The Law School's Pro Bono Program provides a broad range of law related service opportunities to Albany Law School students. Last year over 200 law students participated in the program with community partners including the NYCLU, New York State Attorney General's Office, Legal Aid of Northeastern New York, the Legal Project, the Rural Law Center, and Prisoners' Legal Services. The program has expanded to include several statewide initiatives including work on reentry issues for prisoners and veterans; legal education workshops for rural seniors and youth; and a NYSBA Leadership Program through which students work with taskforces and sections on statewide pro bono initiatives including Elder Law, Environmental Law, and Dispute Resolution.
Legal Advice vs. Legal Information: Avoiding The Unlicensed Practice of Law
Ethics & Professional Responsibility
Professionalism & Best Practices
The program has a detailed practice manual for both students and supervisors which includes details about the administration of the program and suggestions for supervision and information about confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and unauthorized practice of law. In addition, the Program will offer CLE trainings for community partners on Best Practices for Supervision of Pro Bono Interns.
The WCL Pro Bono Honors Pledge program recognizes the voluntary, uncompensated work undertaken by WCL students while at the law school on behalf of low-income and underrepresented populations or for the public good. The program is designed to encourage students to continue engaging in pro bono service throughout their careers. Students who take the pledge commit to completing a minimum of 75 hours of pro bono and community service projects. At least 50 hours of the pro bono work completed must be with an organization engaged primarily in law-related or legal work. However, students may complete up to 25 of their 75 hours by doing non-legal community service work.
ASL's mission is to develop professionals who will serve as community leaders and community advocates. ASL provides a unique opportunity for mandatory community service that students may complete in a variety of ways. A community service fair is held at the law school each fall. Representatives from civic groups or organizations attend this fair and provide information to the students about opportunities to volunteer with their organizations. Students are required to attend the service fair. Written descriptions of community service opportunities also are distributed to the students. In addition, students also may request approval of alternative projects in the local community or their home communities. The program is promoted to prospective students through ASL's catalog and website.
All students are required to complete 25 hours of community service per semester, for a total of 150 hours prior to graduation. Students may perform law-related pro bono work as part of their community service requirement.
At the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, our Director of Pro Bono Programs and Student Life supervises the voluntary Pro Bono Program. The Pro Bono Board consists of faculty, administrators and students working together to ensure that our students have an ample number of quality pro bono opportunities, and to make access to these opportunities as easy as possible. The Director and Pro Bono Board coordinates projects administered by other student organizations, promotes and monitors student involvement, and makes and implements policies and procedures relating to student pro bono activities.
At any one time, we may have about 20 student-run pro bono projects, as well as pro bono efforts that law students can do independently in accordance with policies. Some of our groups are run completely in-house, such as the Homeless Legal Assistance Project. Others are outreach projects that work in conjunction with community agencies, such as the Family Lawyers Assistance Project. One of our most unique programs is the Crime Victims' Legal Assistance Project that was a pilot program through the Department of Justice, and has now won national recognition and is being duplicated in other locations. Please visit us online at law.asu.edu/?id=304
Ave Maria School of Law has approved a Pro Bono Recognition Program honoring students who complete at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work.
Barry University School of Law commits itself to offering students a quality education in a caring environment that encourages community service and assures a religious dimension. The Rules of Professional Conduct recognize that every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. To foster the mission of the University and the aspirations of our profession, the School of Law has adopted a "pro bono requirement" that each student perform a minimum number of hours [40 hours] of pro bono or community service work prior to graduation.
The pro bono requirement can be satisfied by any of the following activities, if undertaken without compensation or academic credit: volunteering at a non-profit charitable organization (either law- or non-law related); providing legal assistance on a pro bono case under the supervision of an attorney; and serving people who are disadvantaged through a public agency or private organization.
The Baylor Law School Pro Bono and Public Service Program is the program through which Baylor Law students get involved in the surrounding community through Pro Bono and general community service work. The objectives of the program are to: Make students aware of opportunities to serve and to connect students to those opportunities; Recognize students for their service; Expose students to the needs of the Waco community and beyond; Impart to students the responsibility they have as attorneys to serve; Help students learn to find time to serve while managing a heavy workload; Provide students with educational experiences to enhance the classroom learning experience; and Develop the desire in students to make pro bono work a priority once they begin practicing.
The voluntary Pro Bono Program centralizes pro bono activities at BC Law, connects students with pro bono placements, encourages students to explore pro bono opportunities, and provides much deserved recognition for those students serving the community through pro bono work.
The mission of the Pro Bono Program is to shape law students into lawyers who are committed to public service.
1) Benefit Boston College Law School by supporting the School's mission and Jesuit tradition, and appealing to prospective students interested in public service;
2) Benefit BC Law students by providing opportunities to gain hands-on experience, develop critical lawyering skills, build relationships in agencies and firms, gain exposure to various areas of law, and develop a greater understanding of the importance of pro bono work and public service;
3) Benefit lawyers and public service agencies by providing them with the opportunity to mentor law students, as well as assistance with their pro bono work and public service; and
4) Benefit the community by providing legal assistance to disadvantaged individuals unable to access adequate legal representation.
1) Providing students with pro bono opportunities and helping facilitate their seeking placements;
2) Providing recognition for students who perform pro bono work; and
3) Providing on-campus events, such as pro bono fairs and speakers, to promote pro bono work.
At BU Law, pro bono is not just for students planning to go into public service. All students are encouraged to participate in the program to hone their legal skills, develop relationships with practicing attorneys, and to develop a habit of service consistent with lawyers’ professional obligations under ABA Model Rule 6.1. For students exploring careers in government, legal services, or other nonprofit advocacy, engaging in pro bono also serves as a valuable strategy for gaining public interest experience and professional contacts.
All students are invited to take the voluntary Pro Bono Pledge, committing to at least 50 hours of service for J.D. students and 18 hours for LL.M. students. Completion of the pledge is noted on transcripts and celebrated at an annual event honoring the graduating J.D. and LL.M. students who have completed the highest number of pro bono hours.
Every year, BU Law School honors faculty and alumni who have engaged in substantial pro bono work during their careers by presenting them with pro bono awards. BU Law also recognizes the graduating student who has completed the highest number of pro bono hours.
Many non-clinical public service opportunities are offered through Law Help seminars on topics including elder law, street/poverty law, mediation, domestic relations, and child advocacy. The seminars have service learning components. Several other courses including community lawyering also have service learning components. The law school also offers opportunities for students to volunteer as community mediators.
The Brooklyn Law School Pro Bono program encompasses a) a large number of on-campus pro bono projects in which students provide assistance to clients in conjunction with established legal organizations or in student run programs; b) resources and assistance linking students to training and other pro bono projects in New York City; c) collaborative student projects including the Student Hurricane Network; d) pro bono projects and representation undertaken in partnership with a law firm; and, e) internships and externships at local, national and international non-profit organizations and government agencies. The School provides financial and professional support including the Public Service Programs Office, an office dedicated to assisting students with public interest, government and pro bono opportunities in a variety of contexts.
The Dean introduces the idea of pro bono service to all students in the welcoming ceremony. In November, the Office of Career Services talks with the students about the Pro Bono Program, and in February of each year hosts a Pro Bono Fair on the campus, at which only public interest organizations that provide legal services are represented. The students are encouraged to make a commitment of 50 hours of service over the course of two trimesters while in law school, making them eligible for induction into the Pro Bono Honors Society. Career Services also orchestrates a Pro Bono On Campus Interview Program each fall and spring.
The Pro Bono Coordinator meets with each student interested in working for public interest organizations through the Pro Bono Program. The Coordinator oversees the Pro Bono Program and tracks the students participating in that program.
There is a Pro Bono Council comprised of students that coordinates Campbell's Pro Bono and public service opportunities. In furtherance of Campbell Law School's mission and the acknowledgment that the practice of law is a profound calling, the overall objective of the Pro Bono Council at Campbell Law is to engage and educate students on the nature and importance of serving the underserved. Pro bono and volunteer opportunities provide students with hands-on opportunities to develop legal skills, provide much needed legal services to the community, instill a sense of professional responsibility early in the students' careers, affirm the legal profession as a profession of service, and enhance Campbell Law School's ties with the community and alumni.
The Pro Bono Recognition Program seeks to encourage and recognize public service by law students who have successfully completed 50 hours or more of pro bono legal work at approved placements. Such students receive a certificate signed by the Dean and the Pro Bono Coordinator, their pro bono designation published on their academic transcripts, and recognition in the bulletin distributed at the hooding ceremony.
For this Program, pro bono legal services may include giving legal advice or resolving a legal problem through litigation, legislation, regulation, or alternative dispute resolution, but only to the extent consistent with the ethical constraints on the authorized practice of law. Participants may receive neither compensation nor academic credit for pro bono work.
Participants may work with a government body, nonprofit organization, or other entity if that entity is engaged in:
- Students assist with abstracting recent adoption/child welfare cases for weekly email newsletter; assisting in research for cases in which the Center participates as amicus curiae; researching current issues of adoption law and policy for and assisting in preparing responses to inquiries from families, lawyers, judges, agencies, etc.; researching and analyzing proposed adoption/child welfare related legislation, both state and federal; helping to prepare "FAQs" on adoption child/welfare issues for Center website; and updating case and statute summaries for Adoption LawSite
Volunteer Income Tax Association
- Students provide free income tax service (preparation of tax returns) during the tax season for the economically challenged, handicapped and the elderly.
- Students assist clients in person or by phone to prepare pro se litigants for foreclosure mediation.
- Be a graduate of Capital University Law School's Juris Doctor program;
- Be a licensed attorney in good standing;
- Be employed full-time in a law-related capacity (not limited to the practice of law in the strictest sense, but substantially utilizing the legal training and skills of the law school graduate);
- By a non-profit tax exempt organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3); or
- In government law-related jobs at the local, state or federal level;
- Have a salary of $45,000 or less;
- Have an outstanding law student loan balance and must not be delinquent or in default on any educational loans; and
- Submit an LRAP application and all required documents each year.
- Unpaid qualifying summer clerkships.
- Low paying qualifying summer clerkships (under $10.00/hour).
- All other qualifying clerkships.
- Be a J.D. student who at the time of the summer clerkship is in good standing and is still enrolled at Capital University Law School (must not have graduated or transferred).
- Secure a position with a government body, nonprofit organization, or other entity if that entity is engaged in providing legal services to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations. Legal services may include giving legal advice or resolving a legal problem through litigation, legislation, regulation, alternative dispute resolution, and participation in activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession, but only to the extent consistent with the ethical constraints on the authorized practice of law.
- Through our 1L Experience, all first-years have the opportunity to visit local courts and assist clients through our brief advice clinics and associations with legal service providers in the community. Areas of law include record sealing, immigration, living wills, legal name changes, domestic relations, evictions, and more.
- Through our voluntary Pro Bono Recognition Program, students who complete 50 or more pro bono hours are recognized at graduation for their achievements. The graduating student who completes the greatest number of hours is eligible for an award.
- Promotion of the Law Students in Action Project (LSAP). LSAP collaborates with local legal service providers and Cornell Law School to create a broad array of projects designed to expand the delivery of legal services to low-income and underserved communities. For example, students from the Public Interest Law Union became part of the Volunteer Research Assistance Team and compiled a comprehensive list of adoption and child support law from various states. The Spanish Translation and Interpretation Assistance Team helps public interest attorneys communicate with their Spanish-Speaking clients.
- Advising and assisting the student group, Cornell Advocates for Human Rights. The Assistant Dean connected students with alumni working for human rights, civil rights and other public interest organizations. As a result, students worked on several legal research projects for these attorneys.
- Ongoing support of a spring break service trip. Students travel to locations such as New Orleans and Miami to volunteer with legal services and community organizations that provide legal and other services for underrepresented communities
- On behalf of people who cannot afford to pay for legal services, have limited access to legal services, or are underserved by the private bar, or
- Aimed at protecting the rights of an individual or individuals in situations raising important public interest concerns and/or important rights belonging to a significant and underserved segment of the public.
- Attorney/Student Pro Bono Matching Program: Matching students with private attorneys working on pro bono cases who need student help with research, writing, litigation preparation, etc.
- Public Interest Organizations: Pairing students with public interest legal organizations based on specific areas of interests.
- Hosting in-school and community-wide pro bono events with clinical faculty and local attorneys
- Bronze – 50 to 124 hours;
- Silver – 125 to 299 hours; and
- Gold – 300+ hours.
- The Public Service Fellow will be given to students who accumulate between 50 and 149 hours of volunteer legal service.
- The Public Service Fellow with Recognition will be given to students who accumulate between 150 and 249 hours of volunteer legal service.
- The Public Service Fellow with Dean's Special Recognition will be given to students who accumulate between 250 and 449 hours of volunteer legal service.
- The Public Service Fellow with the Dean's Highest Honors will be given to students who accumulate 450 or more hours of volunteer legal service.
- Alternative Break options that include work at the New Orleans Office of the Public Defender, work with Legal Aid of San Diego, a trip to Miami to assist stranded Haitians with obtaining Temporary Protected Status
- Project ReMADE
- Volunteer Attorney Panel Pro Bono
- Guardianship Pro Bono Program
- Housing Pro Bono Program
- Immigration Pro Bono Program
- Language Bank
- International Human Rights
- Low Income Tax Preparation Aid
- International Human Rights
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Naturalization Pro Bono
- Parallel Justice Project
- Justice Bus trips to rural California
- Stanford Law School Social Security Disability Project
- Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
- Pacific Legal Foundation
- meet the 50-hour pro bono pre-admission requirement for the New York State bar; and
- provide supervised legal and other services to low-income and underrepresented populations.
- Students who complete the minimum 50 hours of volunteer work will receive a certificate from the Dean and special recognition at Commencement.
- Students who complete 75+ hours will receive a Blue Pro Bono and Community Service Honor Cord.
- Students who complete above 100+ hours will receive an Orange Pro Bono and Community Service Honor Cord.
- successful completion of one of the following clinics: Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, Criminal Law Clinic, Elder Law Clinic, International Human Rights/Asylum Clinic, Family Law Clinic, or Legal Institutions-Civil Clinic, when the placement is in a Pro Bono position
- completion of forty (40) hours of Pro Bono work
- completion of twenty (20) hours of Pro Bono work and successful completion of either Rights of the Poor or Racism and American Law.
- Self Service Center Clinic
- Bankruptcy Court Reaffirmation Hearings
- Domestic Relations Clinic
- Minor Guardianship Court Project
- Advice-Only Project
- Students find a nonprofit or government agency to work with from our database and/or propose a new placement for approval; OR
- Students participate in the newly established Pro Bono Research Project. This project brings together private sector lawyers via a few established groups (such as Metro Volunteer Lawyers and the Colorado Lawyers Committee) as well as individual firms/practitioners. The Denver Bar Association helps to recruit participants. The Pro Bono Research Project in particular will allow students to understand the role of pro bono from the for-profit lawyer's perspective. It also may allow students to be more likely to work remotely; this flexibility is particularly helpful for our evening students who often have difficulty finding placements.
- performing a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work;
- attending a PBI-sponsored pro bono seminar; and
- completing the seminar’s reading assignment. Students perform their hours by attending pro se legal clinics, (where they team with attorney volunteers to interview and assist pro se litigants. Student volunteers can also work for an approved pro bono or public interest organization, work on an approved pro bono project, work on policy initiatives and/or provide public education on legal issues.
- A OneJustice Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow ("OneJustice staff"), maintains a presence on campus through regularly scheduled tabling sessions to inform students about pro bono opportunities;
- OneJustice maintains and provides access for USF students to the Law Student Pro Bono Project password-protected website, with up-to-date listings of projects, time commitment, requirements, and whether the work may be completed off-site and sends out weekly "Pro Bono News of the Week" emails detailing pro bono opportunities to students;
- OneJustice and USF Law Career Planning staff provide one-on-one consulting to USF students to help them select pro bono opportunities;
- OneJustice staff work with public interest organizations in the Bay Area to create opportunities for USF students to participate in pro bono;
- OneJustice staff enrolls students in those pro bono opportunities;
- OneJustice staff conducts regular evaluations of the project with USF students and the public interest organizations involved and provides mid-year and year-end reports to USF summarizing the project, the public interest organizations involved, the number of students impacted and any student feedback.
- Develop a wide range of opportunities for students to engage in pro bono work;
- Increase the delivery of needed legal services to low-income individuals and communities;
- Create pro bono projects that allow students to build lawyering skills and career networks through hands-on experience; and
- Cultivate a commitment to pro bono within the law school community.
- By enrolling in and satisfactorily completing a law school clinic. Currently the Law School offers the following clinics: Child & Youth Advocacy, Entrepreneurial Law, Environmental Law, Federal Tax, Immigration Law, Innocence Project Northwest, Legislative Advocacy, Mediation, Tribal Court Public Defense, Unemployment Compensation Law and the Street Law Clinic (students are assigned to teach a practical law course to high school students). There is no limit on the number of clinic credits a student can take.
- By enrolling in and satisfactorily completing a Public Service Externship for at least two academic credits. Students can undertake externships with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, legislative bodies, the judiciary, or private law firms on pro bono matters. Students cannot undertake externships with a private law firm or agency on fee-generating matters. Students can enroll in externships only after completing the first year of law school, can take a maximum of 15 externship credits, and must work 30 hours over the course of a quarter for each credit.
