Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Thomas Jefferson School of Law [On Probation]
1155 Island Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Judybeth Tropp
Director of Clinical Education
P: 619) 297-9700, ext. 1492

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

The law school encourages pro bono service through its Pro Bono Honors Program, which was started in 1999. The Office of Career Services provides interested students with a list of local volunteer opportunities. Career Services also works with our Public Interest Law Foundation on an annual summer internship fair.

Location of Programs

Clinical Program - Currently The Director of Clinical Education also oversees the Pro Bono Hours Program.


time on the Pro Bono Honors Program.


Administrative support, such as graphic design, copying, and storage space, is provided to pro bono group projects.

The school has recently received a large gift from a unamed donor which is enabling us to open our Veterans Legal Services Clinic in conjunction with The Veteran's Village here in San Diego.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - Students assist in low-income tax assistance.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

None listed


An annual hosted dinner at one of the students' favorite local restaurants is held at the end of the year to celebrate the students' pro bono service. Supervising attorneys from the public agencies and nonprofit organizations are invited and eagerly attend, and certificates recognizing each student's hourly contributions are presented.

Students who contribute at least 50 hours of pro bono service wear honor cords at graduation and are recognized in the graduation program.

Community Service

Student groups take the lead on community service projects. Annual projects include blood, toy and food drives and beach clean-up.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Beverly Bracker
Director of Career Services
P: (619) 297-9700

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

The Center for Law and Social Justice provides a program that leads to granting a Certificate in Law and Social Justice to those students interested in specializing in the area. Students must fulfill a number of requirements including: participating and documenting their attendance at the Center's events; rendering 10 hours of pro bono service to individuals or organizations of limited means; completing 12 elective units; and maintaining the Center's required GPA.

The Center's Certificate Program endeavers to educate students in the fundamental values of the American legal system to prepare them to counsel and represent clients in the full range of settings in which questions relating to the cause of social justice arise. Such settings may include, for example, allegations of employment discrimination, claims for equal treatment by gays, lesbians and intersexuals, conflicting assertions of privacy rights in disputes over frozen embryos, or objections to the location of an environmental hazard in a minority community.

Public Interest Centers

Center for Law and Social Justice - For more information, contact Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp, Director, 619/297-9700, ext. 6912 or E-mail.

Public Interest Clinics

None listed


Through the Clinical Education Program, students work with government agencies, nonprofit organizations and firms or organizations that directly deliver legal services to indigent people.

Companion Courses:

Clinical Education I -- A class dedicated to supporting and enhancing the students experience during their field placement; 1unit-5units depending on the student's time commitment to the organization; students can begin enrolling in their third semester.

Clinical Education II -- A class for students who have already completed one field placement for credit. Emphasis is placed on building upon the skill sets that were developed during the second placement; 1 unit- 5 units depending on hours students commit to field placement; students can enroll during their fourth semester.

Judicial Seminar -- Class specifically designed for students working in chambers; 1unit - 5 units depending on hours committed to the placement; students can begin enrolling during their third semester.

Classes with a Public Service Component

VITA (tax assistance program for indigent clients) - TJSL has a faculty supervised volunteer clinic that students run to assist low income individuals in tax preperation and tax issue problem solving.

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

The Law School provides information about public interest grants to students exploring public interest careers.

Public Interest Career Day

Government Career Information Day

Co-sponsor of UCLA Public Interest Fair

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:

The Law School provides matching grants to student-funded fellowships.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

Students raise funds to support students working in summer public interest jobs; the amount awarded varies based on fund-raising efforts. See -

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Our PILF student group held an auction to raise money for summer grants, and the administration matched the amount of the award from PILF.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

Our PILF student group held an auction to raise money for summer grants, and the administration matched the amount of the award from PILF.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

The Public Interest Lawyer in Residence program - This program brings a public interest lawyer to school for two days of lectures, classroom participation and chances to mix informally with students.

Woman in the Law Conference - An annual conference that attracts prominent women from the international legal community the topics always have a public interest/ public access slant.

Pro Bono Practice - An annual program which focuses on ways that students can become involved in Pro Bono activities.

Student Public Interest Groups

ABA/ LAW Student Division

ADR Society



Black Law Students Assoc

Enviromental Law Society

Family Law Society

Federalist Society

National Lawyers Guild



Public Interest Law Foundation


TJSL Tax Society

Women's Law Association

August 6, 2018