Law School Pro Bono Programs
Kavitha Janardhan, Esq.
Associate Director, Office of Career Services
Syracuse University College of Law, Suite 214 Dineen Hall
950 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-1030
f 315.443.3086 e
Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for Student Group Projects
Description of Programs
Syracuse University College of Law's pro bono program provides the support necessary for students to
(1) meet the 50-hour pro bono pre-admission requirement for the New York State Bar and
(2) engage with their local community and build legal skills while serving low-income and underrepresented populations.
Syracuse Law encourages every law student to perform at least 50 hours of volunteer work before graduation -- 80% of the hours completed must be law related pro bono work and 20% of the hours can be in non-legal traditional community service (such as volunteering at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, tutoring, home building-projects etc.).
- Students who complete the minimum 50 hours of volunteer work will receive a certificate from the Dean and special recognition at Commencement.
- Students who complete 75+ hours will receive a Blue Pro Bono and Community Service Honor Cord.
- Students who complete above 100+ hours will receive an Orange Pro Bono and Community Service Honor Cord.
The top three graduating students providing the most pro bono and community service hours will be individually recognized.
Location of Programs
Office of Career Services, Dineen Hall, Suite 214
The Program is managed by Kavitha Janardhan, Associate Director for the Office of Career Services, who reports to Kim Wolf Price, Assistant Dean for the Office of Career Services. Each year, the Office of Career Services selects a Pro Bono Fellow, who is a member of the Pro Bono Advisory Board (discussed below) and acts as a liaison between the local public interest organizations which host pro bono programs and the student body.
The SUCOL Pro Bono Program is funded by the College of Law.
Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects
Syracuse Law has a Pro Bono Advisory Board (PBAB) consisting of 5-7 students. The PBAB coordinates with students, faculty and staff, as well as local public interest organizations, to train and oversee pro bono projects. A Pro Bono Fellow is selected yearly from the PBAB to organize student participation in pro bono.
Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono
Many faculty members are engaged in public interest and pro bono efforts ranging from Bankruptcy Pro Bono Program, to Civil and Disability rights.
Because the College of Law is proud of our students' commitment to pro bono and community service work, we have created a special recognition program. In order for a student to receive special recognition at graduation, a student must be in good academic standing and have completed at least 50 hours of pro bono and community service within this program. Students, Faculty, Alumni and staff gather for the Public Service Annual Recognition Reception, held in the Spring each year.
There are three categories of Pro Bono and Community Service Recognition Awards: Community Service Award (for students who have completed the recommended 50 hours of service); Blue Pro Bono Cord and Community Service Award (for students who have completed 75 hours of service) Orange Pro Bono Cord and Community Service Award (for students who have completed 100 hours of service). In addition, the top three graduating students providing the most pro bono and community service hours will be individually recognized.
Community outreach projects are made available through the Pro Bono program. The College of Law hosts Blood Drives, food and clothing drives, and joins community efforts throughout the Syracuse metropolitan area. The College of Law has a close relationship with various local agencies and frequently notifies students of upcoming community service opportunities.
Law School Public Interest Programs
Alexis Martinez, Esq.
Director, Student Programs & Pro Bono Initiatives
For Professional & Career Development issues, contact:
Samantha Z. Kasmarek, Esq.
Associate Director of Professional & Career Development
315 443 1941
Disability Law & Policy Certificate Program
Family Law & Social Policy
National Security & Counterterrorism
For more information about the Certificate Programs: http://law.syr.edu/academics/centers-institutes
Public Interest Centers
Family Law & Social Policy Center
Center on Property, Citizenship & social Entrepreneurism
Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship
Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism
Disability Law & Policy
Burton Blatt Institute
Full listing of all centers: http://law.syr.edu/academics/centers-institutes
Public Interest Clinics
The Office of Clinical Legal Education operates two programs: an on-campus law office representing low income individuals, not-for-profits, and small businesses; and an externship program, which places students in the community to work with government and public interest attorneys and with judges. Students receive academic credit for both of these programs, with opportunities available for 2nd and 3rd year students.
In academic year 2008-09, clinical opportunities are available in the following areas: Children's Rights and Family Law, Community Development, Criminal Defense, Disability Rights, Elder Law, Low-Income Taxpayer, and Securities Arbitration and Consumer Law. For more information on the SUCOL clinics: http://law.syr.edu/academics/clinical-experiential/clinical-legal-education
The Externship Program is available to second and third year students who are in good academic standing. Students may participate in the Program during the academic year and/or during the summer. To enroll students participate in an application and interview process with pre-established placement sites during the Spring semester. Representative externship placements include the United States Attorneys' Office, the City of Syracuse Corporation Counsel's Office, federal and state judges, Hiscock Legal Aid, and Legal Services of Central New York.
