University of Massachusetts
Law School Pro Bono Programs
Leslie Becker Wilson
Director of Legal Career Services and Alumni Services
P: (508) 985-1168
Pro Bono Graduation Requirement Program
Description of Programs
The Pro Bono Program graduation requirement is part of the law school's integrated approach to producing practice-ready, justice-centered lawyers. To graduate, every student must complete at least 30 hours of legal or law-related pro bono service under the supervision of a licensed. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities that address the unmet legal needs of the surrounding community. The program is intended to cultivate and enhance the habit of pro bono service, as well as to expose students to careers through which they can serve the public.
As part of the requirement, students sign a pledge that stresses the importance of public service as part of the legal profession. Performing pro bono work is also a means for students to gain practical legal experience and build a professional network. The Career Services Office recommends that students perform their pro bono hours at organizations that fit with their individual interests and career goals. Students have performed pro bono volunteer hours in a variety of settings, including pro bono projects for private practices, nonprofits, legal service providers, and public defender offices, as well as for local, state and federal governments in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches.
The Pro Bono Program is administered through the Career Services Office, which provides guidance to students on securing pro bono placements though a wide variety of resources. The Career Services Office conducts outreach to potential placements in order to develop new opportunities for students to satisfy the requirement. All placements must be approved by the Career Services Office before the students accrue hours that count toward satisfying the Pro Bono Program.
Location of Programs
Career Services Office.
The Director of the Career Services Office manages the Pro Bono Program, including approving each student's placement, reporting each student's satisfaction of the requirement, and planning the annual Pro Bono Volunteer Fair at which students learn about pro bono opportunities with the participating organizations.
The Pro Bono Program budget is part of the budget of the Career Services Office within which the program is located, which is funded through the law school's operating budget.
Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono
The law school recognizes students who perform pro bono service that significantly exceeds the 30 hours required by giving the following awards at the time of graduation: the Servant of Justice Award for performing at least 100 hours; the Leader for Justice Award for performing 200 or more hours; and the Pro Bono Graduation Award for the student who performs the most pro bono hours of all members of the graduating class.
Alternative Winter or Spring Break Projects
Law School Public Interest Programs
Assistant Dean of Public Interest and External Relations
P: (508) 910-6602
Public Interest Centers
PI Career Support Center
The Career Services Office assists students interested in careers in public interest law to develop strategies to secure employment that meets their career goals. The staff provides resource materials, individual career counseling, assistance writing resumes and cover letters, development of networking skills, interview preparation, on campus interviewing opportunities, specialized public interest job fairs, public interest panels, and networking events.
The Assistant Dean of Public Interest Law Programs works closely with the law school's Public Interest Law Fellows and other students interested in careers in public interest law, through one-on-one meetings as well as by engaging students in a wide range of public service events and projects in the community. Additionally, because UMass Law is an Equal Justice Works and a PSJD member, students have access to an extensive array of public interest law career resources as well as full access to other public interest resources regarding specific fellowship, judicial clerkship, public policy and other government positions to which the Career Services Office subscribes.
Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)
August 15, 2023