chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.

University of Cincinnati College of Law

University of Cincinnati College of Law
P.O. Box 210040-0040
Cincinnati, OH 45221

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Mina Jones Jefferson
Assistant Dean
[email protected]
(513) 556-0075

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

The Center for Professional Development, through it's Public Service Coordinator, creates and facilitates public service opportunities for the U.C. Law community by serving as a liaison between the College of Law, the local legal services community and the Cincinnati Bar Association. The Coordinator manages the volunteer opportunity program which includes coordinating student placements and designing individual projects, developing training and support materials and recruiting students among other activities.

Information on pro bono offerings is made available at the beginning of each academic year. As new projects and/or collaborations with local legal services organizations or the organized bar become available, informational meetings are held. The quality of student placements is measured informally.

Students may also participate in pro bono activities through several student run organizations that are provided administrative counsel and support.

Location of Programs

Center for Professional Development


The Public Service Coordinator and Counselor coordinates volunteer activities and pro bono service.


Funding is allocated from a public interest fund.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

HOME - Local fair housing organization that collects data and advocates for racial, economic and social equality.

ProKids - Provides advocacy for children in the juvenile system and recently partnered with the College of Law to create accelerated training to allow our students to become court-appointed special advocates.

ICLAP: Immigrant Community Legal Advocacy Project - is a student organization that partners with local organizations to provide immigration services to our growing Latino population.

Tenant Information Project - Provides information about Ohio landlord-tenant law to the community.

Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) - Assists low- and middle-income and elderly persons with tax return preparation.

Volunteer Lawyers Project - A joint project with the Cincinnati Bar Association that allows our students to assist local attorneys with cases accepted on a pro bono basis through this program. Administered by the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono


Student pro bono service is recognized through our transcript recognition program, which is voluntary. Students who provide 15 hours of law-related service in a given semester receive notations on their transcripts. Students are also recognized at the graduation ceremony as well as in the graduation program.

Recognition dinner each fall recognizes those students who received summer public interest fellowships the proceeding summer.

Annual Senior Dinner presents an award for Public Interest Service and Leadership.

Community Service

The Student Bar Association participates in a mentoring project for at-risk junior and senior high school students sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the Cincinnati Bar Association.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Diane N. Cross, Esq..
Public Service Coordinator & Counselor
[email protected]
(513) 556-0058

Certificate/Curriculum Programs


Public Interest Centers

The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project

The Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights

Learn more here.

Public Interest Clinics

Domestic Violence Clinic

Sixth Circuit Practice Clinic


Students receive a total of three credit hours for extern placements (one graded credit hour for the classroom portion and two pass/fail credit hours for the placement). Each student must work at least 100 hours at his/her placement site in order to receive credit. Students may only do one legal externship, which are limited to government offices or non-profit and public interest organizations. There is also a judicial externship program that is administered separately from the legal externship course. Students may only do one judicial externship.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Labor and Employment Law Classes - Students must provide three hours of service at the local office of a national employee rights organization. For more information, contact Professors Rafael Gely and Suja Thomas at 513/556-6805.

Public Interest Journals

PI Career Support Center

The Public Service Coordinator and Counselor is available to provides public interest career counseling, as does Assistant Dean Mina Jefferson. Programs vary annually, but recently the focus has been on post-graduate fellowships.

Other Career Related Services:

  • Judicial Clerkship Luncheon


  • Volunteer Opportunities Luncheon


  • Fellowship Program


  • Immigration Seminar for Su Casa volunteers


  • Midwest Public Interest Job Fair


  • Cook County Prosecutorial Symposium


  • Equal Justice Works


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:

Ohio Innocence Project

Childrens Law Center

White Fellowship

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

The College of Law offers funded fellowships. Fundraising efforts include a Wine Tasting and Silent Art Auction as well as an annual pledge drive and contributions. The amount of funding varies each year and is a function of the fundraising efforts of the prior year as well as any outside contributions. On average 50-65 students receive funding each summer with awards ranging from $2,500 to $3,075.

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

For information regarding the followships listed below, see

  • Spiegel Fellowship


  • Black Fellowship


  • White Fellowship


Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Distinguished Public Interest Speaker Todd Portune - President, Hamilton County Commisioners

Jon Rosenberg, Distinguished Visitor - Former DOJ attorney and Director Emeritus for APPALRED Presentation on a Life in Public Interest.

Breakfast Club Series - Weekly series held in the fall highlighting a regional practioner including those in the public interest/governmentsectors.

Student Public Interest Groups


National Lawyers Guild - Visiting Speaker

Public Interest Law Group (PILG) - Public interest fundraisers

Student Bar Association - Community Service Event