Mandatory Pro Bono Down In Ole Miss

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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1 Response

  1. Brian Sheppard says:

    Although I’m a bit embarassed by this self-promotion, I think those interested in the issue might enjoy looking at the piece I recently published with Fiery Cushman: Evaluating Norms, 63 Vand. L. Rev. 55 (2010). We used behavioral experimentation to shed light on how different norm combinations (aspirational vs. mandatory and rules vs. standards) affected charitable giving within a dictator game. One of our hopes was that this work would provide some insight into whether switching from aspirational pro bono rules to mandatory rules would produce an overall increase in pro bono hours. Our results suggest that the switch risks crowding out intrinsic charitable motives and causing an overall reduction in pro bono hours. In order to overcome this reduction, it might be necessary to set rather aggressive hour minimums. Of course, further study is necessary, but I beleive this work provides some important empirical support for some of our basic intuitions about norm effectiveness in this context.