University of Chicago Law School
Law School Pro Bono Programs
Assistant Director of Public Service and Pro Bono
Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for Student Group Projects
Description of Programs
The University of Chicago Law School is dedicated to the principle that members of the legal profession and those aspiring to enter the legal profession have a professional obligation to assist in providing quality legal services to individuals, groups or causes that are under-represented in the legal system. In furtherance of this principle, the Law School encourages its students to pledge to complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate. Entirely voluntary, the Chicago Pro Bono Service Initiative gives participating students exposure to a range of important legal issues and invaluable experience that will contribute to their education.
Location of Programs
The Pro Bono Service Initiative is administered through the Office of Career Services; see https://www.law.uchicago.edu/probono for more information.
Supervising pro bono is a dedicated staff position.
The pro bono program is funded through the law school's operating budget.
Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono
All students who complete at least 50 hours of pro bono service receive a Dean's Certificate of Recognition and all students who complete at least 250 hours receive Pro Bono Honors. These students also all receive special recognition at graduation. In addition, the graduating student completing the most pro bono hours receives a special Award of Excellence.
Alternative Winter or Spring Break Projects
Law School Public Interest Programs
Susan J. Curry
Senior Director of Public Service and Pro Bono
Public Interest Centers
PI Career Support Center
The careers counselors of the University of Chicago Law School include a dedicated public interest law advisor. Counselors offer critical assistance to students and alumni pursuing work in the public and nonprofit sectors, including government service, postgraduate fellowships, or international placements.
The Law School offers:
- Individual counseling and resources for current students and alumni
- A dedicated public interest counselor to review resumes and cover letters, develop career plans and job search strategies, counsel on public service resources and alternatives, and help guide career-related decision making
- An extensive public service resource center with publications and a wealth of online intranet material
- Assistance for student groups, including The Chicago Law Foundation and the Public Interest Law Society
- Postgraduate fellowship application assistance
- Programming throughout the year on a variety of public service job topics, including fellowships, government careers, and funding
- Institutional membership in Equal Justice Works, providing access to information and programs such as the Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Equal Justice Works Summer Corps, and the Equal Justice Works Annual Conference and Career Fair
- Registration for, and travel grants to, the Equal Justice Works Annual Conference and Career Fair
- Promotion of and participation in other public service job fairs including The National Black Prosecutors Association Job Fair, Cook County State's Attorney's Office Prosecutorial Opportunities symposium, City of Chicago Legal Job Fair, and the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Pro Bono and Community Service Volunteer Fair
- Participation in the Midwest Public Interest Law Career Conference and the Chicago Area Law Schools Consortium's Public Service Employers Reception
- Job postings through Symplicity and on the Public Service ListServ
- Membership with PSJD, including an online directory to public interest organizations and job postings
- On-line subscriptions access to the Government Honors and Internships Handbook and Opportunities in Public Affairs
- Access to an Alumni Public Interest Law Network & Directory
- Debt management and financial planning assistance
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)
The University of Chicago Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) is intended to alleviate the debt burden of our graduates who work in public interest. The most inclusive program of its kind, our LRAP includes a straightforward application and a generous $80,000 salary cap. In addition, all graduates who serve as judicial clerks are eligible for the program. The LRAP works in concert with current federal debt relief programs to offer the opportunity for any graduate staying in public interest for ten years to attend law school for free. For more details go to: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/financialaid/LRAP