- By enrolling in and satisfactorily completing one of the Collaborative Externship Offerings: the Olympia Quarter Fellows and the Laurel Rubin Externship Advocacy Project
- Villanova shares these opportunities with students;
- A student liaison from the Pro Bono Society is assigned to that opportunity;
- A faculty liaison is assigned to that opportunity;
- Information regarding the opportunity (including brief description, contact person at the organization, name/email of student and faculty liaison) is provided on our website;
- Villanova students will have the opportunity to express interest in working with the opportunity by completing a webform listed in each Program Description.
- Increase the availability of legal information to North Carolina residents in need;
- Empower working attorneys to accept more pro bono cases with student assistance;
- Enhance legal education by offering students with pre-clinical opportunities to develop practical legal skills;
- Encourage greater participation in pro bono work among the local bar; and
- Create a life-long commitment to pro bono work among law school students and alumni.
- St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts (VLAA) Nonprofit Incorporation Project - VLAA student volunteers, under the supervision of an attorney, assist arts organizations by helping them incorporate as nonprofit organizations.
- Refugee/Asylum Seekers Project (RASP) - Students are trained to work with Interfaith Legal Services for Immigrants to assist its clients in completing asylum applications. Students have the option of assisting the client beyond the application process.
- Public Service Research Initiative (PSRI) - Students involved with PSRI provide research assistance to legal aid/legal services attorneys, pro bono attorneys, and attorneys working for nonprofit organizations or the government in Missouri and Southern Illinois.
- persons of limited means.
- charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters which are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means.
- individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights.
- charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, or educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources.
- activities for improving access to the law, improving the legal system or improving the legal profession.
- educational activities for improving the public's understanding of the law, the legal system, or the legal profession.
Foreclosure Mediation Preparation Project
The Pro Bono Program presents students with experiential learning opportunities throughout their tenure at CUA Law. Students are also welcome to find their own pro bono opportunities, as long as they fit within programmatic requirements. To qualify as pro bono, the work must be law-related, supervised by an attorney, performed for no academic credit or compensation, and done on behalf of the underserved or nonprofit, civic, community, religious or governmental organizations seeking to promote access to justice. Participation is voluntary through our Pro Bono Challenge, whereby participants pledge to complete varying levels (50/100/150+ hours) of pro bono service during their three or four years of law school.
Students can earn the Commitment to Service Award for 50+ hours of pro bono work in either public interest law or government service (non-court).
As part of the Charleston School of Law's mission to instill within its students a commitment to public service, the Director of Public Service and Pro Bono develops and assists in coordinating a variety of pro bono opportunities for students. These placements allow students to work with attorneys practicing in the public interest legal sector and meet or exceed the 50 hours of pro bono work the School of Law requires for graduation.
The Director of Public Service and Pro Bono works to provide students with the opportunity to experience meaningful pro bono service in a broad range of contexts. Students begin fulfilling their pro bono requirement after they have completed one semester of law school.
Each student is responsible for selecting a placement, contacting that office, arranging to do the work, completing the work, and submitting the required pro bono certification form. To qualify for credit, the work must be law-related and supervised by a licensed attorney. Clerical work is appropriate only to the extent needed to carry out the overall legal task.
Generally, students will receive pro bono credit when a student works without pay or academic credit for a public interest attorney or for a private attorney with pro bono or court appointed cases. A public interest attorney is an attorney employed by an organization that is educational, charitable, governmental or nonprofit in nature.
The Director of Public Service and Pro Bono has developed a list of over 130 approved pro bono sites. The supervising attorney at these sites has agreed to allow students to contact him or her to inquire whether the student might be able to perform pro bono work for the attorney. To receive credit for performing work at sites not on the approved pro bono site list, students must obtain approval from the Director of Public Service and Pro Bono.
Student also can gain practical legal experience through the Externship Program.
CUNY School of Law pro bono program is a hybrid of the above types of two of the above types of pro bono programs; it is both an independent student pro bono group projects as well as a program in which there is a graduation requirement for pro bono service. The Law School's pro bono program is in effect a pro bono graduation requirement program by virtue of the requirement that all students are required to take a clinical or concentration course; since all the clinics and concentrations require a degree of providing pro bono assistance to disadvantaged persons or groups, the clinical/concentration requirement amounts to a pro bono graduation requirement. Moreover there are independent student pro bono projects that are primarily organized and maintained by the students themselves.
The Director of the Pro Bono Project facilitates individual projects, monthly projects (legal and non-legal) and ongoing larger projects. Each year, the Program holds a Pro Bono Program Volunteer Fair. At this Fair, students meet with representatives from non-profit agencies and governmental entities to learn about community service and pro bono opportunities.
The Project, with the help of the Student Public Interest Law Organization, sponsors monthly group projects. These single day initiatives are either pro bono or community service. Law related projects have included providing end-of-life decision to the residents of Benjamin Rose Institute for the Elderly and providing intake for the Cleveland Bar Homeless Project. Training is provided.
The Project sponsors an Alternative Spring Break during which students are encouraged to design their own volunteer week at one or more sites in the community. In addition, through the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project, a law professor and students travel to Texas over school break to participate in this project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. A full-time attorney oversees and coordinates the efforts of volunteer attorneys and students who provide representation and counseling to political asylum applicants and immigrants detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
The Assistant Dean for Public Service has the responsibility, as part of her job description, for connecting law students with pro bono opportunities. Here are examples:
The Creighton Poverty Law Pro Bono Program recognizes voluntary law student pro bono and community service provided primarily to persons of limited means or other vulnerable and underserved populations. All graduates who voluntarily complete a minimum of fifty (50) hours of service over the course of their legal education are recognized for Pro Bono Service Distinction by the Law School, the Nebraska Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission and the Nebraska State Bar Association.
A project of the Center for Public Interest Law, the Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) connects students with rewarding and flexible volunteer opportunities in both legal and non-legal settings. PBCSI works with partner organizations, but students are not limited to working with these sites. Past volunteers have staffed a guardianship help desk, taught lessons on the constitution to elementary school kids, hosted interview workshops for juveniles with criminal histories, tutored kids, educated at-risk youth about their legal rights, worked at legal clinics, and helped individuals transition from homelessness. In 2011, PBCSI developed The Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project, a pro bono help desk staffed by law student volunteers to assist the homeless with expunging and sealing their criminal records and obtaining state IDs. The number of opportunities presented and the number of students involved continues to grow every year. In 2009, the school approved an aspirational goal that each DePaul College of law student completes at least fifty hours of pro bono or community service during their time at the law school.
The Drake Legal Clinic represents indigent clients, and thus pro bono service is central to its mission. Clinical opportunities are made available to every student so desiring, and approximately half of the Law School's graduates take a clinic course. The clinical experience unquestionably helps students understand the immense need for legal services and the ethical responsibility lawyers have to provide pro bono and other services in our communities.
Drake Law School's clinical programs allow students to build valuable professional experience by applying classroom knowledge to work-world situations. Working with real clients with real legal problems, students apply classroom theory to actual cases; sort through and analyze complex information; develop interviewing and other interpersonal communication skills; research possible solutions; develop advocacy strategies; negotiate and mediate; and act in the best interests of their clients. Working in a teaching law firm, students discover the benefits of assisting those who might not otherwise have access to legal assistance while becoming competent and self-confident professionals.
In the Children's Rights Clinic, students represent abused or neglected children as their guardian-ad litem and attorney in Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) proceedings as well as juveniles in delinquency proceedings.
The Criminal Defense Clinic allows students to experience criminal law work. The clinic contracts with the Iowa State Public Defender’s Office to represent indigent clients who have requested a public defender.
Under the guidance and supervision of an experienced criminal law professor, student attorneys represent clients in all court appearances, from the arraignment process to hearings, depositions, negotiations, and trials—including possible jury trials. Cases may involve charges of OWI, assault, theft, drug possession, prostitution, child endangerment and public intoxication, among others. In addition, students participate in weekly classes and case rounds.
Students enrolled in the Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic will provide legal assistance to business startups, entrepreneurs, and community nonprofit organizations to help them establish successful for profit and nonprofit enterprises. The clinic targets entrepreneurs and innovators located in underserved Des Moines neighborhoods who are not able to afford retained legal counsel.
In the General Civil Practice Clinic, students represent clients who could not otherwise afford legal assistance. Typical cases include landlord/tenant disputes, divorce and custody matters, domestic abuse, contempt proceedings, guardianships, and small claims. Students conduct intakes, interviews, and fact investigations; draft legal documents; handle negotiations; and represent clients in court hearings and trials, including jury trials. In addition, students participate in case selection and weekly classes.
The Refugee Clinic provides Drake Law students with the opportunity to engage in direct client representation on behalf of non-citizen applicants for asylum. Applications for asylum involve student representation before the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review (i.e. the Omaha Immigration Court), the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the federal Courts of Appeal under relevant student practice rules.
The Drake Wrongful Convictions Clinic provides students with the opportunity to investigate and contribute to work on post-conviction litigation for Iowa inmates claiming factual innocence. The Clinic is led by the State Public Defender’s Wrongful Convictions Division. Division collaborates with The Midwest Innocence Project. Student attorneys in the clinic represent individuals convicted of serious felony crimes in Iowa in post-conviction proceedings to establish their actual innocence. Students in the Clinic assist in all aspects of assigned cases including reviewing trial transcripts and case files, visiting incarcerated clients, interviewing witnesses, collecting records, consulting subject matter experts, conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, and attending court hearings.
The Institute for Justice Reform & Innovation serves as a center for research and training on topics including implicit bias, sentencing reform, and improving trial procedures. The independent and nonpartisan institute is led by The Honorable Mark W. Bennett (Ret.).
The motto of Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law, Scientia, Ars, Officium - Knowledge, Skill, Duty - reflects the goals Drexel has for its law student graduates. The third element of our school's mission, Officium, means "the duty to the public good owed by a public official." For Drexel, it is an essential element of the Law School, because it recognizes the lawyer's obligation to serve the public good by providing uncompensated legal service to people and organizations that cannot afford to retain lawyers.
" Pro Bono Publico" service, "For the Public Good," is at the heart of the legal profession. Providing pro bono service to individuals or groups traditionally underserved by the private bar is the goal of Drexel's mandatory 50-hour Pro Bono Service Requirement. Students will make an immediate impact in the world by helping those most in need. In addition, the program strives to educate students about their ethical responsibility to provide assistance and improve access to legal services throughout their professional careers. Finally, the program highlights public service opportunities that students may want to pursue as a career path.
The Pro Bono Service Requirement complements Drexel's long and proud tradition of integrating classroom experience with the real-world environment. Under close supervision, students will develop their legal skills and gain practical, hands-on, experience in a real work setting. The Pro Bono Service Requirement is a vital part of Drexel's curriculum and demonstrates the faculty and administration's commitment to the development of professionalism in its students.
In order to qualify for credit towards the requirement, the pro bono service must be law-related. In addition, students may not receive financial compensation or academic credit for providing pro bono service. Moreover, a licensed attorney or other qualified supervisor must adequately supervise and review any and all work. The service must be:
Government work, including working for the district attorney or public defender (or their federal/local equivalents) qualifies for credit towards the Pro Bono Service Requirement under our definition of pro bono. Judicial clerkships and internships, however, do not qualify for credit towards the Pro Bono Service Requirement.
Students must complete 30 hours of pro bono service before graduation. They may begin doing pro bono work during their first year of law school.
The ultimate goal of the Duke Law School Pro Bono Project, created in 1991, is to help shape law students into lawyers who are committed to public service - whether that commitment is made by working full-time in a non-profit or governmental organization or by devoting time in their careers to pro bono work and other important civic and community activities. The Project connects Duke law students with non-profit, governmental and educational institutions in the community that are in need of law student assistance on projects serving the public.
Students are asked to sign a Pro Bono Pledge to contribute at least 50 hours of law-related community service while a student. Opportunities are promoted and facilitated through individual counseling, the Project's website, an annual retreat, presentations at orientation, an open house, a listserv and the law school's e-newsletter, and the work of student leaders of pro bono group projects. Students can receive assistance designing their own project or may choose from a wide variety of issue areas.
Service is integral to Duquesne Law’s mission and reflected in the words of the school seal, "Salus Populi Suprema Lex," or, the welfare of the people is the highest law. Faculty, staff, alumni, and students have a deep tradition of serving the community and helping those in need.
At Elon Law, the pro bono opportunities include: a) a large number of on-campus pro bono projects in which students provide assistance to clients in conjunction with established legal organizations or in student run programs; b) resources and assistance linking students to training and other pro bono projects in Greensboro; and c) collaborative student projects. Law School Faculty advise and support student projects such as the Elon Law Innocence Project and the Elon Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The Law School collects information regarding student pro bono work and reports it to the North Carolina Bar Association, nominating students for certificates of recognition upon completion of 75 hours of pro bono work. Each year, Elon Law nominates a graduating student who has shown an exemplary dedication to pro bono service to receive the North Carolina State Bar Pro Bono Student Award.
SymplicityPro Bono PublicoSymplicity
As part of a Christian university, the law school seeks not only to provide the legal knowledge and practical skills necessary to produce competent and ethical members of the legal community, but also to instill in our students an attitude of service. This commitment to serve those who otherwise could not afford such assistance complements the legal profession's rich tradition of service.
Students are encouraged to think about ways to provide pro bono services. The law school provides opportunities through its clinics for students to begin their career of service while using the practical skills obtained in their law school courses.
The Career Services Office spearheads the focus on public service by posting notices of pro bono opportunities and sponsoring speakers on various public interest topics. The law school subscribes to a database service that highlights pro bono and public interest opportunities.
Students who perform 50 hours of approved pro bono or community service while in law school receive a certificate recognizing such achievement, and a notation of service will be included on the student's transcript. In addition, graduates who complete 50 or more hours will be recognized at graduation. Finally, a Public Interest Service Award will be presented at graduation ceremonies to the graduating student who has most distinguished himself or herself in the area of public service.
Florida International University College of Law's Pro Bono Program is a manifestation of the commitment of FIU College of Law, its faculty and alumni to ensuring that our students learn about a lawyer's role in providing access to justice by assisting in providing legal services to the poor, disadvantaged, and other individuals or groups unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems.
FIU College of Law defines pro bono service as "uncompensated legal services or legal education in conjunction with a lawyer, law firm, or legal organization to individuals, groups or organizations; seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights or work on behalf of individuals, groups or causes that may otherwise lack access to the legal system." Pro bono service may also include "participation in legal or educational activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession with a charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations. The legal activities must be in furtherance of the organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization's economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate."
All FIU College of Law students are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of qualifying pro bono legal service prior to their final semester before graduating.
Students are required to complete and report 20 hours of pro bono service during the second or third year of law school. Pro bono work is defined as "work on behalf of indigent individuals or other uncompensated legal work in conjunction with an individual lawyer, law firm or organization on behalf of a disadvantaged minority, the victims of racial, sexual, other forms of discrimination, those denied human and civil rights, or other work on behalf of the public interest. Work on behalf of the public interest means legal work that is designed to represent a position on behalf of the public at large on matters of public interest. . . ."
Students are required to complete an online Pro Bono Orientation prior to beginning their pro bono work. A list of pre-approved placements may be found on the school's web site and hard copies are available in the Office of Student Affairs. A pro bono fair is also held each spring at the law school. Representatives of various placement sites are invited to campus to meet with law students about their organizations and pro bono opportunities. A number of students each year complete well in excess of 20 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation.
The Public Interest Resource Center strives to educate law students about pro bono and community service volunteer opportunities through actual experiences working with people in need. The work of the Center is based on the premise that students leading students increases opportunities.
GW Law is committed to encouraging students to volunteer their legal services. That commitment is reflected, in part, by the Pro Bono Program. In the program, students provide legal services to those who cannot afford them or who might not otherwise receive those services. Participation in the program gives students the opportunity to give back to their community by donating their time and legal expertise. Volunteering also allows students to gain practical legal experience, build their resume, and provide valuable opportunities to establish networking contacts.
Georgetown Law challenges all incoming J.D. law students to pledge to complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work and community service before they graduate. Second year J.D. transfer students are asked to pledge 35 hours and LL.M. candidates 20 hours. Students who meet their Pro Bono Pledge goals receive a certificate from the Dean and recognition at commencement.
All students are encouraged to perform pro bono work above and beyond the amount pledged. J.D. students receive special or exceptional recognition after completing 100 or 200 hours, respectively (with slightly lower requirements for transfer and LLM students).
The Georgetown Pro Bono Pledge is voluntary, and students who sign up for the pledge and don't find the time to complete their goal aren't penalized or shamed in any way. Pro Bono and community service hours are tracked via Symplicity.
In addition to the Pro Bono Pledge, Georgetown Law runs several programs to help students get involved in pro bono and community service. Through the Georgetown Pro Bono Project, participating students are matched with placements at area non-profits and service providers to engage in pro bono work. Georgetown also circulates a pro bono newsletter, Georgetown Law Gives Back , which advertises ongoing pro bono opportunities to students of all levels. Through both local and out-of-state Alternative Spring Break initiatives, Georgetown students assist in the provision of legal services. Finally, Georgetown Law's Pro Bono Advisory Board serves as a liaison to support students and student organizations seeking to engage in pro bono or community service work, and to expand pro bono and community service opportunities for students, staff and faculty.
The Center for Access to Justice’s Student Pro Bono Program connects students with legal volunteer opportunities to address unmet legal needs of people of limited means and to enhance the capacity of law and legal institutions to do justice, under the supervision of practicing attorneys in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors.
