Directory

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

Southern Methodist University
Dedman School of Law
P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
www.law.smu.edu/

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Laura G. Burstein, Esq.
Director of Public Service and Academic Success
SMU Dedman School of Law
PO Box 750112
Dallas, TX 75275-0112
P: (214) 768.2567
E-mail

Category Type

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement. Students must complete 30 hours of pro bono service as a requirement for graduation.

Description of Programs

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.

Location of Programs

Stand-Alone Program. See www.law.smu.edu/public-service

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Public Service Program has a full-time Director. The Director administers the program and reports to the Dean of the Law School. The Director also consults with and receives direction from the law school Faculty Public Service Committee. The committee includes four faculty members, appointed by the Dean of the Law School. In addition to the Director, the school employs a half-time Administrative Assistant.

Funding

None listed

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

The Association for Public Interest Law, a student organization at SMU, holds an auction each year to fund raise for public interest stipends for the students seeking unpaid summer internships in public interest. Each year, APIL helps fund between 12 and 17 summer public interest stipends.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

The Faculty at SMU supports the need for public interest legal services and commits each member of the faculty to engage in public interest legal services consistent with the public service requirement for students. In addition to the student requirement, the faculty passed a resolution requiring faculty members to perform public service.

Awards/Recognition

Students performing 200 or more hours of law-related public service are recognized at graduation on the Pro Bono Honor Roll.

Community Service

None listed

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Laura G. Burstein, Esq.
Director of Public Service and Academic Success
SMU Dedman School of Law
PO Box 750112
Dallas, TX 75275-0112
P: (214) 768.2567
E-mail

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

None listed

Public Interest Clinics

Beginning in 1947, the Clinical Program at SMU Dedman School of Law was among the country’s first to sponsor a community legal clinic. Today, it remains a national model of excellence. Dedman Law’s clinical program has evolved to reflect changing perspectives in legal education and innovation in legal practice. All the while, Dedman Law remains committed to the ideals that have shaped it from the beginning: public service, professional responsibility, and outstanding skills training.

The program encompasses 10 specialized clinics and projects where, under the supervision of clinic directors, our students serve as advocates on behalf of the community in many areas of the law. Dedman Law’s clinical education program is central to our mission of providing outstanding legal education and public service, along with developing professional responsibility.

Civil Clinic
Consumer Advocacy Project
Criminal Justice Clinic
Federal Taxpayers Clinic
Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women
Innocence Clinic
Patent Law Clinic
Small Business and Trademark Clinic
VanSickle Family Law Clinic
W. W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic

Externships/Internships

SMU’s Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to learn by doing. They work in carefully selected legal settings under the supervision of a mentor-attorney and a member of the law faculty. Student externs observe and participate in lawyering tasks, gaining both valuable skills and a sense of the kind of lawyer they wish to become. In addition, externships foster sensitivity to the social, political and professional implications of the legal process.

Pre-Approved Externships: A large number of externships have been pre-approved. They provide students a chance to work with non-profit organizations, courts, government agencies, corporate counsel’s offices, and health care organizations. They give students exposure to the roles of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, advocates for the poor, advisers to businesses, enforcers of regulatory systems, and more. Some externships also provide the opportunity to work abroad with international institutions.

Student-Initiated Externships: Students also may apply to have appropriate unpaid legal internships recognized as for-credit externships. Before the student begins working, the student must find a faculty member willing to be the Faculty Supervisor and, together with the Faculty Advisor, be sure that the externship satisfies specific externship rules and receive approval from the Curriculum Committee.

Classes with a Public Service Component

None listed

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

The Director of Public Service provides career counseling to students pursuing careers in public interest.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None listed

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

None listed

Student Public Interest Groups

The Association for Public Interest Law is the student organization that is focused on raising funds for students seeking summer public interest internships and careers in public interest.

August 6, 2018