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Tulane University School of Law

Tulane University School of Law
John Giffen Weinmann Hall
6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Julie H. Jackson
Assistant Dean for Public Interest Programs
Director of Public Service Externship
Tulane Law School
6329 Freret Street, Suite 216
New Orleans, LA 70118-6321
(504) 865-5733
Fax: (504) 862-8859
[email protected]


Category Type

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement


Description of Programs

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


Location of Programs

The program is located in Suite 216, Weinmann Hall, along with the Tulane Public Service Externship Program office.



The pro bono program is the principal focus of the Assistant Dean for Public Interest Programs . A full-time program administrator serves as program coordinator and liaison. Pro bono program staff communicate on a regular basis with the students who have signed up for academic-year placements and with the staff and supervisory attorneys of local non-profits and public sector sites to which the students are assigned. Forms required to be completed by each student include a time sheet, supervisory report, and student survey.



The Program was originally funded by a grant from the Legal Services Corporation. It is now funded through the law school budget. The school provides space and equipment to student-run and school-sponsored programs such as POPS, VITA and ELLA, and meeting rooms for training purposes for many other pro bono activities.


Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Tulane Law students staff the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides tax assistance on most Saturdays in the spring term through April 15. Since 1991, almost 14,000 hours have been donated to this program by Tulane Law students. Through the VITA program, students assist individuals who cannot otherwise afford assistance in filing their income tax returns.

Other student-run projects include an international pro bono program over winter break in Panama, which was conducted in coordination with Global Brigades. This year's project, which will again be overseen by students of the International Law Society, is TBA.


Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono



Tulane Law School holds a ceremony and reception each year during which graduates are recognized for their unique contributions to pro bono and to community service. The Brian P. McSherry Community Service Award is given to the graduating student who has demonstrated the greatest dedication to the Law School's pro bono program. The General Maurice Hirsch Award is presented to the graduating student who has contributed most distinctively and constructively to university or community needs. In addition, University-wide awards are given to graduate students on the basis of outstanding service contributions. Also, the LSBA recognizes one law student from each of the 4 law schools at a yearly pro bono awards ceremony held at the LA Supreme Court.

Tulane Law School holds an annual recognition lunch in the spring term of the academic year. Students who have excelled in their individual pro bono contributions or in the leadership of organizations responsible for pro bono work are recognized at this event.


Community Service


Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Julie Jackson
Assistant Dean for Public Interest Programs
[email protected]

Patricia Guzman-Weema
Public Interest Career Counselor, CDO
[email protected]


Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Tulane offers both depth and breadth in the variety of course offerings that might be considered a part of a "public interest" curriculum. An example of such an offering is our certificate of specialization in environmental law. Examples of recent course offerings with a public interest emphasis include State Reform and Human Rights in Latin America, Inter-American System of Human Rights, and Gender, Law and Equality. See


Public Interest Centers

Pro Bono Program -

Tulane Institute for Environmental Law and Policy


Public Interest Clinics

Public Interest Clinics

Environmental Law Clinic



The largest number of externships fall in the judicial category. Students are placed with the Federal District Court and the Federal Bankruptcy Court. Students are required to enroll in a year-long Externship Seminar. Five semester credits are awarded upon successful completion of the year-long externship and seminar.

Tulane Law school also offers year-long externship placements in the following government and non-profit settings: the Regional Office of the NLRB in New Orleans; the E.E.O.C., New Orleans District; and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana. In addition there is a semester-long Public Interest Externship offering a variety of non-profit agency settings.


Classes with a Public Service Component


Public Interest Journals

The Tulane Environmental Law Journal

Law & Sexuality


PI Career Support Center

Tulane Law School's Career Development Office (CDO) has one career counselor assigned to be CDO's point person on public service opportunities. The CDO website includes sections on public interest and fellowship opportunities as well as government opportunities, and the office provides a variety of resources beyond counseling to students interested in public service careers. The Career Development Office sponsors several public interest-oriented speaker panels each year in conjunction with student groups on campus. Also, each year the CDO public interest counselor accompanies a large group of students to the Washington DC Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference. The CDO also sponsors students to attend the Peggy Browning Fund Conference each year.


Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

For a description, see


Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:


Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded


Other Funding Sources:


Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:

Twenty-nine students were awarded PILF (Public Interest Law Foundation of Tulane) fellowships in the summer of 2009. The PILF fellowships were funded jointly by the law school and by the student organization of the same name.


Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Tulane Annual Environmental Law Conference – Tulane Law School holds its annual environmental law in the spring of each year.

Human Rights Awareness Week – The Human Rights Law Society sponsors a series of sessions focusing upon various topics in human rights.

Pro Bono Fair – The Community Service Office holds an annual Pro Bono Fair featuring representatives from a variety of local public interest organizations offering students pro bono opportunities.

PILF (Public Interest Law Foundation) – Lunchtime Speaker Series 2009-10. Speakers representing a broad array of public interest legal organizations engage students in discussion of critical issues in their respective fields.


Student Public Interest Groups

Student Public Interest Groups– see