All law students are encouraged to contribute to the local legal community through the Law Student Pro Bono Project co-sponsored by Golden Gate University School of Law and OneJustice.
The Law Student Pro Bono Project matches students with short-term and long-term volunteer projects at legal aid agencies, court-based programs, and social service providers. Students may sign up to receive the Pro Bono News of the Week and learn about projects on the Law Student Pro Bono Project website. Flexible and varied opportunities provide students with options that fit their busy schedules.
Student projects include certified court practice; client intake and interviewing; fact investigation; legal research and writing; legislative advocacy; policy analysis; translation; and trial preparation.
Gonzaga University School of Law's Center for Law in Public Service (CLiPS) partners with students; faculty; local, regional and state-wide legal and social service providers; law schools; voluntary county bar associations; and the mandatory state bar association to coordinate pro bono opportunities for Gonzaga students.
The following pro bono and public service projects are administered through the Center for Law in Public Service:
Moderate Means Program: The Moderate Means Program is a state-wide, reduce-fee lawyer referral service formed through a collaborative effort between Washington's three law schools and the Washington State Bar Association. Designed to link moderate income households with private attorneys who offer reduced-fee legal assistance, the Moderate Means Program at Gonzaga Law engages student volunteers to screen applicants; conduct client intake; and refer housing, family and consumer law cases to participating attorneys. Moderate Means Program student volunteers at Gonzaga Law receive substantive and practice-oriented training as well as staff attorney supervision.
FLASH: Family Law Attorney Student Help (FLASH) is a partnership between Gonzaga Law and the Spokane County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Program through which law student volunteers attend and assist at weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly family law clinics. FLASH student volunteers receive substantive, practice-oriented training from local family law practitioners.
Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic: In cooperation with legal services attorneys from the Northwest Justice Project, TeamChild and public defenders, law student volunteers assist pro se clients to complete and file petitions to seal records for juvenile adjudications in Spokane County.
Veterans Wills Clinic: Gonzaga Law partners with the Spokane Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and several veterans services organizations to host an annual one-day clinic which links attorney and law student volunteers with veterans to provide free estate planning documents.
1L Orientation Service Project: Incoming first year students join Gonzaga Law faculty, staff and public interest students to volunteer at a community-based non-profit organization during orientation or the first week of class. The Gonzaga Law community served at St. Joseph's Family Center, L'Arche, 2nd Harvest Food Bank, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Grade School, and the Spokane Community Warehouse.
Students must perform at least 50 hours of uncompensated, law-related public interest work on behalf of people who cannot afford (in whole or in part) to pay for legal services, or; for the government, or; at a non-profit organization as defined under IRS sections 501(c)(3) & (4) protecting rights of marginalized individuals/groups or working in the broader public interest, or; in a law firm working on a pro bono basis. The work may also be performed in a setting in which clinical credit is given, in conjunction with a faculty pro bono project, in student-initiated projects, or in many HLS volunteer student organizations. Student's work should involve the application or interpretation of law, the formulation of legal policy, or the drafting of legislation or regulations. Work should have an advocacy or representational component. It should not be primarily clerical in nature. Eligible tasks include: assisting an attorney at trial, client and witness interviewing and investigation, drafting documents, preparing a case for trial, assisting pro se litigants in court, community legal education, and research and writing. All work must be supervised by a licensed attorney.
On average, students at HLS perform over 500 hours of pro bono work each.
Hofstra's Public Service Certificate Program: To qualify for a Public Service Certificate at graduation, Hofstra Law students can do any of the following: (1) work for a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to individuals or groups who are under-served, under-represented or of limited means; (2) perform law related work for a governmental agency; or (3) assist attorneys providing legal services free of charge or at significantly reduced cost to individuals or groups who are under-served, under-represented or of limited means. All legal work must be performed under the supervision of an attorney and without pay or credit. Judicial placements are not eligible for the program. Volunteer hours with Hofstra Law student groups that advocate on behalf of clients, such as the Unemployment Action Center (UAC) or the Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP) and for groups that provide legal education, such as Street Law and the Elmont Mock Trial Enrichment program, count towards the Certificate. The levels of service recognized are as follows: Bronze Level (50 hours), Silver Level (125 hours) and Gold Level (200 hours)
Howard University School of Law has a proud legacy of championing civil rights and social justice causes. The Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program furthers this legacy by encouraging HUSL students to engage in voluntary, uncompensated work on behalf of low-income and underrepresented populations. The program is also designed to encourage students to begin a life-long commitment of service for the public good.
Through the program, students pledge to complete a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono and community service projects at organizations working on behalf of low-income and underrepresented populations during their 3 years of law school. Students may complete up to 25 of their 50 hours in non-legal community service work; however, the remainder of their hours must be completed with an organization engaged primarily in law-related or legal work.
As a way of encouraging and promoting community service and pro bono legal work, the Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) was created to help connect students interested in volunteer or career opportunities with public interest groups or agencies in need of their services. Primarily, the Center acts as a clearinghouse for short and long-term public service law opportunities as well as non-law related projects, with the realization that many students cannot fully commit themselves to a career in public interest upon graduation. Therefore, enabling students to benefit from doing pro bono work while in law school is a Center priority.
Indiana Maurer School of Law has established an aspirational goal for JD students to perform 60 hours of pro bono work over the course of their degree work. The Access to Justice Program educates students about this goal, the value of pro bono work, and opportunities to perform pro bono work. Programming includes an annual Pro Bono Fair, a celebration of Pro Bono Week, a Pro Bono speaker series, and an ethics and skills training. Students are recognized for their pro bono work through an annual Pro Bono Award for the graduating student who has reported the highest number of hours while enrolled in school and certificates for the student in each 1L and 2L class who has reported the highest number of hours for the past academic year. In addition, each graduating student who has achieved the aspirational goal is recognized at graduation.
Students are required to take a 2-semester, 6-credit clinical course in which they work with cilients of the Legal Assistance Clinic
As a Pro Bono Program participant, McKinney students volunteer on supervised projects for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individual attorneys doing unpaid legal work.
The work must benefit the underserved, the underrepresented, or organizations with limited resources. Although you will not receive academic credit or pay of any kind, you will gain exposure to diverse areas of practice such as administrative law, criminal law, family law, and children's issues.
Some placements require only a few hours of work per week, while others may require more hours dedicated to the project. Most placements last a semester, although some continue throughout the academic year.
Students are eligible to participate in our Pro Bono Program after they’ve completed their first semester of law school.
The Pro Bono Outreach and Externships (PBOE) Director maintains a list of pro bono organizations and opportunities. Students select the pro bono activity that interests them and contacts the organization to volunteer. Students provide the PBOE Director with the name of the organization and the number of hours worked. The PBOE keeps track of the hours each student volunteers. Students with the most volunteer hours are recognized at graduation and celebrated during the academic year.
The Pro Bono Program, created in 1997, offers students opportunities to serve as volunteer legal interns with public service organizations. Pro bono opportunities are advertised through online and paper postings, through a pro bono and public interest email list, through individual student meetings, and through annual pro bono panels (bringing organizations on campus to meet students).
Pro bono opportunities range from work with legal service providers and issue advocacy groups to work with private attorneys assisting pro bono clients. Students also volunteer with a variety of groups doing non-law community service work. For students seeking a Certificate in Public Interest Law, 50 hours of pro bono work are required.
During the 2014-2015 school year, students reported more than 15,500 hours of pro bono and community service combined.
Liberty University School of Law does not mandate volunteerism; however, it does aim to develop a culture of service among its law students, faculty, staff, and administration. In and out of the classroom, faculty members are encouraged to model and promote the value of pro bono and community service and to emphasize the pro bono obligation of all persons licensed to practice law.
Faculty and administration encourage students to apply the practical skills they learn in law school to a lifetime of public service. From its inception, the law school has offered students the opportunity to participate in Street Law as an independent student group project that is supported administratively by the Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD). During the fall and spring semesters, students teach practical, law-related classes in two separate locations—a juvenile detention center and a residential group home.
In addition, with the administrative support of CCPD and the Office of External Affairs, the law school matches students with private practitioners who request assistance on pro bono projects, and it facilitates the placement of students in uncompensated, not-for-credit internships in public defender offices, prosecutorial offices, legal aid offices, and other not-for-profit organizations.
Students are also offered the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of externships; to work pro bono in the Liberty Center for Law and Policy (LCLP), a public interest center formed through a partnership between Liberty Counsel and Liberty University School of Law; and to avail themselves of public service opportunities offered through PSLawNet and career fairs (e.g., the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference and the Southeastern Minority Job Fair) and the Lynchburg Bar Association.
Public Interest is a growing area at the Law Center. A group of students, along with faculty and Career Services advisors, started the Public Interest Law Society (PILS) in the spring of 2005. This group formed out of two former student organizations, the Pro Bono Committee of the Student Bar Association and Students Helping Others. PILS focuses on three areas: community service, pro bono work and searching for and funding public interest internships. Its goal is to increase the number of public interest and pro bono opportunities available to LSU law students by administering a fellowship fund for summer public interest internships and organizing pro bono projects to help the local community during the school year.
The Law Center began providing office space in the summer of 2006 for two attorneys from EJW/Americorps Pro Bono Legal Corps. These attorneys, hosted by the Louisiana Bar Foundation, recruit, train, and supervise law students for pro bono projects.
The Public Interest Law Department oversees the pro bono program, which was instituted by the faculty in October 1992, along with other programs. Students are provided with an "Approved Pro Bono Organization List" and are responsible for contacting those agencies in regards to securing a placement and completing the 40-hour pro bono graduation requirement. This list is not exclusive; students wishing to satisfy the pro bono requirement with other verifiable public interest organizations can do so with the approval of the Director.
The Assistant to the Director is the Public Interest Law Program Coordinator responsible for tracking and clearing students who have satisfied the mandatory requirement before graduation. Students are asked to evaluate their experiences at their pro bono placement and offer any suggestions or comments about the evaluation portion of the Student Log/Supervisory Report form, which they must submit to document/verify the completion of their forty hours.
Students must complete a minimum of forty unpaid hours of legal services in an approved public interest agency or complete at least two units in approved public interest externship programs, which provide services to traditionally underrepresented groups.
Formal voluntary program with faculty coordinator as well as independent student organizations that do pro bono work and public interest projects. Public service and leadership are recognized at the graduation ceremony (listing in graduation booklet and recognition during the ceremony). Not a graduation requirement.
Law students at Loyola have the option of participating in the Gillis Long Student Pro Bono Program to satisfy the Law and Poverty requirement needed for graduation.
Students may satisfy the Law and Poverty requirement by fulfilling any one of the following options: take the Law and Poverty Seminar (LAW 782); take Street Law (LAW 833); represent low income people in the Clinical Seminar (LAW 897); or perform 50 hours pro bono legal services to the poor in one academic year in a pre-approved setting.
The Gillis Long Student Pro Bono Program requires fifty hours of pro bono work which the student may perform at any time during their law school career. The Pro Bono Program places students at approved sites where students can gain practical legal experience while performing legal work such as conducting client interviews, legal research and writing, and, in some cases, representing clients before the courts where it is permitted by law. Areas of practice include such fields as domestic law, homeless law, mental health law, juvenile law, social security issues, the death penalty, elder law, consumer law, and AIDS issues. The Gillis Long Student Pro Bono Program seeks to provide students with the opportunity to gain practical legal experience to aid their development as professionals, create a greater awareness of the obligation to provide legal services to the disadvantaged, foster development of the bar, and provide quality legal services to our community.
All placements must be approved in advance by the Pro Bono Coordinator. Pro bono placements with private practitioners or firms may be approved where: (1) there is no concurrent paid employment relationship between the law student and the private practitioner or firm, and (2) the work to be performed has been assigned through the local legal aid services provider, by court appointment, or by referral from the local office of the public defender, or (3) it has been approved by the Coordinator of the program in advance. Students can volunteer with one of the in-house clinics.
The program is open to first through third year students. The fifty-hour requirement is merely a minimum guideline. Students are encouraged to do more. Placements are promoted through brochures, newsletters, and the program's interactive website: http://law.loyno.edu/probono/ The Program's interactive, web-based administration makes it easy for students to sign up, select a placement or propose their own, submit pro bono hours, and complete their evaluations.
Marquette University Law School offers a broad range of active and supported pro bono initiatives for its law students. A student's pro bono experience starts with taking a voluntary pro bono pledge when they enter law school. Marquette's fulltime assistant dean and director of public service then help students find the right pro bono placement at one or more of the many Marquette-sponsored programs, or at independent placements throughout the community.
Pro bono project descriptions and offerings are updated on the Marquette Law School website each semester: https://law.marquette.edu/community/pro-bono-opportunities. These pro bono initiatives demonstrate Marquette's commitment to serving underserved groups with barriers to equal access to justice.
Students have a choice of whether to participate in projects remotely, in-person, or both.
Though there is no formal pro bono program; volunteer opportunities are posted by Career Services on job posting board and also placed on the School's website.
Mitchell Hamline School of Law supports the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) along with the other two law schools in Minnesota. MJF is a separate non-profit organization that links law students at all three Minnesota law schools with pro bono opportunities and funds summer public interest fellowships.
Please see: https://www.nesl.edu/practical-experiences/pro-bono
The program is situated in the school's Career Services Office, which coordinates the school’s three academic centers: the Center for Law and Social Responsibility (CLSR), Center for International Law and Policy (CILP), and Center for Business Law (CBL). The CLSR dedicates itself to the ideal of law as a means through which to achieve socially responsible goals. In keeping with this mission, the CLSR supports the faculty, students, and alumni in classroom, scholarship, pro bono projects, and other activities that study or otherwise address social problems that can be addressed through the law and those that are products of the inequities in the legal system itself. The CLSR serves, in part, as New England Law | Boston's implementation of Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1, a rule encouraging lawyers to engage in public service activities. The CLSR also aims to assist in the school's mission to perform "public service and other work that further the interests of justice." The school’s website includes information about its three academic centers, as well as information regarding employment, public service work, and public interest and pro bono web links.
Faculty recommended volunteer opportunities and in-house pro bono group projects are listed on the Law School's website on student organizations.
The Law School's Public Service Certificate program recognizes students who have committed substantial time to working in the public interest, and students who earn the Public Service Certificate receive a notation on their transcript. Pro bono opportunities are promoted and facilitated via internal communication systems, including email, a public interest listserve, Center newsletters, a Career Services searchable database, and the school's website.
NYU, a "private university in the public service," is committed to serving the public through a variety of programs. In furtherance of this mission, in the fall of 2010 the Law School launched the Pro Bono Service Award program to encourage all NYU law students to do 50 or more hours of law-related service during law school. Beginning with the class of 2013, students who complete 50 or more hours will receive the Pro Bono Service Award Certificate.
The goal of the Pro Bono Service Award is to encourage all of NYU Law students to embrace public service as a professional responsibility and an opportunity for great satisfaction and learning throughout their careers. Cognizant of the huge unmet need for legal services in our society, the program has been designed to encourage and recognize both: 1) students who intend to devote their careers to public service; and 2) students who intend to do pro bono work in the private sector.
NCCU Law School established the Pro Bono Program in 1996 to promote law student involvement in public interest law and pro bono service. The Pro Bono and Public Interest Program seeks to inspire and recruit students to be the pro bono and public interest attorneys of the future and also to be a source of volunteerism for the North Carolina public interest law community. The program facilitates student placements with public interest organizations across the state; sponsors speakers and events on public interest law topics; and offers public interest career advising, recognition for student pro bono service, and support for student-led pro bono projects. The program also provides support for two ongoing law school-based, student-led pro bono projects, the NCCU Law Innocence and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Projects, and for new student-led pro bono initiatives, such as the Just Democracy/Election Protection initiative of Fall 2004.
First-year students are encouraged to attend Pro Bono Program events such as panels and speakers during Fall semester and to volunteer on a limited basis during Spring semester. First-year students typically volunteer with the NCCU Law Innocence and VITA Projects and with the Durham County Teen Court program.
A major event initiated in 2005-06 is the Public Interest Organization Fair, at which representatives from public interest organizations have the opportunity to showcase their programs and talk with interested students in an informal setting.
The Pro Bono Program is a resource for students seeking a pro bono opportunity and advising about careers in public interest law. We maintain ongoing relationships with more than twenty legal services and public interest law organizations in the area and across the state and regularly publicize their needs for student volunteers and summer interns via electronic bulletin boards and e-mail alerts. The Pro Bono Coordinator provides individual counseling to students seeking a pro bono opportunity or public interest law summer internship and serves as advisor to the Public Interest Law Student organization (PILO) and the Innocence Project.
The Public Interest Requirement was instituted in 1994 with the incoming class. Students may meet the Public Interest Requirement in a variety of ways. These include: successfully completing a full-time public interest co-op comprised of spending 11 weeks and 35 hours per week (385 hours) in a public interest work setting; taking a law school clinic; performing 30 hours of pre-approved legal pro bono work; or doing a public interest independent study. Typically an average of 85% of each graduating class satisfied the requirement through co-op, the most significant time commitment. Almost ninety per cent of the two most recent graduating classes satisfied the requirement by doing a public interest co-op.
The program provides information about pro bono opportunities and also allows students to identify opportunities on their own initiative.
