Effective May 1, 2015, the Louisiana Supreme Court Rules for Continuing Legal Education grant up to three hours of mandatory continuing legal education credit for pro bono legal work:
Credit may also be earned through providing uncompensated pro bono legal representation to an indigent or near indigent client or clients. To be eligible for credit, the matter must have been assigned to the Member by a court, a bar association, or a legal services or pro bono organization that has as its primary purpose the furnishing of such pro bono legal services and that has filed a statement with the Louisiana Committee on MCLE. A Member providing such pro bono legal representation shall receive one (1) hour of CLE credit for each five (5) hours of pro bono representation, up to a maximum of three (3) hours of CLE credit for each calendar year. To receive credit, the Member shall submit MCLE Form 6 (“Application for CLE Credit for Pro Bono Services”).
Pro bono is good. Mandatory continuing legal education is (probably) good. But they are each good for completely unrelated and independent reasons. Making one a substitute for the other demeans them both. After all, pro bono to fulfill a legal obligation is not pro bono—it’s involuntary servitude. And pro bono to keep current on developments of the law is neither pro bono nor CLE.