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Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Touro College
Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
225 Eastview Drive
Central Islip, NY 11722

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Cate Carbonaro
Director of Public Interest and the Public Advocacy Center and Adjunct Professor
[email protected]
(631) 761-7033

Category Type

Public Service Graduation Requirement Program

Description of Programs

The pro bono program is overseen by the Director of Public Interest. She 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.

Students can complete their pro bono hours via the on campus Public Advocacy Center (PAC), Clinics, student run volunteer projects, or any supervised legal work supporting low income individuals. Students must complete 50 hours of pro bono work in order to satisfy the Public Interest Law Perspective or Pro Bono Requirement. We have several clinics that students can participate in for pro bono hours and for credit - The purpose of the Clinical Program is both to teach skills required for effective advocacy and to develop a methodology for the practice of law. Our goals are thus more ambitious than teaching students "how to" perform lawyering tasks. The cases are a teaching tool and not an end in themselves. Students should always be thinking in terms of these educational goals. The fact that this educational experience is pursued through the representation of actual clients places participating students within the ethical constraints applicable to all attorneys. While the educational needs of students are paramount when designing the program and deciding which cases to accept, the needs of the client become primary once a case is accepted.

We also have the Pro Bono Scholars Program - Students who are accepted into the Pro Bono Scholars Program will spend 12 weeks working full time in a pro bono placement, while also completing an academic component at their law school. Students will have the opportunity to develop quality mentoring relationships and receive invaluable practical training under the supervision of both a practicing lawyer and a faculty member. As an additional benefit for participating in the program, students will be permitted to take the New York bar examination in February of their final year of study, before they graduate. Upon successful completion of the program and any other graduation requirements, students will be awarded their Juris Doctor degree and be admitted to practice as soon as practicable after graduation. Therefore, by participating in the program, students can accelerate the pace at which they can enter the legal market as licensed attorneys.

Location of Programs

Public Interest Center within the on-campus Public Advocacy Center 


The Director of the Public Advocacy Center is a full-time position. Duties include Director of the Public Advocacy Center, Supervisor of Pro Bono Scholars Program, Director of Public Interest, career assistance for students interested in public interest, and supervisor of student group Public Interest Law Organization of Touro (PILOT). 


The program is funded through the law school's general operating budget. 

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono


Touro Law Pro Bono Recognition Award At graduation: Touro Law recognizes students who have completed at least 50 hours more than the hours mandated (50) in our public service graduation recognition.

Alternative Winter or Spring Break Projects


Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Cate Carbonaro
Director of Public Interest and the Public Advocacy Center and Adjunct Professor
[email protected]
(631) 761-7033

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Public Interest Centers

Touro Law Center is home to the William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center. The only one of its kind in the nation, the Center was developed to have an impact on social justice, legal training, and the lives of countless individuals in and beyond the local community. The Center uses Touro Law students for advocacy services, research work, and client relations. Students work with these organizations to satisfy their pro bono requirements while developing an understanding of the problems facing the local community. The PAC is housed in a new building on campus and has a newly focused community collaboration. The PAC has been reimagined with a focus on holistic community-centered access to justice, supporting the community by providing legal assistance, counseling, housing help, support for domestic violence and trafficking victims, and reentry support, as well as connections to other access to justice initiatives. The PAC houses 6 agencies, but there are more than 50 affiliate agencies associated with the PAC. These groups, although not housed in the PAC, work collaboratively and join for extended meetings, occasionally use students in their work as public interest fellows, and are deeply committed to social justice and making a difference in our community.

PI Career Support Center

Director of Public Interest and Office of Career Services work with students to help with public interest internships, externship, fellowships, and post graduate jobs.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)



The Touro Summer Public Interest Fellowship program to help support students interning at public interest placements. Summer public interest fellowships are funded by proceeds of an auction sponsored by both Touro and its students and grants raised from private individuals and organizations. Federal work study also funds public interest summer internships.