Some law firms already offer free legal advice
Scotland's top law officer has urged her peers to give more of their time for free to those most in need.
Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini said the legal profession needed to ensure justice was not restricted to those who could afford to pay for it.
She added that pro bono work, when lawyers work for free, could be "highly rewarding"
Ms Angiolini made the comments while hosting a pro bono conference in Edinburgh.
She said that although some law firms did undertake pro bono work, the practice should be more widespread.
Ms Angiolini said: "Housing, employment, health issues and other social problems can often pose significant challenges, and affording legal advice is particularly difficult in the current economic climate.
"Pro bono legal services are invaluable in widening access to justice.
"The legal profession must respond to those in need to ensure that justice is not restricted to those who can pay."