouraged lawyers to devote time to pro bono work, especially given their position as leaders in the community.
“We are leaders, and we need to recognize that and take ownership of that,” she said. “We have an opportunity and duty to influence, to create change, and improve the things around us… whatever you find passion about, bring that to bear in the place that you are.”
Fritz said that public interest is what got her interested in law in the first place, and it also sparked her passion for doing pro bono work.
“I believe everyone has the right to have access to justice. It sounds corny, but being a lawyer is a privilege because we have that access,” she said. “I believe that as lawyers, we have not only the best opportunity to assist but a duty to give back and help others. I have always made it a point to do pro bono work. As I moved into leadership, I have been in a position to enable other people to do pro bono as well.”
Fenwick lawyers value pro bono work and the firm places priority on giving them opportunities to do such work.
“Our lawyers really care about pro bono,” she said. “Permitting them and giving them opportunities and supporting things they care about will make a big difference. It’s not just our lawyers – our clients really believe in it, too. We do a lot of [pro bono] partnering with our clients. I think the more we find ways to collaborate across organizations, firms and companies, the bigger our impact will be.”
“I have been forever changed by the pro bono cases I have worked on,” Fritz said.
The full podcast is available through the Pro Bono Institute’s YouTube channel.