Samuel C. Peca Samuel C. Peca is a Texas-based mergers and acquisitions attorney with a focus on private equity. At an early age he developed a strong commitment to community service, and he has continued to help those in need throughout his career as a lawyer. How did you first get into pro bono work? I am an Eagle Scout, so giving back has always been important to me. I had been involved in pro bono efforts for a few years, but when I was offered the opportunity to spend two months on a secondment with the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, it provided me with the ability to contribute a significant amount of my time. What types of cases have you taken? Probate, divorce, custody, expunction of records, and assisting a nonprofit in forming an entity and getting it 501(c)(3) qualified, among others. What was your most memorable pro bono experience? I worked with a team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges on preparing a memorandum regarding how civil society groups participate in the monitoring of transitional justice processes after regime changes. How do you balance time spent on your regular workload with pro bono work? The key is to use the same judgment you use in deciding whether to accept a billable matter (and to duly account for the time you need to devote to the pro bono case when making future decisions to take on new billable ones). Once a pro bono matter is taken on, it should be worked into your schedule in the same manner as anything else you are handling. Why should new attorneys take cases pro bono? It can provide exposure to new areas of the law, responsibilities, and client contact that may be harder to come by as a new attorney on a billed matter. Also, it can be done through programs like DVAP, which are a great way to get exposure to the local bar community that you might not come in contact with in your day-to-day practice. How can they get started? Their local bar association would likely be able to advise on ways to get involved. Also, an internet search for pro bono services in areas in which they have an interest might lead to someone who needs assistance. There is a lot of work to be done.
Published by State Bar of Texas. View All Articles.
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