chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

West Virginia University College of Law

West Virginia University College of Law
101 Law School Drive
Morgantown, WV 26506

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Megan E. Annitto
Director, Center for Law & Public Service
[email protected]

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

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.

Location of Programs

The program is operated by the Appalachian Center for Law and Public Service at the College of Law.


The Center has a full time director who has the responsibility of promoting pro bono and public service to the law students.


Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Student Bar Association – The SBA conducted a race ("The Ambulance Chase") to raise funds for legal services for the elderly.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono


Annual event at which students performing exemplary public interest work are recognized.

Students meeting 25 hour public service challenge are recognized at graduation hooding ceremony.

Community Service

The Student Bar Association has an active annual community service component that successfully encourages students to work for community organizations such as Habitat for Humanity.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Jennifer Powell
Assistant Dean, Career Services
[email protected]
Career Services

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Public Interest Centers

Appalachian Center for Law and Public Service – The West Virginia Bar has a proud tradition of pro bono service. Although law students do not formally undertake obligations to provide pro bono service until admission to the bar, the College of Law established the Appalachian Center for Law in the Public Interest, and charged the Center with the task of developing and administering a public service program for the college. The projects promoted by the Center provide a range of public service opportunities from tax to family law. Oftentimes volunteer students work directly under the supervision of the Center's director in providing free legal services to indigent clients.

The Appalachian Center for Law and Public Service – The Center is the law school's vehicle for promoting public service at the College of Law. Its goals include the provision of legal services to indigent West Virginians, the development and enhancement of law students' lawyering skills, and the fostering of the ethic of pro bono service to West Virginia communities and their residents. Law students are encouraged to donate up to 25 hours of their time each semester to provide legal services.

Public Interest Clinics

Clinical Law Program -

Immigration Clinic - A five-credit hour experience representing immigration clients under the supervision of faculty and adjunct faculty experts.


This program places 3rd-year and second-semester 2nd-year students with federal judges throughout West Virginia. Students serve as clerks to these judges for a semester. While participating in the externship, students meet bi-weekly with the program's director at the law school. Students who successfully complete an externship receive 13 hours of academic credit for their experience.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Income Tax; Corp Tax – Students provide free income tax assistance to low-income citizens.

Public Interest Journals

PI Career Support Center

The Career Services Office sponsors many brown-bag programs throughout the year related to law career possibilities.

On campus interviews for Public Interest Fellowships, James Marshall Sprouse Public Interest Fellowships, Public Defender Forum, Legal Aid Forum.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

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:

A student group, the Public Interest Advocates, raised funds through a variety of mechanisms. These funds were used to sponsor 16 2005 summer public interest positions.

James Marshall Sprouse Public Interest Law Fellowships

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Annual Public Interest Spring Auction – Auction to raise funds for fellowships and LRAP.

Annual Ambulance Chase – The SBA sponsors a race, with the proceeds benefitting legal services.

Ihlenfeld Public Service Lecture – An annual lecture on some aspect of public service.

Student Public Interest Groups

Public Interest Advocates



WV Fund for Law in the Public Interest