The NKU Chase Pro Bono Service Program requires students to complete a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation. Pro bono work is broadly defined as law-related work performed in legal service organizations, government agencies, private law firms (pro bono cases), nonprofit organizations, and legislative offices. Students select from a variety of organizations designated as approved placement sites, or they design their own pro bono project. In addition, NKU Chase offers several pro bono projects based at the law school.
Pro bono service may include interviewing clients, researching issues for public interest lawyers, engaging in legislative or policy analysis, teaching at-risk youth about the law, providing income tax assistance to low-income clients, and participating in legal aid clinics.
More information about the Chase Pro Bono Service Program can be found at https://chaselaw.nku.edu/experiences/probonoservice.html
Students are encouraged to serve at least 50 hours of public service work over the course of their time at Northwestern Law. Acknowledging that not all students will choose public interest law as a career, students may volunteer in a wide range of legal and non-legal community service projects. Our Pro Bono and Public Service Director assists students in finding placements, organizes opportunities, and keeps track of their efforts.
Through our public service program, students work with many organizations that approach us on an as-needed basis, but we also have established a few key partnerships that continue on a regular basis from year to year, including a partnership with Chicago Youth Programs to provide tutoring and mentoring, a partnership with WITS to provide weekly one-on-one reading assistance to third graders in our adopted public school, and the Ladder Up Tax Assistance Program, to provide free tax assistance to low-income families. To assist in the expansion of legal representation of the poor, we also partner with several legal service organizations, including Legal Aid Chicago, Women’s Justice Institute, Equip for Equality, and Illinois Legal Aid Online. For more information, go to the public service website at https://www.law.northwestern.edu/academics/public-interest/service/
Pro Bono and community service activities are sponsored by the Career Services Office, the Student Affairs Office, and student-run groups. The Career Services Office collaborates wiith student organizations to coordinate pro bono activities and work with the Legal Aid Services of Indiana of South Bend to provide volunteer service opportunities. Pro bono announcements are placed on bulletin boards and electronic list serves so that students are kept informed about pro bono activities and opportunities.
GALILEE (Group Alternative Live-In Legal Education Experience) is highly encouraged. Students spend their Christmas break living among citizens of the inner cities to learn about the legal needs of the urban poor. The program lasts for about 10 days and is followed up with a weekend retreat in the spring so that students are provided the opportunity to discuss and share ideas about their experience.
ONU encourages students to engage in pro bono work and to develop a sense of obligation to contribute as members of the legal profession. Students who complete 30 or more hours of pro bono work during their three years in law school receive a notation on their transcript of "Pro Bono Service." The Law School also annually recognizes a student, faculty member or graduate selected by the Law School’s pro bono/public interest committee for his or her outstanding pro bono efforts.
The Public Service Fellow Program at Moritz College of Law recognizes students who volunteer legal service to a non-profit (501)(c)(3) organization or to a governmental agency. Fellows will be recognized at the Honors Convocation, which precedes the Hooding Ceremony, and the PSF designation will be added to student fellows' transcripts. There are four levels of distinction:
Pro bono service is promoted by and information on opportunities (local and other) is provided through the Professional Career and Development Center. The Professional Career and Development Center, in conjunction with local attorneys and associations, as well as PSLawNet and the Equal Justice Works organization, sponsors training and speakers on pro bono service. OCU LAW is a member of NALP, which now hosts the PSLawNet volunteer opportunity database, and is a member of Equal Justice Works, which holds an annual national pro bono and public interest career fair.
Examples of student placement opportunities include:
Project Re-Entry—Students are involved in researching criminal and civil records during pre-release procedures for inmates. Outstanding warrants or legal obligations are identified and either referred for disposition or negotiated by the students under the supervision of participating attorneys.
Federal Bar Association Research Project—Students research and assist attorneys appointed by federal judges to represent indigent criminal defendants in the civil rights actions in the federal system.
Pro Se Waiver Divorce Docket Courthouse Project—Students attend a weekly court docket for pro se divorce litigants. Litigants are referred by the presiding judge to the students and supervising lawyers for assistance with the litigants' divorce documents. Students draft pleadings, child support and custody documents, and assist in all aspects of the litigation.
Habitat Wills Project—Students interview Habitat for Humanity homeowners, and then under the supervision of a volunteer lawyer or faculty member, draft simple testamentary and trust documents for the homeowners.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma—Students assist lawyers in all aspects of legal representation for qualified clients. Students interview clients, draft pleadings, letters, and documents, research legal issues, and attend and participate in discovery procedures and court hearings, particularly victim protective order and forcible entry and detainer dockets.
Oklahoma Lawyers for Children—This organization provides legal representation by volunteer attorneys, along with Oklahoma public defenders, for children who have been removed from their homes due to severe abuse or neglect. Students are trained and then volunteer to interview the children placed in emergency shelters and to provide information to assist the lawyer who will represent the child at a show cause hearing.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance—Students participate in extensive training and then provide information about income tax preparation to members of the community, with the assistance of supervising lawyers.
Domestic Violence Victims Project—Students may accompany a supervising volunteer lawyer to a domestic violence victims' shelter to perform initial legal intake on the shelter resident. Thereafter, the students may assist Legal Aid lawyers in representing the shelter resident in the legal proceedings needed by the residents, including divorce, protective orders, child custody, bankruptcy, and Social Security matters.
The Public Interest Law Center coordinates and organizes a formal voluntary pro bono program (2), called the Pro Bono Justice Program, which includes coordinating on and off-campus pro bono project trainings, referrals for pro bono opportunities, weekly or otherwise regular collection and publication of on-going on and off campus pro bono projects and administrative support for student group projects.
The Public Interest Law Center coordinates the law school’s Pro Bono Justice Program, which offers opportunities for even our newest students to receive training and get off campus and into the community, where they provide assistance in wide-ranging legal practice areas including immigration services, to domestic violence, to predatory lending and consumer debt, to community education on voting and other civil rights, and provide coverage on legal help lines, including LiveHelpNY.
Penn State Law offers a variety of pro bono opportunities through the Miller Pro Bono Program. The Program serves to educate students about their professional responsibility to provide legal services to the poor and underrepresented through the provision of pro bono opportunities as well as through recognition of students' pro bono service. The Program's faculty, staff and students are dedicated to furthering the legal profession's responsibility to increase access to justice. In doing so, we are able to provide assistance to those individuals who are already dedicated to representing the underrepresented.
The Program connects law students with private attorneys providing pro bono representation, legal services attorneys, public defenders, and court appointed counsel for indigent litigants. The students matched with attorneys through the Center provide assistance with discrete research requests and support for ongoing pro bono projects. These projects can often be completed remotely and provide students with exposure to poverty law issues as well as the opportunity to develop their research and writing skills.
Shelter Outreach Projects:
Students are encouraged to participate in shelter outreach programs where they accompany attorneys to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters to staff legal information tables and provide intake screenings. These programs are coordinated through county bar associations and legal services offices and provide students with the opportunity to team with local attorneys interested in combating issues of poverty, homelessness and abuse.
Pro Se Divorce and Custody Clinics:
Students have the opportunity to assist pro se litigants in completing forms to initiate proceedings under the supervision of attorneys through local bar associations and MidPenn Legal Services pro se clinics.
Alternative Break Projects:
The pro bono program works with the Public Interest Law Fund student organization to support students' interested in organizing alternative semester break events where pro bono serves as the focal point of students' winter, summer and/or spring break. Past events have included multiple trips to New Orleans to participate in the Student Hurricane Network as well as a local focus on assisting first responders obtain end of life documents through the Wills For Heroes program.
Wills for Heroes:
Wills for Heroes is a national program with support from the ABA and PBA. The idea for the program stems from the events of 9/11 and a desire on the part of the legal community to protect those who protect us. Student volunteers participate in training and are paired with licensed attorneys to provide wills, living wills, and powers of attorney to first responders who are traditionally unlikely to have these documents in place to protect them and their families. Student volunteers assisted in coordinating Cumberland Counties first WFHs event in the fall of 2010 and programs are anticipated to occur in both Centre and Cumberland counties in future semesters.
Pro Bono Opportunities Initiated by Students:
Each new class of students brings with it a breadth of experience and passions with respect to serving the needs of the poor. As individual students discover opportunities to engage in pro bono, the Center will provide assistance with coordinating the project as well as recognition of attorney supervised law related pro bono work through the Miller Center for Public Interest Advocacy certification program.
Students are encouraged to volunteer for local pro bono organizations and have the opportunity to provide pro bono legal assistance through clinics (supervised by Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty), practicums (supervised by faculty and partners at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and Ventura County Public Defender’s Office), and externships.
The Office of Law Career & Alumni Services in conjunction with the Virginia Bar Association encourages public service by students through recognizing their successful completion of an approved placement through the Making the Commitment Program. The Virginia Bar Association is challenging every law student in Virginia to make the commitment.
The placement must be for a minimum of 35 hours per academic year. Students must complete both a proposal of work and supervisor agreement.
All students participating in the Making the Commitment Program are honored at a Public Interest Awards Reception held each fall; are given a certificate of appreciation signed by the dean of the law school; and are publicly recognized in front of family and peers at their commisioning ceremony as part of graduation.
Rutgers Law School is committed to providing students with meaningful pro bono opportunities that instill an ethic of service, while providing much needed legal assistance to the broader community. Through the program, our students develop skills in professional responsibility, problem-solving, and leadership, while also internalizing an ethic of service that is central to the legal profession. Moreover, through their engagement in our pro bono program, our students enhance their legal knowledge and professional networks. The goal is for all Rutgers Law School students to develop the skills and inclination to work for social justice throughout their careers, whether in a public interest setting or through pro bono work.
Our home community of Camden, NJ is a perfect environment in which to learn and serve. By performing direct service and policy work, Rutgers Law School students develop an appreciation for structural inequities and help real people. Students perform pro bono work in a variety of settings. Most of our projects are in-house partnerships with legal services providers, focused on bankruptcy; community legal education; life planning (medical directives, etc.); income tax assistance; re-entry for returning citizens; research for government and public interest entities; and many other areas. In addition, students often gain approval to work with partner entities such as the ACLU, various innocence organizations, etc. Students also often organize winter and spring break service projects in New Jersey and throughout the United States.
Non-curricular public interest opportunities and activities are carried out under the Eric Neisser Public Interest Program. Students who participate in a minimum of 35 hours of pro bono work during their Law School careers receive special recognition at graduation, as well as a transcript notation. Pro bono credit is awarded for work that is truly volunteer (neither compensated nor undertaken for academic credit). Many students volunteer with one of the Law School-based pro bono initiatives, while others work for outside public interest law organizations or government agencies.
The Public Interest Center offers students a range of opportunities to explore, experience and practice public interest law. We are also committed to teaching students the value and reward of pro bono work. In 2003, the Law School inaugurated the Pro Bono Service Project in furtherance of the University's Vincentian Mission and the principle that law students and members of the legal profession have a special obligation to assist in providing quality legal services to unrepresented communities, groups or interests.
The Pro Bono Service Project will recognize students with a Public Service Award which will be given at Commencement to students who have completed at least 500 hours of qualifying service.
Students who demonstrate an exceptional level of pro bono service, including dedicated service to specific pro bono projects (including student run programs), will be eligible for additional awards at Commencement.
Web address is http://law.slu.edu/public_services
Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for Student Group Projects (some elements of Referral System with a Coordinator)
The Pro Bono Program creates opportunities for law students to engage in legal pro bono work. Most of these opportunities are created through partnerships with other organizations such as the San Antonio Bar Association’s Community Justice Program (CJP), Catholic Charities, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and Texas Access to Justice.
Current projects include: Wills, Family Law, and Veteran’s Events; Ask-A-Lawyer; People’s Law School; St. Mary’s ID Recovery Program; Volunteer Income Tax Assistance; Peer Court; and Alternative Spring Break programs.
St. Mary's is also a member of Equal Justice Works which entitles our law students to compete for various fellowship positions.
The Program also offers career counseling to law students interested in pursuing public interest work and assistance in placement for other pro bono opportunities.
In furtherance of St. Thomas University School of Law's mission to provide assistance to the community, all law students are required to complete 50 hours of pro bono service before graduation. St. Thomas Law's pro bono graduation requirement enables students to serve the community while gaining valuable practical lawyering skills. Whether a student's ultimate goal is to work in the public or private sector, St. Thomas Law is committed to instilling the ethic that public service and pro bono advocacy is an integral part of becoming a lawyer. Law students who complete at least one hundred (100) hours of pro bono will be awarded Certificates of Commendation at a year-end ceremony. Also, these students will receive special recognition in the graduation program, be given a cord for graduation, and have this honor noted on their final transcript. The graduating 3L with the highest number of legal pro bono hours is awarded an inscribed plaque at the Commencement.
The Cumberland Community Mediation Center provides confidential, cost-free mediation to those seeking resolution of community issues, neighborhood disputes or issues between individuals that would be better serviced through mediation. The goals of the Cumberland Community Mediation Center are to promote the use of community mediation and to provide a resource through which the Greater Birmingham community can make use of the mediation process.
The members of Santa Clara Law’s student organizations provide a variety of pro bono work, including assistance with pro bono clinics; drives for toys, books, and clothing; and others. In addition, the law school organizes some formal pro bono opportunities for students, including the Second Chances Hackathon, the Bridges for Justice advice and referral clinics, the Spring Break Border Service Trip, and an expungement clinic.
The work of the Access to Justice Institute reflects the mission of Seattle University School of Law: to lead its students toward a lifetime of service to justice for all. AtJI connects the law school to the community at large, collaborating with hundreds of attorneys, judges and advocates from every field and drawing more than 300 student volunteers each year. AtJI enables students to connect their classroom learning to real clients, cases and attorneys while providing invaluable services to low-income communities.
Students volunteering with AtJI have the option to be placed as volunteers in one of 55 community legal service agencies that have formed collaborative partnerships with the Institute, or, they can participate in one of the following projects administered by the AtJI staff. In-house projects include: The Community Justice Centers, Immigration Court Project, Hague Convention Project, Unemployment Insurance for Battered Women Project, Language Bank, Real Change Homeless Newspaper Project and Begal Aid Newsletter Project. More information on these projects can be found at http://law.seattleu.edu/atji
Students at all levels of learning and experience are encouraged to participate in the Center for Social Justice's Pro Bono program. At minimum, students in the program donate 35 hours of their professional time during a semester. Students can complete the 35 hour requirement during the course of a semester or during school breaks.
The South Texas College of Law Pro Bono Honors Program is open to all students who have completed the first year of law school study. The Program has two components. First, it "matches" interested students with community public interest projects. Second, it monitors student participation and recognizes those students who contribute 50 or more hours of pro bono service. Although it is a "stand-alone" program, it operates closely with the Public Interest Process Clinic in keeping abreast of current service needs in the community.
Students can either select from a list of "pre-approved" placements, or students can propose their own placement with a lawyer or agency engaged in pro bono service. Each student and supervisor signs an agreement, and the law school tracks the hours worked and the final evaluation of the service by both the student and supervisor. Many of the pre-approved placements involve agencies with which the law school has had a multi-year relationship through the academic internships. The extensive list allows the law school to help the student in selecting a service opportunity that is commensurate with the student's lawyering skills level or addresses the student's subject matter interest.
The program is available to all interested second and third year students, whether or not the student intends to donate 50 hours of service in order to qualify for special recognition. www.stcl.edu/academics/legal-clinics/pro-bono-programs/
All students at the Southern Illinois University School of Law are required to complete 35 hours of pro bono work prior to graduation. The work must be law related, uncompensated, supervised by an attorney or faculty member, and not for academic credit.
The goal of SMU's pro bono requirement is to enhance the legal profession and the law school curriculum by exposing lawyers-to-be to the importance of and the need for a life-long commitment to public service. To qualify, service must be: law-related; in the public interest; supervised by an attorney; pro bono; and no academic credit nor financial remuneration may be received. The 30-hours cannot be satisfied until after completion of the first-year curriculum.
The Director of the Public Service Program helps students meet the pro bono requirement. Students can choose from over 70 different pre-approved placements listed on the Public Service Program website or they may propose their own public service placement by submitting a request form for a Student Initiated Placement (SIP) to the Director of Public Service. Additionally, students may perform their 30-hours at any of the law school's 10 different clinics provided that the hours are not being claimed for both public service and academic credit.
Southwestern’s Public Service Program (PSP) is a voluntary program that encourages students to engage in a minimum of 75-hours of law-related service during their studies at Southwestern. Through community-centered collaborations in partnership with legal services organizations, community-based organizations and government agencies, students are connected with service and advocacy opportunities that further the public interest in addressing systemic inequities and responding to unmet legal need in indigent communities. Southwestern students meeting their 75-hour service pledge by their final year of study are recognized at commencement ceremonies and a notation of Public Service distinction placed on their academic transcripts.
Stanford Law School (SLS) is committed to excellence in legal education and views pro bono legal service as integral to that goal. SLS also seeks to advance the ethical standards of the legal profession in the United States, which state that lawyers should aspire to provide significant pro bono publico legal services. Through its voluntary Pro Bono Program, students are encouraged to contribute 50 hours or more of pro bono service during their time at SLS.
Like other programs under the auspices of the Levin Center, the Pro Bono Program is designed to inspire, teach, cultivate the interests and passions of, and provide experiential learning opportunities for law school students.