For more information on the SUCOL externship program: http://law.syr.edu/academics/clinical-experiential
Classes with a Public Service Component
Public Interest Journals
Impunity Watch - Impunity Watch's fundamental goal is to provide a means of casting a light on perceived injustices and providing a voice for the voiceless. This is achieved by providing an open forum, real-time unbiased objective reporting, and reflection on impunity issues throughout the world. Further, they endeavor to foster awareness and build readership by publishing timely, scholarly articles written by academic, professional, and student authors on impunity issues. The publication's true hope is to inspire awareness and to immediately alert the world to impunity issues as they arise. It is the goal of the publication to give the modern day Anne Frank a medium to instantaneously share her story while there is still time to make a difference.
PI Career Support Center
Syracuse University College of Law, through its Professional & Career Development Office:
- Offers a subscription to PSLawNet (Public Service Law Network Worldwide) to students and alums
- Belongs to Equal Justice Works and sends students to the annual Career Fair in Washington, D.C.
- Sends students to the NYU Public Interest Legal Career Fair
- Has a number of books that list various public interest opportunities, such as PSLawNet's The Comprehensive Fellowship Guide and Harvard Law School's Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide Vol. I and Vol. II, amongst others
- Has one person in that office designated as a public interest career counselor, although all counselors in the office have the ability to counsel students and alums interested in public service
- Offers various public interest programming throughout the year
- Offers collaborative programming with other departments such as the clinics to offer students the opportunity to network with alums working in the public sector
- Subscribes to the Government Honors & Internship Handbook for student access
- Hosts a mid-year Mock Interview Program with local public sector employers
- Offers students a comprehensive Public Interest Job Search Guide
- Conducts a Washington, D.C. job fair that offers students an opportunity to apply to government employers
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)
Law School Funded:
Graduate Student Funded:
Other Funding Sources:
Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships
Law School Funded:
Criminal Justice Teaching Fellowship – A joint venture between the New York State office of the Attorney General, the Syracuse City School District and the College of Law to support Youth Courts and the "Students against violence initiative" (SAVI) program. CJT Fellows perform tasks necessary to operate the Student Courts in four Syracuse District High Schools. In addition, Fellows are responsible for organizing regular meetings to discuss problems with violence and abuse in their schools with the aim of the students planning strategies to address those problems. Fellowships are only available in the law student's third year.
Graduate Student Funded
Other Funding Sources:
Syracuse University Graduate Schools: Syracuse University College of Law students are eligible for several scholarships made available through Syracuse University where public service is a criterion. Such scholarships include the George C. McCrillis Scholarship and the Emil and Maud Beck Family Scholarship. College of Law students have been awarded these scholarships in the past.
Law School Funded:
SPIN Fellows - All continuing students are eligible to apply for SPIN Fellowships for the Summer. Fellows are required to commit a minimum of 300 hours of service at a public interest agency. Students secure positions across the country and become part of the SPIN network. During the Summer of 2009, SPIN sponsored 14 Summer Fellows.
Graduate Student Funded:
The Grant Opportunity Program
The GO Program, which provides summer stipends, is funded through fundraising and Syracuse University College of Law contributions as well as from alumni, foundations and other organizations. (Examples: BarBri, Onondaga County Bar, NYS Prosecutors Association) The numbers vary every year. In 2001, the Law School awarded 26 grants at $2,000 each ($52,000 total). The students raised approximately $17,000 from an auction, a pro bono concert, a luau event and a couple of bake sales. The Law School contribution (Dean's Contribution) was $10,000.
Other Funding Sources:
SPIN Fellows - All continuing students are eligible to apply for SPIN Fellowships for the Summer. Fellows are required to commit a minimum of 300 hours of service at a public interest agency. Students secure positions across the country and become part of the SPIN network. This year, SPIN is proud to have 14 Summer Fellows placed worldwide.
Equal Justice Works Summer Corps https://www.equaljusticeworks.org/wp-content/uploads/files/americorps/06-07%20Welcome%20to%20Summer%20Corps.pdf
Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs
Student Public Interest Groups
Syracuse Public Interest Network