For legal departments, launching a pro bono project can be formidable. There are logistics to consider, malpractice liability to weigh and state bar restrictions to adhere to. Combine that with the reality that legal skills needed in the community don't mesh with those honed in corporate offices, and it's easy to get discouraged.
But as corporate social responsibility becomes a mantra of top executives, legal departments are taking the plunge. Often they can jumpstart a program by partnering with a law firm that already has worked through the complications.