By doing pro bono work and, hopefully, clinical work in the 2L and 3L years, students learn important skills, such as legal research and writing, client interviewing and the crafting of legal arguments, among others, early in their legal careers. These skills greatly benefit students as they begin their careers in the public interest sector, government or law firms. Doing pro bono work also helps students to contextualize what they are learning in their classes and gives them "real world" experience. Students discover, first-hand, how the ability to navigate the complexities of the law can make a tremendous difference in the lives of the people that they help – whether it is preventing a person's eviction from her home or filing a temporary restraining order against an abusive partner.
Currently, there are 21 pro bono projects covering a wide range of legal areas:
Additionally, the Pro Bono Program is piloting two new immigrants' rights programs with Bay Area agencies and a First Amendment project with the ACLU.
More information about the Pro Bono Program.
Through its voluntary Pro Bono Program, Suffolk University Law School seeks to foster in every member of the law school community a moral and professional obligation to ensure access to justice for all citizens. In furtherance of this goal, Suffolk Law School challenges all incoming law students to complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate.
The Pro Bono Program at Suffolk Law School defines "pro bono work" for students in accordance with the ABA's Model Rule 6.1, which defines pro bono broadly, to include free and reduced fee service to the poor, as well as activities for "improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession." To count as pro bono, students may not receive pay or credit for their work. In addition, students must be supervised by an attorney and Suffolk Law students may not use Massachusetts Student Practice Rule 3:03 certification to perform pro bono work. All students who meet or exceed the 50-hour goal will receive recognition for their pro bono service.
Pro Bono opportunities are solicited, centralized, and promoted to law students through the Program's website, weekly e-letters, presentations at orientation, and an annual open house. The Director of Pro Bono Programs facilitates student pro bono work through individual counseling and online matching of volunteers with appropriate placements. Students may choose pro bono work from a wide array of issue areas, as posted by the Program, or they may initiate their own projects with the assistance and approval of the Director.
Law students may also participate in Suffolk's Pro Bono Partners Program. Pro Bono Partners pairs interested Suffolk Law School alumni and other attorneys with upper-level law students to work together on pro bono cases from the Volunteer Lawyers Project, Health Law Advocates, the Victim Rights Law Center, or other qualifying nonprofit legal services agencies. Pro Bono Partners also works with the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) to match upper-level students with certified private bar counsel on cases involving public criminal defense, child and family law, and mental health litigation.
Law-related pro bono service is encouraged from the first day of Law School at SUNY Buffalo. Students are provided opportunities through organized service days, students groups, volunteer opportunities and credit-bearing experiences such as Clinics, Externships and Practicums. Student groups such as the Domestic Violence Task Force and the Prison Task Force provide information on our student organization web site, though our Student Information Portal (SIP) as well as through "table days" for student groups every fall in our building's lobby. Curricular offerings are advertised through registration programs, SIP postings and registration materials available on our web site. The Career Services Office and the Student Services Office advertise volunteer opportunities and internships through internet and other postings.
Voluntary Pro Bono Program to assist students to:
Link to our pro bono site: http://www.law.buffalo.edu/current/pro-bono.html
Syracuse University College of Law's pro bono program provides the support necessary for students to
(1) meet the 50-hour pro bono pre-admission requirement for the New York State Bar and
(2) engage with their local community and build legal skills while serving low-income and underrepresented populations.
Syracuse Law encourages every law student to perform at least 50 hours of volunteer work before graduation -- 80% of the hours completed must be law related pro bono work and 20% of the hours can be in non-legal traditional community service (such as volunteering at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, tutoring, home building-projects etc.).
The top three graduating students providing the most pro bono and community service hours will be individually recognized.
Public Interest Experience (PIE) has historically been Temple's pro bono program. PIE began in 1993 as a student initiated project of the student chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. It gives students the opportunity to participate in one of the region's public interest organizations during the school year. Temple holds the "PIE Fair" each fall, where members of the local public interest community are invited to meet our students and tell them of pro bono opportunities with their agency.
Pro bono placements are further promoted and facilitated in a variety of ways by the Director of Public Interest Programs. Students receive individual counseling on pro bono placements and members of the public and private bar contact the Director with individual projects that need law student assistance.
Temple is currently developing a new pro bono program to increase pro bono opportunities for its students.
Students are required to perform 30 hours of law-related pro bono service through the Equal Justice Program. They may fulfill the requirement at any point after their first-year of law school, including during school breaks.
The program's purpose is two-fold. First, it ensures that all students will have the opportunity to practice lawyering skills in a real-world setting before they graduate. Second, it imparts to students the importance of giving back to the community in recognition of the privileged status lawyers occupy.
The College of Law also encourages students to engage in pro bono service through its Public Interest Fellowship Program administered through the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Director of the Equal Justice Programs. Information is shared about in-house pro bono projects and other pro bono opportunities on the web and through the Student Affairs Daily Headlines sent electronically.
Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator (still in place for Class of 2017).
Public-Service Graduation Requirement Program beginning with Class of 2018.
Beginning with the Class of 2018, Texas Tech Law has a public-service graduation requirement. Before graduating, students must perform at least 30 total hours of public-service work (at least 15 hours must be legal in nature). Students who perform double the requirement will be recognized and receive honors for their efforts. For the Class of 2017, Texas Tech Law maintains a formal voluntary pro bono program called the Pro Bono Honor Roll. Students become a part of the Pro Bono Honor Roll when they perform 30 or more hours of qualifying pro bono work during the fiscal year (September 1 through August 31). To be considered pro bono work, students must provide primarily legal services on behalf of primarily indigent people and cannot receive pay or earn course credit for their work. These opportunities are designed to meet the needs of the community and to give students as many options as possible. Texas Tech Law also offers opportunities outside of Lubbock during spring, summer, and winter breaks, and during the fall and spring semesters for students participating in our Regional Externship Program, for which there is a pro bono/community service requirement.
Students must fulfill the Public Interest Law Perspective Requirement in order to graduate. Students may do so in one of three ways:
The pro bono program is overseen by the Director of Public Interest. He has the responsibility for promoting and coordinating pro bono service. Pro bono service will count towards the Public Interest Law Perspective Requirement if it is legal in nature; unsalaried and without other compensation, such as academic credit; done under the supervision of an attorney; and designed in some way to directly or indirectly address the legal needs of poor persons or of the traditionally underrepresented. Work in a private firm will not count unless it is performed exclusively on behalf of an indigent or needy client referred to the firm through a pro bono matching program. Training time shall not be counted towards the requirement.
Every Tulane Law student, as of the Class of 2018, must donate a minimum of 50 hours of approved uncompensated, law-related pro bono service under the supervision of an attorney. Many students choose to contribute significantly more than the basic requirement of 50 hours. Tulane is proud to be the first law school to establish a pro bono requirement for all graduates.
Pro bono service may be performed in the New Orleans metropolitan area or elsewhere, as long as the service proposed is approved. The pro bono hours contributed are ungraded, but are noted on the student's transcript as pro bono credit. Among the approved pro bono placements are student-run programs such as VITA (Voluntary Income Tax Assistance), law school sponsored programs such as POPS (Project for Older Prisoners) and ELLA (Entertainment Law Legal Assistance), as well as numerous placements with public-interest non-profit organizations and with local, state or federal government entities. See https://law.tulane.edu/pro-bono
The Public Interest Institute promotes pro bono service primarily through its recognition programs: The Order of the Samaritan, The Volunteer Lawyers Program Student Award, The Dean's Community Service Award, and Certificate in Public Interest Law. The faculty and staff of the Institute, with assistance of students, coordinate student placements in law and non-law related volunteer placements. A majority of student organizations participate in volunteer projects through the Institute.
The University of Arizona has been partnered with the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP), a program of Southern Arizona Legal Aid (SALA), for more than fifteen years. The partnership, VLP Advocates, helps deliver legal services to Pima County residents in need of civil legal help. To date, more than 1,200 law students have volunteered with VLP. Students are supervised by an army of Southern Arizona volunteer lawyers. Through the program, Arizona Law students have helped more than 14,000 low-income people in need of civil legal services. Law students in the VLP Advocates program touch nearly 25% of all cases that VLP handles each year.
The students can get involved in a number of different projects and clinics. These include:
Prior to their participation, students are trained by VLP in a 2-3 hour substantive law meeting and through written materials. Students who participate must donate at least 12-15 hours each semester, though many choose to participate even more substantially.
Service to the community is a core obligation of practicing attorneys and a value the University of Arkansas School of Law seeks to instill in its students. Through our pro bono program, we offer opportunities for service and recognize students who engage in substantial service. Students gain experience while contributing to the community through a variety of pro bono activities, including one-time and ongoing opportunities.
Diverse pro bono opportunities are advertised to students via email and other communications and are also accessible through the university’s online volunteer management system. The Director of the program ensures appropriate pro bono opportunities are available to students and can assist students in identifying additional opportunities that fit their particular needs.
In 2019, the School of Law initiated a Pro Bono Fellowship Program. Each year, the Dean appoints one or more promising law students to serve as a University of Arkansas School of Law Pro Bono Fellow during their third year of law school. The fellowship recognizes and supports exemplary law students committed to pro bono. It also seeks to further promote pro bono and other forms of service by all of our law students. Pro Bono Fellows are selected based on their: interest in and commitment to pro bono and community service, significant leadership potential, and performance of substantial pro bono work. They serve as student leaders of the law school’s Public Service and Pro Bono Program. Among other things, they attend outreach events with other law students, participate in one-day clinics, assist with recruitment of students for pro bono service, and engage in planning related to the program.
More information about the Public Service and Pro Bono Program is available here.
The Bowen School of Law has formed a partnership with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS) so that Bowen students may volunteer at CALS and engage in pro bono representation under the supervision of CALS attorneys. Students who volunteer at CALS work directly with the attorneys in the office, assisting them in drafting pleadings, performing legal research, interviewing clients, investigating cases, and preparing for trials. Students also may observe courtroom proceedings.
Student volunteers at CALS also have the opportunity to assist in its outreach and community education efforts, by writing and updating factsheets on legal issues, updating the CALS Poverty Law Practice Manual, and assisting in the production of informational videos. Students also may participate in a live internet chat service that CALS provides through its website to help people find information relevant to their legal matters. Projects are available that can be completed both during regular business hours and on nights and weekends, so volunteer opportunities exist for both full-time and part-time students. In addition to the sense of personal satisfaction that comes from providing legal services to those in need, students who volunteer at CALS also gain valuable professional experience and have the opportunity to learn from dedicated and experienced attorneys.
Students also may find service opportunities by consulting the Bowen Volunteer Opportunities Directory. This two-volume reference guide contains information about the work and programs of over 60 local nonprofit organizations that are in need of volunteers. The directory is arranged by subject-matter categories, and it includes information about volunteer opportunities in several areas, including legal services, food and housing needs, community development, prevention of domestic violence, and tutoring and mentoring, to name just a few. The directory is located in the reference section of the Law Library (call number KF336.A4 V65 2007), and a copy also is available in the reception area of the Legal Clinic.
The King Hall Pro Bono Program, started in 1990, encourages students who have completed at least one semester of law school to contribute a minimum of 50 hours of law-related service in a year. This must be performed under the supervision of an attorney or a member of the Law School Faculty. The Career Services Office keeps listings of pro bono opportunities, handles inquiries and certifies hours to the Law School Registrar. Students wishing to participate in the program are encouraged to check with the Career Services Office regarding placements. Upon approval, students can initiate their own placements.
The Public Interest Clearinghouse Pro Bono Project is a collaborative effort of The Public Interest Clearinghouse, member law schools (UC Davis, Hastings College of Law, and the University of San Francisco), and various legal organizations. Students are able to choose work in a variety of practice areas. Student projects could include: certified court practice, client interviewing, legal research and writing, case investigation, legal hotline intake, trial preparation, or policy analysis. Students will be placed firms engaged in pro bono cases, with solo or small firm practitioners, or directly with legal service organizations. See www.pic.org
Integrated Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for Research, Student-Initiated Legal Services Groups and Career Planning
Berkeley Law has an integrated pro bono program wherein the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice, the Career Development Office, the Field Placement Program, the Professional Skills Program and the Clinical Programs collaborate to maintain a thriving community filled with opportunities for students to pursue public interest and public service while in law school and to foster the ethos of pro bono service in our graduates. The Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice is the intellectual hub of the law school's vibrant social justice community. The Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice is a training and research center that prepares the next generation of lawyers to represent underserved communities and produces innovative and accessible scholarship on issues of race, sex, and poverty.
Student-Initiated Legal Service Projects (SLPS) are pro bono projects founded and operated by Berkeley Law students. Some of these projects date back decades; others began as recently as last semester. In each case, law students identified a legal need, recruited supervising attorneys, researched the relevant law, and enlisted classmates to bring legal services to under-served communities.
SLPS are open to all law students and participation is voluntary. Run by second and third year law students and primarily staffed by first years, these projects allow 1Ls to interact with clients from their very first semester. With training and supervision provided by the SLPS and local attorneys, students gain the benefit of practical experience to inform their academic coursework. The Professional Skills Program provides support and oversight for the SLPS projects, and the Director of Professional Skills with the Director of Field Placements co-teach a Leadership course for student leaders of the SLPS projects. The Berkeley Law Pro Bono Pledge honors students who complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate. Students are publicly recognized as fulfilling the pledge at Commencement, and at the Public Interest & Pro Bono Graduation Ceremony. Most students far exceed the 50 hour mark during their time at Berkeley Law.
Pro Bono Pledge hours completed in students' first or second years also help students qualify to receive the Berkeley Law Public Interest/Public Sector Summer Fellowship (known informally by students as the 'Edley Grant Program'). This program provides a stipend to JD students who are completing a summer of qualifying public interest or government work.
In addition to these opportunities, the Associate Directors for Public Interest Programs in Berkeley Law's Career Development Office maintain a list of pro bono project referrals from local community organizations. The Career Development Office connects interested students with organizations seeking pro bono help.
The Public Interest and Pro Bono Graduation Ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of the graduating class. Significant others, family members, and attorneys who have mentored the graduates celebrate along with the Berkeley Law community.
The delivery of pro bono services is viewed as an integral and intensely satisfying part of a legal education; providing pro bono services also enhances a law student's development of a professional identity. UC Hastings fosters and encourages pro bono participation by all members of our community in an effort to improve access to justice for all.
Students are asked to commit to deliver a minimum of 45 hours of pro bono services over the course of their three years at UC Hastings by signing the Pro Bono Pledge. The hours may be satisfied in a gradually increasing manner (10 hours in first year, 15 in 2nd and 20 in 3rd) or may be satisfied in a single year.
Detailed lists of possible pro bono placements are available and assistance is provided to students interested in locating a pro bono placement which matches their interests.
The Pro Bono Program at UC Irvine School of Law is a reflection of the school's deep commitment to experiential learning and public service. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the program, providing legal services to underserved communities and causes while supervised by an attorney or member of the law school faculty. Although the program is not mandatory, more than 90% of students participate. All students are encouraged to complete 120 hours of pro bono legal services on behalf of the underserved prior to graduation.
The program provides opportunities for UCI Law students to practice and expand skills learned in the classroom while experiencing the challenges and rewards of practicing law and assisting real clients. Opportunities exist for students to volunteer at many organizations during the academic year and school breaks. Students do not receive academic credit for their pro bono work.
In addition to the tremendous learning experiences offered by the program, students provide much-needed services to underserved communities and causes in Southern California and around the world. UC Irvine School of Law strives to ingrain a commitment to pro bono service in each student. Some students may be inspired to dedicate their careers to public service, while others will understand the importance of making pro bono work a substantial part of their work in private practice or government work.
For more information, please visit the UCI Law Pro Bono website at https://www.law.uci.edu/about/public-service/public-interest/probono
The Judge Rand Schrader Pro Bono Program supports a vibrant pro bono culture at UCLA School of Law.
The Schrader Pro Bono Program creates opportunities for students, starting as early as their first year of law school, to provide much-needed legal services to low-income communities, while developing critical real-life lawyering skills. UCLA Law has a rich history of student leadership in pro bono, and the program actively supports student initiatives. Students also respond to partners’ calls for assistance and participate in service learning trips, working in such issue areas as HIV/AIDS, housing and homelessness, education, immigration, juvenile justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, public health, reproductive rights, and workers’ rights.
For many UCLA Law students, participation in pro bono becomes a lifelong commitment to pro bono and access to justice. The Schrader Pro Bono Program encourages current students, alumni, and faculty to come together, such as through the Annual Public Service Challenge.
The University of Chicago Law School is dedicated to the principle that members of the legal profession and those aspiring to enter the legal profession have a professional obligation to assist in providing quality legal services to individuals, groups or causes that are under-represented in the legal system. In furtherance of this principle, the Law School encourages its students to pledge to complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate. Entirely voluntary, the Chicago Pro Bono Service Initiative gives participating students exposure to a range of important legal issues and invaluable experience that will contribute to their education.
The Center for Professional Development, through it's Public Service Coordinator, creates and facilitates public service opportunities for the U.C. Law community by serving as a liaison between the College of Law, the local legal services community and the Cincinnati Bar Association. The Coordinator manages the volunteer opportunity program which includes coordinating student placements and designing individual projects, developing training and support materials and recruiting students among other activities.
Information on pro bono offerings is made available at the beginning of each academic year. As new projects and/or collaborations with local legal services organizations or the organized bar become available, informational meetings are held. The quality of student placements is measured informally.
Students may also participate in pro bono activities through several student run organizations that are provided administrative counsel and support.
