No, it's probably not pro bono. Although the money paid in many states definitely does not make it worth the time and effort, especially if you're a private attorney. My firm in Boston is actually mounting an effort to get the pay scale raised in MA, since more and more attorneys that participated in the indigent defense program can no longer really afford the time. The rates paid here in MA are one of, if not *the* lowest in the country. A lot of these attorneys have their own practices, or work for smaller offices, and don't have the time/resources to devote to defend people if their pay barely covers lunch and dinner for the day.