Colorado Law integrates public service and public interest law throughout the school. Public service is an integral part of a lawyer's professional obligation and an essential ingredient in a legal career. The law school's voluntary public service program provides law students with skills and values, such as legal research and writing, client interviewing, and legal argument development. These skills prove valuable early in legal careers and promote a lifetime commitment to law-related community service.
Students can sign the Colorado Law Public Service Pledge and commit to 50 hours of law-related public service work, not for credit or other compensation, during their time at the Law School. Students who fulfill their pledge will be recognized at graduation, and their public service will be reflected on their transcripts.
To count towards the Pledge, work must be law-related, must not be done for credit or other compensation, and must be supervised by a licensed attorney or a Law School faculty member. Qualified activities include those that require lawyering skills, such as legal research and writing, interviewing, counseling, oral or written advocacy, or representation of individuals in court, administrative, or other hearings. Other qualifying work includes public education activities, such as preparing for and delivering lectures on legal topics or writing informational brochures or web information on legal topics for under-served communities, and service to the legal profession or legal institutions.
The Office of Career Services, in conjunction with the Public Interest Law Group (PILG), promotes and facilitates pro bono and public service opportunities and placements through the Pro Bono Program. The Pro Bono Program, which was started in 2000, provides support to legal professionals in serving the community and educates students about their legal and ethical responsibilities. Through the Program, the Law School underscores the role of public service in an attorney's life and makes students aware of the critically unmet needs in the community. The Pro Bono Program gives students the opportunity to perform valuable community service while fostering a tradition of pro bono work that will accompany them throughout their professional careers.
The Pro Bono Program relies heavily on the feedback from participating students and their supervising attorneys and/or agencies to evaluate the quality of pro bono placements.
Program started October 2000.
Every Juris Doctor student is required to perform a minimum of 50 hours of supervised, uncompensated, law-related public service work during his or her law school career as a prerequisite to graduation. The Public Service Requirement, together with all the other public service components of the College of Law environment, will ensure that DU remains in the forefront of legal public service in the Rocky Mountain region. The goals of the Public Service Requirement are threefold: 1) Educate students about their professional responsibilities, particularly their obligation to perform pro bono work as practicing attorneys, and to encourage a lifelong commitment to public service; 2) help students develop practical lawyering skills by supervising students in real world situations, teaching them to integrate the theory of law with the practice of law; and (3) raise awareness among students of meaningful career and pro bono opportunities.
Students may satisfy their 50-hour Public Service Requirement through participation in the Student Law Office (clinic), a public interest externship for credit (at a nonprofit, government agency, law firm doing solely pro bono, or judicial chambers), various pre-approved experiential classes, or by doing a Public Interest Practicum under appropriate supervision. Students enrolled in the Practicum may do so either for no credit or one credit. If they choose one credit, they are enrolled in a concurrent Public Interest Seminar.
The Public Interest Practicum can be completed in two ways:
Overall, for our Public Service Requirement, the goal is to be as inclusive as possible, allowing students to explore and expand upon their personal interests.
The mission of the Pro Bono Project is "to help students develop an awareness of their future ethical and professional responsibilities to provide service to their community. Participation in the program gives students the opportunity to perform valuable community service while learning about the legal needs of the underserved and developing the legal skills necessary to help meet those needs." The College recommends that students aspire to perform 35 hours of pro bono legal work during law school. See www.law.ufl.edu/areas-of-study/experiential-learning/pro-bono-program-2.
In order to participate in the Pro Bono Project, students are required to complete a Commitment Form which is returned to the Center for Career Services. The Public Interest Coordinator provides a list of approved organizations and also encourages students to find placements that cater to their specific interests either through PSLawNet or in their hometowns. The work must benefit an underserved population in the community and be performed without either compensation or academic credit. Students agree to perform all assignments in a professionally responsible manner which includes maintaining client confidentiality and refraining from giving legal advice to clients.
The Public Interest Coordinator makes site visits to each of the Pro Bono placements every summer to check on the placements as well as the students. The Pro Bono Liaison Committee is responsible for keeping up with the assigned placements and notifying the Public Interest Coordinator of the activities on a regular basis.
Pro Bono Opportunities are posted on the Career Services Board and the Project holds Pro Bono small groups each semester to introduce incoming students to the Pro Bono Project. In addition, to promote the Pro Bono Project, the Project holds an annual Pro Bono Symposium attended by representatives from approved pro bono placements. After a panel discussion, there is a networking luncheon for students to meet the employers and discuss their interests further.
Students are encouraged to participate in the Pro Bono Project during the Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks. In particular, the College's Spring entering class has a four-week break between the Summer and Fall semesters during which finding employment is difficult. It is the Project's policy to encourage students to perform pro bono work during that period.
These programs are designed to assist the wider community, usually focusing on a particular group or service.
The preparation of lawyers who recognize the significance of their public service obligations is an important objective of the William S. Richardson School of Law. In 1992 the William S. Richardson School of Law adopted a Law Student Public Service graduation requirement. The class of 1995 was the first graduating class obliged to fulfill the requirement. The Law Student Public Service (better known as "Pro Bono") Program introduces the concept of pro bono service to law students and is an integral part of the academic program at the law school. It provides law students the opportunity to address unmet legal needs in the community while enriching their legal education.
The Pro Bono Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law was one of the first law school pro bono programs in the nation and is thought to be the first student-initiated mandatory program in the nation. In April 1991, a student organization, Advocates for Public Interest Law, presented a formal proposal to the faculty. Recognizing both the long tradition in the legal profession to serve the underprivileged and to ensure legal access for all as well as a national movement in its infancy toward mandatory pro bono service in the legal profession, the student leaders wanted the law school to foster in all law students a life-time professional commitment to public legal service by creating a pro bono graduation requirement.
Students are required to locate and to provide law-related pro bono work under the supervision of an attorney, law school faculty or dean, or other supervisor, as approved by the Pro Bono Program Director. The definition of law-related pro bono work is construed liberally and includes law related work with any federal, state, or local government agency, court or legislature. Law students are encouraged to provide a portion of their pro bono service for indigent clients. The pro bono work is meant to be law-related in nature, not clerical or administrative. Additionally, an evaluation component that encourages the student to discuss and evaluate his or her experience with the Pro Bono Program Director is built into the program.
Successful completion of the pro bono service requirement is a condition for graduation. Law students who enroll in the School of Law must complete 60 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation. Transfer students must complete a total of 10 hours of pro bono service for every semester enrolled in the School of Law. The pro bono requirement began with the entering class of August 1992. All law school admittees are given notice of the pro bono graduation requirement when acceptance letters are sent to them.
For further information, see www.law.hawaii.edu/probono
Each student must complete 50 hours of pro bono legal service as a condition of graduation. The service must be provided without compensation and without academic credit. The requirement is met by work in any of the legal service categories enumerated in ABA Model Rule 6.1, regarding Pro Bono Publico Services .
As part of the State’s land-grant university, the University of Illinois College of Law is committed to training the next generation of public interest and government lawyers. The promotion and facilitation of pro bono and public service opportunities is diverse and integrated into the College's daily activities. From loan repayment assistance, fellowships, courses, joint degrees, public interest notations and awards, specific scholarships, public interest programs, public interest student organizations, student services with public interest counseling, and a career counseling office with specific public interest counseling, the College of Law offers significant resources and support for students aspiring to careers in the public sector.
The University of Iowa College of Law's Citizen Lawyer Program (CLP) creates opportunities for law students to extend their education as future lawyers and leaders beyond the classroom and traditional clinic programs through community-based volunteer work. In partnership with judicial, nonprofit, and government partner agencies, CLP has developed and coordinates law-related Pro Bono Projects and places up to 80 law students each semester in a variety of projects focused on enhancing access to justice. New projects are developed based on student demand and as opportunities arise. Information on CLP is available online at http://clp.law.uiowa.edu/.
These opportunities are promoted through announcements, newsletter and the website.
Placements are evaluated by student and employer input.
These opportunities are encouraged through the award of scholarships.
The University of Kentucky College of Law provides substantial opportunities for student participation in pro-bono activities in both the credit-granting and non-credit granting context. These opportunities are summarized in the entries that follow.
Law students are required to complete 30 hours of public service at approved placements after the first semester of their first year of law school.
The Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program began as a voluntary program and became a mandatory program for the entering class of Fall 1991. The Program coordinates and certifies students' pro bono service. It provides a catalog listing of approved placements; students are required to reserve a placement with the Coordinator before contacting the placement and beginning their public service hours. As a condition to receiving credit for their public service hours, the students are required to complete a Student Evaluation Form for each placement.
The Program allows service out of state. It also encourages group projects, including pro bono legal clinics. Law students have been instrumental in organizing legal clinics for those with low income.
Maine Law’s faculty has enacted a voluntary pro bono legal service standard under which every student is strongly encouraged to provide a minimum of 80 hours of pro bono legal service prior to the time of graduation.
The Career Services Office publicizes pro bono opportunities available to students and provides a mechanism for students to report their pro bono hours. Students who meet the voluntary standard of 80 hours of public service are recognized during an annual luncheon and receive special mention at graduation.
Service to vulnerable populations is not simply an aspiration; it is a requirement. Under the Cardin Requirement, all full-time students must take courses that connect theoretical study with legal services on behalf of people and communities without access to justice.
The Pro Bono Program graduation requirement is part of the law school's integrated approach to producing practice-ready, justice-centered lawyers. To graduate, every student must complete at least 30 hours of law-related pro bono service under the supervision of an attorney, between the completion of the student's first two semesters of law school and the end of the third month of the student's last semester of law school. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities that address the unmet legal needs of the surrounding community.
The program is intended to cultivate and enhance the habit of pro bono service, as well as to expose students to careers through which they can serve the public. As part of the requirement, students sign a pledge that stresses the importance of public service as part of the legal profession.
Performing pro bono work is also a means for students to gain practical legal experience and build a professional network. The Career Services Office encourages students to perform their pro bono hours at organizations that fit with their individual interests and career goals. Students have performed pro bono volunteer hours in a variety of settings, including pro bono projects for private practices, nonprofits, academia, legal service providers, and public defender offices, as well as for numerous local, state and federal governments in the executive, judicial and legislative branches.
The Pro Bono Program is administered through the Career Services Office, which provides guidance to students on securing pro bono placements though a wide variety of resources. The Career Services Office conducts outreach to potential placements in order to develop new opportunities for students to satisfy the requirement. All placements must be approved by the Career Services Office before the students accrue hours that count toward satisfying the program.
Students engage in an array of public service opportunities in the Memphis community and more broadly throughout the state. Memphis Area Legal Services and the Community Legal Center are currently the greatest source of volunteer opportunities.
The University of Miami School of Law is committed to instilling a pro bono ethic in all of our students. Whether a student's ultimate goal is to work in the public sector, or integrating pro bono work as a component of one's future legal career, Miami Law helps students to identify the perfect match with projects, clinics, fellowships, externships and courses with field components.
Miami Law features a wide range of public interest opportunities which enable students to serve the public while at the same time, acquire valuable, hands-on lawyering skills. We are committed to the importance of public service and promote pro bono advocacy and service as an integral part of being a lawyer.
The starting point for law students interested in engagement and advocacy is the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center. HOPE helps students understand the array of public interest opportunities at Miami Law. HOPE has a wide range of programs and advocacy projects for law students to work with various underserved and at-risk populations locally, nationally and internationally. HOPE also offers competitive programs that provide funding for public interest summer opportunities the Summer Public Interest Fellowship and HOPE Fellowship Programs.
The HOPE Pro Bono Challenge strongly encourages each student to perform a minimum of 75 hours of pro bono activities during their law school career. Students who meet the 75 hour pledge are given transcript recognition, celebrated at the Annual Public Interest Recognition Ceremony and recognized at graduation. In addition, students who accept the HOPE Community Challenge pledge to perform 25 hours or more of community service hours each year. Students who meet the HOPE Community Challenge are recognized for their community advocacy and civic engagement at the Annual Public Interest Recognition Ceremony. Each year, we have been thrilled to see the exponential growth of the number of students, and the number of hours, dedicated to community and legal advocacy efforts.
The University of Michigan Law School not only trains its students to be fine lawyers and advocates but also to be exemplary members of their communities. The goal of the University of Michigan Law School Voluntary Pro Bono Pledge is to encourage students to use their professional training to benefit the community, particularly underserved populations. The American Bar Association (ABA) Rule 6.1 states that "every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year." As such, the Pro Bono Pledge, which asks JD students to complete 50 hours of pro bono service during their time in law school (LLM students must complete 25 hours), is founded on the principle that attorneys have an ethical obligation to their communities, and with the knowledge that pro bono legal work provides students exposure to a range of important legal issues and invaluable experience that will shape their education.
The U of M Law School, like all four Minnesota law schools, has partnered with the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) to provide pro bono opportunities for its students. The U of M houses a full-time MJF Staff Attorney to assist its students in selecting pro bono positions that best fit their individual interests. Because MJF is a separate non-profit with staff attorneys at all Minnesota law schools, the U of M is able to offer its students volunteer opportunities with all possible Minnesota organizations, not just a share that have partnered with the U of M Law School. In additional, MJF offers paid public interest fellowships for the summer.
The Clinical Program and the Office of Career Services collaborate to assist students in volunteering with public interest law organizations. Each year there is a Volunteer Fair which gives public interest law organizations the opportunity to recruit students.
Volunteer opportunities - both law and non-law related -- are advertised by the Office of Career Services, the Law Clinic, faculty, the Student Affairs director and the Public Interest Law Association (PILA).
With the assistance of the Director of Public Interest and JD Advantage Careers, who will serve as the Program Coordinator, students are provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of service activities for the community. The program is voluntary. It is not considered a graduation requirement. Students self-report their pro bono hours and are expected to identify and develop pro bono opportunities in addition to those identified by the Program Coordinator.
Pro bono work is defined broadly to include law related activities, as well as meaningful services that are not law related. Credit-granting activities, such as work students perform as part of the Externship course, will not count as part of the pro bono program, unless the service is in excess of credit requirements.
Pro Bono Month is celebrated in October to coincide with National Pro Bono Week. During October, we present programming to raise awareness of the importance of participation in pro bono work.
The mission of The University of Montana School of Law's required clinical program is to provide for third-year students faculty-supervised, experience-based learning by representing clients in clinics serving the public interest. The clinical program engages student in applying, enhancing, and integrating substantive and skills components of legal education, improves their ability to identify and resolve ethical and professionalism issues and assesses student performance and the law school's competency-based curriculum. Most students enroll in their first of second choice of clinic. There are also some pro bono opportunities. The local legal services office recruits student to assist in it pro se family law clinic. Students also provide tax assistance through VITA program, in conjunction with the School of Business.
The William S. Boyd School of Law Free Community Legal Education Service Program, in collaboration with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Nevada Legal Services, is a mandatory program. After completing a training course, second semester, first-year law students provide free legal information courses on family law, paternity/custody, small claims, bankruptcy, guardianship, foreclosure mediation, immigrant rights, and mediation resources.
Through the voluntary Partners in Pro Bono Program, students are partnered with an experienced attorney and they work together on a pro bono case. This program is a partnership of the law school and the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.
Under this Program, law students are encouraged to conduct pro bono work during their law school careers. The Social Justice Institute, working closely with the Career Development Office, provides interested students with a listing of local legal service providers seeking law students for pro bono projects. In addition, there are numerous ways students can engage in pro bono activities through programs housed within the law school—including public interest clinics, externships, internships, and summer programs.
All UNM law students must complete six hours of pro bono service during their first year of law school. The Office of Student Services coordinates a variety of opportunities for students to fulfill their pro bono requirement while learning from legal practitioners at community legal clinics.
Additionally, UNM law students must complete a six-credit clinical course before graduation. Law students are able to enroll in a variety of clinical courses to complete this graduation requirement, and students assist clients with a range of civil matters. Among the clinics offered are a community lawyering clinic which serves the needs of low-income clients, a small business clinic, and an Indian Law clinic.
In addition to the clinic, UNM Law School offers an Externship Program that permits a student to earn credits while working under the supervision of a licensed attorney at a government or public interest organization. Students can enroll in two externships.
The Office of Career Services also posts pro-bono opportunities for students in addition to posting paid positions for student employment.
Established in the fall of 1997, the UNC School of Law student and staff-run Pro Bono Program is one of the most unique models in the country. It connects law students with pro bono attorneys in both public interest and private practice. Each year, our students log thousands of hours at non-profit organizations, private firms and government agencies; upon graduation, over 90 percent of our students have participated in projects offering high-quality free legal services to North Carolina residents in need.
The Pro Bono Program is administered by a 13-student Board and the Director of Pro Bono Initiatives. Together, they work throughout the year with community partners, legal aid offices, law school student groups, professors, alumni, private attorneys, and fellow students to facilitate individual pro bono projects, special clinics, and group trips for students. The program also coordinates special projects over fall, winter and spring breaks.
Students participate in pro bono work not only to make a difference in their community by serving those with unmet legal needs, but they also gain valuable, practical work experience and skills outside the classroom.
Every year at orientation, OU Law asks every student in the incoming 1L class to sign a voluntary Pro Bono and Public Service Pledge. Students can choose to pledge either 50 hours or 100 hours of pro bono and public service over the course of their law school career. To fulfill this pledge, OU Law provides students community-based pro bono opportunities, from assisting those seeking protection to citizens who require assistance filing personal tax returns. For purposes of the pledge, “pro bono and public service” is defined as all unpaid, law-related work (including but not limited to legal research and writing, interviewing, counseling, oral or written advocacy, or representation of individuals) supervised by a licensed attorney or other qualified supervisor which serves marginalized groups, non-profit organizations, or governmental entities.
Oregon Law cultivates a culture of service, and new students will find robust participation in the law school’s Pro Bono Program. The Public Law and Policy Program Managing Director (Managing Director) coordinates the Pro Bono Program, and student leaders initiate a variety of projects each year.
Students can connect with pro bono opportunities throughout the year. In the fall, Oregon Law holds a pro bono fair with local and regional nonprofits that work with student volunteers. Periodically, Oregon Law professors initiate pro bono projects in their areas of expertise. New pro bono options are also publicized weekly to students, and the Managing Director is available for individualized consultation about pro bono work that aligns with students’ interests.
Critical to the success of the pro bono program are the connections between the program and its relevant legal communities. The Managing Director serves as the liaison for pro bono efforts between the law school and the local, state, and national bar associations. During ABA Celebrate Pro Bono Week, Oregon Law recognizes students and serves as a local host for the Oregon State Bar’s Pro Bono CLE and Celebration. Oregon Law also partners with local organizations to provide CLEs relevant to high-demand areas of pro bono and makes these CLEs available to students.
The Director of Career Services and Public Interest Initiatives serves as the primary referral source for student pro bono opportunities. The Director has an established relationship with the Allegheny County Bar Association Pro Bono Coordinator and works with the ACBA to promote pro bono opportunities for law students. The Director also co-sponsors a Pro Bono and Volunteer Fair each year with the student organization PLISF (Pitt Legal Income Sharing Foundation). The Director published student pro bono opportunities in the weekly Professional Development Newsletter, Pitt Law Works. Additional pro bono and volunteer projects are promoted by the Dean of Students, Law School Faculty and student organizations in the Law School's E-Docket Newsletter.
All students are required to take in their last year the course: Legal Aid Clinic (3 credits each semester). This is a live clinic course for low income clients. The 13 sessions including diverse topic, such as: Minors, Inmigration, Mediation, Gay Lesbian
In addition, the school provides a voluntary and formal pro bono experience coordinated by a School official. The Enlace Program with students from public high schools adjacent to the UPR campus.
More recently the School has provided ample support to the pro bono services rendered by ANDA an Environmental Law Students Organization which has provided support and orientation to community environmental leaders from all parts of Puerto Rico.
The University of Richmond School of Law created the Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service in recognition of an attorney's professional obligation to serve the community, as well as a law school's responsibility to educate its students on the need for pro bono legal services. The center connects the skills and talents of its student body with the greater Richmond community and a network of regional, national, and international programs. Pro bono public ("for the public good") work is an integral part of what it means to be an attorney. Indeed, the American Bar Association states that when society confers on an individual the privilege to practice law, "he or she accepts the responsibility to promote justice and to make justice equally accessible to all people."
The School of Law offers a variety of pro bono opportunities that employ the diverse skills and interests of our student body. Whether it is helping a victim of domestic violence obtain a protective order, or assisting a non-profit organization with its incorporation, our students have the opportunity to experience a service-based legal education. By cultivating such service, the Center for Pro Bono Service not only provides a valuable resource for the community, it also prepares students for a life of purposeful citizenship.
Recognizing that lawyers are in a strong position to effect positive institutional and social change, the School of Law expects and encourages all students to explore a variety of ways their interests, skills, and talents can best serve the public. The public service requirement does not need to be law-related. Students are encouraged to satisfy the requirement through a range of activities consistent with the School of Law mission and that draw upon their own faith and values in serving the public.
Law students must complete 50 hours of qualifying public service as a prerequisite to graduation. Transfer students shall complete a number of hours prorated to the number of semesters they will spend at the law school. All other members of the law school community (administrators, faculty, and staff) are strongly encouraged to complete a minimum of 50 hours of qualifying public service every three years. Many members of the community far exceed these expectations. Pro bono activities undertaken by faculty and staff include representing prisoners in federal appears, drafting briefs for appellate courts, including the U. S. Supreme Court, assisting in petitions for commutation, and representing clients in various clinics. UST Law clinics are involved in forming nonprofit organizations, assisting with immigration difficulties, helping with elder law matters, and representing clients in misdemeanor matters pro bono.
The Public Service Program exists for three reasons: 1) to ensure that law students remain members of the broader community with all of the accompanying responsibilities; 2) to foster students' commitment to pro bono work throughout their legal careers; and 3) to fulfill the law school's commitment to service as articulated in its Vision Statement.
The University of San Diego School of Law Pro Bono Legal Advocates (PBLA) is a student-run organization that provides opportunities for law students to donate their time and talents to the community. The purpose of PBLA is to promote charity, selflessness, and justice in law students so that each may bring those qualities into the professional arena. PBLA achieves its goals each year by molding its programs to meet the changing needs of the student body.
PBLA is dedicated to giving legal assistance to the local community. Through each of its seven programs, PBLA helps bring legal help to those who would otherwise be lost in the legal system or who might not be able to afford competent counsel. In addition, PBLA provides programs that are not specifically law-oriented for those who want to help out in the local community. Current programs include AIDS home visits, guardianship, domestic violence prevention, juvenile law, mediation and a high school mentoring program.
The law school's commitment to pro bono is central to its mission of Educating Minds and Hearts to Change the World. The law school believes the commitment to the delivery of legal services to or on behalf of the poor or disadvantaged or to non-profits whose mission is to improve the law and legal system or to increase access to justice for all, is an integral and meaningful part of students' legal education and enhances the development of their professional identity. This commitment is reflected in substantial and meaningful law school programs, both for-credit and not-for-credit and law and non-law-related.
Students are asked to commit to deliver a minimum of 75 hours of pro bono services over the course of their three years at USF Law by signing the Pro Bono Pledge. Students who perform 25 hours (first year of study), 50 hours (second year of study), or 75+ hours (third or final year of study) of unpaid, supervised legal work are eligible for a pro bono publico award, which is presented by the OneJustice's Law Student Pro Bono Project to qualifying students each year at our annual end-of-year Public Interest Celebration.
The Law Student Pro Bono Project
The Law School has an ongoing relationship with the OneJustice which includes working closely with them to provide pro bono opportunities to our students through the Law Student Pro Bono Project. This productive relationship that provides many opportunities for our students has been in effect for a number of years and continues to grow and flourish each year.
Through the Law Student Pro Bono Project, our students are matched with short-term and long-term legal volunteer work opportunities. Students have the opportunity to: attend monthly or weekly clinics, perform intake for low-income clients, gather facts and submit written reports to supervising attorneys; and perform on and off-site research for legal services programs.
Examples of such participation and cooperation with the OneJustice include:
The Rural Education and Access to the Law (REAL) Project
As part of the Law School's relationship with OneJustice, USF Law students have participated in a number of Rural Education and Access to the Law (REAL) Projects. REAL Projects help connect urban law students to the needs to rural legal services programs and clients. Through these projects, students have the opportunity to: interview low-income clients and assist them with their issues, perform on or off-site research for legal services programs; and assist pro per clients in filling-out guardianship or other legal forms (all under the supervision of practicing attorneys).
During the 2008-2009 academic year, USF students participated in four different REAL trips. In December 2008, USF law students worked with Legal Aid of Marin to staff an Unlawful Detainer and Eviction Defense Clinic. In January 2009, USF law students traveled to Red Bluff and Willows, California, to work with the Self-Help Assistance and Referral Program (SHARP) of Glenn, Butte, and Tehama Counties. For Spring Break 2009, USF School of Law students took a trip to Bakersfield where they helped staff a Naturalization Clinic and a Senior Clinic. Finally, in March 2009 USF Law students traveled to Watsonville to assist with the Watsonville Law Center's free clinic for Mortgage Foreclosure and Consumer Education.
The University of South Carolina Pro Bono Program, established in 1989, is the first voluntary program in a US law school. The goals are to: provide opportunities for skills enhancement and career development; involve law students in the volunteer programs of the community; and foster the ethic of professional commitment to those who are unrepresented.
A full time Director manages the Program with assistance from members of the Student Advisory Board. Duties of the board members include: recruiting fellow students, serving as a sounding board, bringing new ideas and projects to the attention of the Director, serving as a representative of the Pro Bono Program on various law school and Bar committees, and being spokespeople for the Program.
The Program works closely with the South Carolina Bar, the SC Access to Justice Commission, several state agencies and local non-profits. A special effort is made to have available short-term projects linking students to pro bono attorneys in all areas of the state but especially the rural counties. https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/law/academics/experiential_learning/pro_bono_program
Students are asked to review an Ethics and Professionalism memo upon enrolling in a volunteer project. In addition they are provided with the tools to collect and maintain data on their pro bono involvement through the M.Y. Pro Bono (Managing Your Pro Bono) portal.
At the start of each academic year the Pro Bono Program Board kicks off the semester with a day long leadership workshop This time is used for strategic planning, setting up a year-long calendar, and establishing roles for individual Board members.
Since 2008, the Pro Bono has been the coordinator of the 'Incoming Students Community Service Project" for all new and transfer students. This event places the entire new class, their peer mentors and faculty members at a local site for an afternoon of community service. The Pro Bono Board members serve as reporters for this event, interviewing and photographing all the participants while they work.
Recently the Pro Bono Alumni Advisory Council was established to assist with messaging, project development and increased coordination with alumni.
USD Law School Pro Bono Consortium
The University of South Dakota School of Law offers substantial opportunities for students to participate in pro bono activities through various organizations. ACCESS TO JUSTICE (A2J), the pro bono program of the State Bar of South Dakota, has expanded its pro bono lists of attorneys and students to work with them in providing legal services to the public in the state. A2J also hires an AmeriCorps Fellow, who is provided office space at the USD School of Law in Vermillion, S.D., to work with student volunteers.
The R.D. Hurd Volunteer Law School Society, established by the 2nd Circuit Bar of South Dakota, has given law students regular opportunities to provide pro bono legal services to low-income persons. Students work under the supervision of attorneys at East River Legal Services in Sioux Falls, S.D., mainly helping divorce clients.
The Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office in Sioux Falls, In coordination with the USD School of Law and Access to Justice, established the Law School Defender Project. The students are selected each semester to participate by working 4-8 hours per week under the supervision of individually assigned attorneys in the Sioux Falls office and on behalf of the Public Defender's Office, often on juvenile matters and A&N's.
Law students also actively work with the local Domestic Violence Legal Program, a pro bono organization primarily providing services to victims of domestic violence, such as assisting in ex parte protection orders and actions for permanent protection orders. There are also opportunities to conduct research for community attorneys. The Domestic Violence Legal Program works closely with the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and the South Dakota Bar pro bono coordinator in the Access To Justice Program.
A tax-service activity involving law-student services is the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance VITA) program, which for many years, the USD School of Law has been involved by helping the local community prepare tax forms by properly supervised and trained volunteers. The help sessions are held "at tax time"downtown at the Vermillion Public Library.
Law students also find pro bono opportunities through other student organizations getting involved in public service, including Women In Law (WIL), law fraternities, Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and the Public Interest Law Group (which helps provide support donated through fund-raising activities to help students pay travel expenses while working pro bono ).
The student-run Pro Bono Campaign, begun in 1992, encourages students to perform a minimum of 25 hours of pro bono during the school year. Two officers of the Barbara L. Bice Public Interest Law Foundation are dedicated exclusively to the Pro Bono Campaign. Faculty members, the Career Services Office advise and other staff support the students, as does the entire PILF Board.
Pro bono opportunities are promoted and facilitated through our in-house clinics or coordinated by PILF with local legal services offices, many of which include student trainings, and additional opportunities off-site.
The student pro bono program has several components. They are:
U.T. Pro Bono (started in 1993): This free-standing student-run organization promotes and coordinates pro bono service projects open to the entire student body. Its focus is on providing legal assistance to those who otherwise could not afford representation. The organization operates with assistance and oversight from the College's Access to Justice coordinator--a full-time staff person who is an active member of the bar and a former practicing lawyer—along with faculty advisors for individual projects, as well as input, guidance and support from the College's Pro Bono and Public Interest Committee, which reports to the Dean and consists of members of faculty and students. UT Pro Bono sponsors group projects in several subject areas. It publicizes opportunities through College email, Facebook, Twitter, the college's website, public meetings, workshops, trainings, electronic boards, notices in the weekly newsletter published by the College of Law, and by word of mouth. The Access to Justice Coordinator provides leadership with respect to evaluation and monitoring of each project and U.T. Pro Bono, and the student leaders of U.T. Pro Bono, along faculty project advisers, and the Pro Bono Committee evaluate progress periodically and at the end of each academic year.
Career Services Support: A designated staff member in Career Services devotes a significant amount of time to helping students with a strong interest in pro bono to find volunteer, clerkship and internship opportunities, and to find jobs that will allow for significant pro bono involvement. Career Services also coordinates programming such as speakers, presenters, interviews, and networking events to provide forums for students to learn more about pro bono and public interest work, as well as provide opportunities for students to network with practitioners and legal service providers.
Pro Bono Committee: This group of faculty advisers offers guidance and support for pro bono and public interest initiatives at the College, and facilities one-on-one career counseling for students with a special interest in pro bono or public interest law.
The Dean has given enthusiastic support for student pro bono work. He has built the subject into recruitment events for applicants, orientation events for new law students, and gatherings of alumni advisers.
Intensive short-term pro bono: Each spring the College provides opportunities for students to engage in significant pro bono service through Alternative Spring Break programming, and enables students to travel throughout Tennessee and the Southeast to provide legal services to underserved populations.
Equal Justice Works: The College is a member school of Equal Justice Works, and each fall provides an opportunity for interested students to attend the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair in Washington, D.C. Additionally, membership in Equal Justice Works allows students of the College to apply for summer funding through EJW AmeriCorps, which funding supports students engaged in otherwise uncompensated public interest internships. Through its membership in EJW, the College of Law has access to materials produced for and in conjunction with PSJG.org, which provide information related to debt and public interest funding, interview and resume preparation, as well as access to a database of fellowship opportunities.
Recognition: In 2012, the faculty adopted an official pro bono policy that provides for honors to be accorded graduating students that engage in significant pro bono participation during their tenure at the College. Qualifying students receive a Pro Bono Recognition Certificate, a pin, and/or a cord upon attaining the requisite number of pro bono service hours. For purposes of the Policy, pro bono is defined in the same manner as Model Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1
The vision for The University of Texas School of Law's Mithoff Pro Bono Program (MPBP) is that students will engage in pro bono work to increase access to justice, build their professional skills, and develop an interest in providing legal services to those in need.
In conjunction with the Law and Justice Course and Community Service Program, first-year students must participate in the Community Service Program. The Law and Justice Course and Community Service Program is a unique part of the first-year experience at the David A. Clarke School of Law. The course is one week long under the direction of Professor Edgar S. Cahn that runs prior to the start of first-year classes. In addition to participating in the classroom portion of the course, first-year students must participate in the Community Service Program, engaging in a minimum of forty hours of pro bono service to the District of Columbia community. Full-time faculty run the program. Faculty advisors develop projects in which the students can participate or approve a student's choice of an independent community service placement or project. The community service work must be legal in nature and in the public interest.
The course introduces students, at the very beginning of their law school experience, to the School of Law's mission of training advocates for justice and providers of legal services for low-income people. It also introduces students to core lawyering competencies of legal analysis, problem solving and professional responsibility. The program raises students' awareness of community needs and facilitates their ability to tackle policy questions and implement strategies to address the problems of disenfranchised people. In addition, students gain information regarding career options and encounter public interest lawyers who may serve as role models. Students are required to submit time sheets and an essay summarizing the community service experience. The program also encourages communication between first-year students and their faculty advisors on community service as well as on academic and many other topics.
The David A. Clarke School of Law's legislative mandate requires that the School of Law train law students through faculty-supervised representation of low-income District residents. Consistent with its mandate, the School of Law strongly emphasizes clinical education and pro bono legal services. Students are required to complete 40 hours of law-related public interest community service and 700 hours in the clinic programs that serve low-income District of Columbia residents. In addition, the School of Law provides summer public interest fellowships to eligible students and offers an internship course which includes placement in public interest, public service, and public policy organizations.
Pacific McGeorge places special emphasis on engaging students in pro bono activity in Sacramento and beyond. The Career Development Office works in conjunction to with the stand-alone, non-profit OneJustice to update Pacific McGeorge students on a variety ways to serve the community through pro bono opportunities.
Pacific McGeorge participates in the OneJustice Law Student Pro Bono Project. Students are able to engage in short and long-term assignments in a variety of practice areas and settings throughout Northern California. Projects can include: certified court practice, client intake and interviewing, legal research and writing, case investigation, legal hotline services, trial preparation, legislative advocacy, policy analysis, and community outreach.
A student may earn a Public Service Commendation for each semester in which he or she performs thirty (30) or more documented hours of unpaid law related public service work as approved by the College of Law Public Service Coordinator.
The Commendation can be listed on resumes and will be posted on the law school web site much like the Dean's List. Students may earn both a fall and spring Commendation, with work performed over the summer being credited toward earning the Commendation in the fall semester.
The College of Law will help students find volunteer opportunities with public service agencies and other non-profit organizations engaged in pro bono work. We have a strong partnership with The Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Legal Services Program, Legal Aid of Western Ohio (LAWO), and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE). In addition, students are welcome to secure a placement with other agencies or organizations across the country so long as the student will be directly supervised by a licensed attorney. The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) also works with the College of Law to help coordinate group volunteer activities for students during the academic year.
The Coordinator maintains a website and bulletin board with information on pro bono and public service opportunities for students and groups. In addition, a volunteer activity is held during Foundations of Legal Studies (orientation) and encouraged throughout the year. The Coordinator runs an annual Pro Bono/Public Interest fair in the fall and a day of public service on Martin Luther King Day.
Students are encouraged to report pro bono and public service hours each semester, including the summer.
More information can be found at www.law.utah.edu/probono/. Participation in the Initiative is voluntary and is strongly encouraged for all students and limited to those who have completed their first semester of coursework. Pro bono placements are listed year-round and cover numerous fields of interests. We have placements with law firms, solo practitioners, and other legal related organizations. The Pro Bono Initiative also operates nine Free Brief Advice Legal Clinics around the greater Salt Lake area. A certificate of service is awarded to participants volunteering 50 or more hours by graduation.
Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Director over the Pro Bono Initiative and the Peter "Rocky" Rognlie Pro Bono Student Fellow.
Established in 1999, the Law School’s Pro Bono Program seeks to cultivate in students a lifelong commitment to the provision of legal services to communities in need. We believe that members of the legal community have a professional obligation to provide quality legal services to those who could not otherwise afford representation.
The program offers all students — from first-years to LL.M.s — the chance to use their developing legal skills to help clients in need and ensure access to justice for all. Opportunities range from providing in-person assistance to victims of violence seeking protective orders to working on impact litigation for civil rights and racial justice. By participating in the Pro Bono Program, students will engage in meaningful legal work and gain practical skills while providing critical legal services to underserved communities in Charlottesville, Virginia and beyond.
The Law School's Pro Bono Program develops and administers pro bono opportunities for students while responding to the volunteer needs of community groups and other outside organizations such as prosecutors, public defenders, legal services, nonprofits, government agencies and private law firms providing pro bono services. The Pro Bono Program strives to provide every interested student with an appropriate pro bono project. This is accomplished through in-house projects, ad hoc projects, student-initiated projects, and winter and spring break pro bono projects. Students working on pro bono projects may do legal research and writing, client and witness interviews, policy review, investigation and evidence gathering, and actual trial work. Third-year students who have their practice certificates may represent clients in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
The Law School encourages all of its students to engage in law-related volunteer service. The Pro Bono Challenge recognizes those students who complete 75 hours or more of pro bono during their three years at the law school (25 hours for LL.M. students). Students who volunteer at least 75 hours will be honored at commencement and will receive a Dean-signed certificate of recognition. In addition, the graduate who best demonstrates an “extraordinary commitment to pro bono service” is honored with the annual Pro Bono Award. 1Ls who log at least 25 hours in their first year and 2Ls who log at least 50 hours by the end of their second year will also be commended for their service.
Pro Bono Facts, 2020-21
Total Hours Logged
Winter Break Pro Bono Hours
I. Public Service Graduation Requirement Program
All students enrolled in the Juris Doctor program are required to perform 60 hours of public service legal work to graduate. Students can fulfill the public service requirement in the following ways:
The goal of the public service requirement is threefold. First, it is to educate students about their ethical responsibility as attorneys to provide pro bono legal assistance, particularly to those who would otherwise be without access to the legal system. Second, it is to foster in students a lifelong commitment to public service by providing the opportunity and training vital to the development of such a commitment. Third, it is to develop students' practical lawyering skills by providing them with actual work experience under the supervision of an attorney.
II. Formal Voluntary Program (Pro Bono Honors Program)
The Pro Bono Honors Program promotes pro bono service by University of Washington law students and recognizes them for their efforts. Through service to persons of limited means and to charitable, religious, civil, community, governmental and educational institutions, organizations, and agencies, student assist individuals and contribute to the community, as well as engage in activities to improve the law, the legal system, and the legal profession. In doing so, they gain valuable experience and advance their careers. Their work demonstrates the Law School's unique commitment to public service.
The Program also encourages UW law students to participate in community-based volunteer legal service projects. The Program allows students to enhance their learning through hands-on involvement in the community, while providing valuable services to people in need.
Students work with staff in the Career Planning Office to help identify a pro bono placement and to record hours and submit evaluations. The Career Planning Office provides a mandatory Professionalism Training Session to all students enrolled in the Program to ensure students are aware of the ethical, professional and practical issues involved in student pro bono work.
The Pro Bono Project's mission is to provide legal information to members of the community who meet the ABA defined eligibility requirements for pro bono assistance. The project seeks to create a life-long commitment to pro bono work among Wake Forest Law students.
Wake Forest launched the Pro Bono Project and Public Interest during the 2009-2010 academic year. The Pro Bono Project fills placements with attorneys in non-profit organizations, private practice, and North Carolina's legal services organizations. There are five core goals of the Wake Forest University School of Law Pro Bono Project:
For further information, see http://probono.law.wfu.edu/
Washington and Lee University School of Law provides both voluntary and mandatory pro bono and public service opportunities. All third-year law students are required to complete a course load consisting primarily of clinics, externships and practicums. A number of these offerings give students the opportunity to provide service to indigent clients or to investigate poverty law issues. Students must enroll in one "actual practice course," the majority of which are programs engaged in pro bono service. In addition, the Law School requires that all students complete at least 40 hours of law related service to the public and/or the legal profession during their third year. Those who complete more than 100 hours of uncompensated service are awarded a certificate and honored during commencement.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability. The Shepherd Program is a university-wide program in which law students interested in public interest or poverty law participate. The program consists of curricular and co-curricular components. These include course work and experiential opportunities available to those in the Shepherd Program but are also generally available to all law students. The Law School also facilitates and encourages the work of student organizations interested in poverty law issues, including the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice , the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Society, the Public Interest Law Students Association, the American Constitution Society and the National Lawyers Guild. Finally, the Law School offers the Shepherd Loan Repayment Assistance program, designed to provide financial assistance to graduates working in the public interest.
The Law School also facilitates summer internships and career placements focusing on service to indigent clients and hosts speakers and symposia addressing topics important to poverty and the law.
The Public Service Project at Washington University School of Law was established in 2000 to encourage and facilitate law student, faculty and staff participation in volunteer public service projects. Its goals are (1) to foster and encourage in law students an understanding of professional responsibility that includes a commitment to public service during and after law school; (2) to benefit the community by providing desperately needed services that those with legal training are privileged to possess; and (3) to strengthen law students' legal and professional skills by providing both valuable hands-on experience and opportunities to establish ties with community leaders and organizations. Both legal and non-legal volunteer opportunities are encouraged.
The Public Service Coordinator, with the help of the student Public Service Advisory Board, administers the public service project by supporting public service initiatives and developing new opportunities for students. Opportunities are publicized through the Public Service Bulletin, sent out weekly via email, and displayed on the Public Service Project website.
The following pro bono projects are administered directly through the Public Service Project:
The Wayne Law Student Voluntary Pro Bono Program encourages enrolled students to provide a minimum of fifty (50) hours of pro legal services to under-served individuals, communities and causes by working with eligible legal services providers, public sector entities, licensed attorneys, and members of the Wayne Law Faculty engaged in pro bono work. Participating students may select from published pro bono opportunities or propose other eligible work. Students who successfully render and properly document a minimum of fifty (50) pro bono hours during their law school careers are eligible for the Warrior Pro Bono Award and formal recognition upon their commencement.
Law students are encouraged to donate up to 25 hours of their time each semester (many provide far more than 25 hours) to provide pro bono legal services to the poor and the unrepresented. Students frequently work with the Center Director (an attorney) in representing indigent clients.
Students, who do not receive credit or financial compensation for their efforts, also contribute their time to assist West Virginia state judges, the West Virginia Attorney General, prosecutors and legal aid lawyers. Volunteer law students and attorneys have provided thousands of hours of pro bono legal assistance, in myriad areas, to hundreds of needy West Virginians.
Cooley Volunteer Corps (CVC). Opportunities to serve the community through volunteer work or through free legal service (pro bono work) are available through Cooley Volunteer Corps (CVC). CVC is a program that matches organizations with law students who seek substantive volunteer experience. Law students typically volunteer their time in 13 week increments. CVC is designed to foster law student community service and to encourage future lawyers to incorporate public service work into their careers. Any law student who has completed 9 credits, and is in good academic standing is eligible to participate.
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School (WMU-Cooley) currently maintains an ongoing roster of placements that include: 54-B District Court, Lansing, Michigan; Accounting Aid Society, Auburn Hills, Michigan; AIC Bank On Program, Lansing, Michigan; Allegan County Legal Assistance Center, Allegan, Michigan; AppalReD Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), Remote, Richmond, Kentucky; Asset Independence Coalition – VITA, Lansing, Michigan; Asset Independence Coalition – Grant Writing, Lansing, Michigan; Bay Area Legal Services, Tampa, Florida; Bay Area Legal Services, Ruskin, Florida; Bay Area Legal Services Family Law Forms Clinic, Tampa, Florida; Brett N. Rodgers Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR)- Florida, Statewide, Florida; CARE House, Pontiac, Michigan; Clean Water Action, Lansing, Michigan; Common Ground, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Community Legal Services, Wyoming, Michigan; Cooley Communicates, Riverview, Florida; Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Kids, Michigan; Dispute Resolution Center – Mount Pleasant, Michigan; Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office – Economic Crimes Unit, Lansing, Michigan; Elder Law of Michigan (Research and Survey), Lansing, Michigan; Elder Law of Michigan Legal Hotline, Lansing, Michigan; End Violent Encounters (EVE), Inc., Lansing, Michigan; Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida; Gulf Coast Legal Services Real ID Clinic, St. Petersburg, Florida; Gulf Coast Legal Services Real ID Clinic, Sarasota, Florida; Gulf Coast Legal Services Real ID Clinic, Tampa, Florida; HAVEN, Bingham Farms, Michigan; Immigration Law Clinic, Lansing, Michigan; Ingham County Circuit Court, Lansing, Michigan; Ingham County Friend of the Court, Lansing, Michigan; Ingham County Probate Court, Lansing, Michigan; Ingham County Prosecutor's Office – Domestic Violence Unit, Lansing, Michigan; Jackson County Probate Court, Jackson, Michigan; Justice for our Neighbors, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kent County Prosecutor's Office, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Legal Aid and Defender Association (LADA), Detroit, Michigan; Lakeshore Legal Aid, Statewide, Michigan; Legal Assistance Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Legal Services of South Central MI, Lansing, Michigan; LiveHelp, Remote from Ann Arbor, Michigan; Michigan Department of Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan; Michigan Environmental Council, Lansing, Michigan; Michigan Poverty Law, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Neighborhood Legal Services, Redford, Michigan; Office of the State Attorney 13th Circuit, Tampa, Florida; Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel, Second DCA Region, Tampa, Florida; Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan, Lansing, Michigan; Six Rivers, Rochester, Michigan; Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center, Pontiac, Michigan; St. Michael’s Legal Center for Women and Children, Riverview, Florida; Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, Detroit, Michigan; Teen Court, Lansing, Michigan; The Detroit Center for Family Advocacy, Detroit, Michigan; The Hillsborough County Public Defender’s Office, Tampa, Florida; Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Tampa, Florida; United States Middle District of Florida-Judge Honeywell, Tampa, Florida; VITA, Detroit, Michigan; Wayne County Elder and Advocacy Center, Wayne County, Michigan; Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Detroit, Michigan; West Florida Center For Trafficking Advocacy, Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Partnering with many state and local entities enables WMU-Cooley to serve the communities in which our campuses are located and those states as a whole. Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has over 21,000 graduates worldwide so pro bono and volunteer opportunities are also available through the vast alumni network.
In addition to the Cooley Volunteer Corps program, Michigan and Florida Cooley students, faculty and staff offer assistance to many programs including:
Michigan: Cristo Rey Community Center, Advent House Ministries, The People's Law School, Loaves and Fishes, Lansing Area AIDS Network, Habitat for Humanity, Lansing Food Bank, Lansing Teen Court, Volunteers of America Homeless Shelter, Open Door Ministries, Dégagé Ministries, Mel Trotter Ministries, Hispanic Center of West Michigan, Ferguson Apartments (residents were once homeless and are living with mental illness), West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Legal Assistance Center, Oakland County Probate Court, United States Eastern District Court Law Day, Patriot Week, Detroit Bar Association Expungement Clinics, Martin Luther King Day of Service, Access to Justice, Michigan Live Help, and area schools.
Florida: Hillsborough County Bar Association, Are You Safe Annual Charity Golf Tournament, A Kid’s Place, Hillsborough County Bar Association Service Committee Project, Hillsborough County Domestic Violence Assistance Project, Bay Area Legal Services Family Law Clinic, Project H.E.L.P. (Homeless Legal Protection), Feeding Tampa Bay Program, The Spring Gift of Peace, St. Michael’s Legal Center for Women and Children, Mi Familia Vota Naturalization Swearing-In Ceremony, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Martin Luther King Day of Service, 13th Circuit Pro Bono Committee, Everyday Blessings Foster Home, Springs of Tampa Bay.
In the school's programming and course of study, the faculty attempts to inculcate an ethic of public service. Central to this effort is the Public Service Program which provides resources, programs, and placements to enable students to use their developing legal skills to provide assistance to their communities and to the underprivileged. Student service is approved by the Director and subject to faculty oversight. Public interest service is recognized throughout the law school community in the form of awards, certificates and transcript notations. The program also recognizes public interest service of a non-legal nature that nevertheless supports and reinforces the program's mission.
The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) is dedicated to connecting students with public interest information and volunteer opportunities. PIRC locates volunteer placements throughout the tri-state area and beyond. PIRC also monitors student and placement satisfaction, and tracks hours of service in order to administer the pro bono distinction graduation recognition program and nominate students for other pro bono recognition awards. Information regarding Delaware Law’s pro bono programs may be found at https://delawarelaw.widener.edu/current-students/jd-academics/public-interest/public-interest-resource-center .
The Public Interest Resource Center (PIRC) in Wilmington and the Public Interest Initiative (PII) in Harrisburg are dedicated to connecting students with public interest information and volunteer opportunities. PIRC and PII locate volunteer placements throughout PA, DE, and NJ. They also monitor student and placement satisfaction, and track hours of service in order to administer the pro bono distinction graduation recognition program. Information regarding our our pro bono programs may be found at https://commonwealthlaw.widener.edu/academics/practical-learning-opportunities/public-interest-initiative
The Pro Bono Honors Program is designed to encourage students to participate in community-based volunteer legal service projects. The Program allows students to enhance their learning experience through hands-on involvement in the community, while providing valuable services to people in need.
Pro bono service takes many forms at William & Mary Law School, including:
Eviction Diversion Program: A partnership among the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, and Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, EDP protects low-income tenants from eviction. Attorneys and students serve as third-party neutrals by facilitating payment plans that help people stay in their homes.
Student Legal Services: Students assist and provide referrals for members of the William & Mary community.
Students for the Innocence Project: Assisting the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project to exonerate wrongly-convicted inmates, students participate in investigation and research of claims of actual innocence.
Wills for Seniors: Students work with attorneys from the law firm of Williams Mullen to conduct intake interviews and help draft, execute, and witness wills and advance medical directives for low-income clients referred by the Peninsula Agency on Aging.
Wills for the Arts: Students work with attorneys from the law firm of Williams Mullen to conduct intake interviews and help draft, execute, and witness wills and advance medical directives for low-income performing artists.
Students also provide substantial unpaid, credit-bearing legal service through externships, clinics, and a practicum.
The range and breadth of student nonlegal community service is as diverse as our students themselves. They volunteer on campus, in greater Williamsburg, in their home communities, and throughout the United States and the world.
The Pro Bono Network is a student organization at Yale Law School that matches all types of domestic public interest organizations in need of pro bono assistance with Yale law students who want to work on important issues and build legal experience
The Cardozo Center for Public Service Law initiates and coordinates Cardozo activities in the areas of public service and public interest, including panels and symposia, clinics, career opportunities, internships, clerkships, public interest stipends, post-graduate fellowships, and the loan repayment assistance program, along with new and creative initiatives. Our mission is to increase public service employment opportunities for students and alumni; to foster a supportive atmosphere in the law school for public service activities and programs; and to encourage all students to participate in pro bono and community service activities, as we believe there is nothing more important for lawyers, law students, and law professors than serving the greater public good. The Center for Public Service Law helps immeasurably in emphasizing the Law School's commitment to this ideal and in helping students find meaningful ways to engage in public service.
During First Year Orientation, The Center encourages students and provides them with information to become involved in the school's various Pro Bono Projects (Cardozo Youth Advocates, Courtroom Advocates Project, Cardozo Advocates for Battered Women, the Uncontested Divorce Program, the CONNECTing Survivors to Citizenship Program, the Cardozo Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the Unemployment Action Center, the Suspension Representation Project, and the Housing Court Resolution Assistance Program). The Center also directs students to consult Probono.net/ny, legal services providers, and local and state bar associations for additional city-wide pro bono projects. Additionally, during Public Law Advocacy Week, many local organizations attend the Volunteer Fair where students can speak with representatives and sign up for various community service and/or pro bono projects. We also issue a weekly Newsletter with public service happenings including events and trainings, and provide assistance to all students interested in pro bono projects at organizations throughout the New York City area.
December 16, 2022