Emory University School of Law

Emory University School of Law
Gambrell Hall
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Sarah M. Shalf
Administrative Professor of Law
Director, Externship Program
Codirector, Professionalism Program
Emory University School of Law
Atlanta, GA 30322
P: (404) 712-4652

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program characterized by a referral system with a coordinator

Description of Programs

Students are encouraged to undertake pro bono projects. Those who accrue 25 hours of pro bono work over the year are recognized at a ceremony in the spring. Those who work 75 hours over three years are recognized at graduation with pro bono medals. Pro bono opportunities are posted on Symplicity or may be initiated by student groups or individuals. Students submit pro bono hours for approval through the Symplicity system.

Location of Programs

The program is coordinated by Professor Shalf, Director, Externship Program


Professor Shalf oversees the program with assistance from her program coordinator and from student research assistants.


Law school budget

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

The Emory Public Interest Committee is a student-led organization that coordinates a wide variety of public interest/pro bono activities.

The Veterans Law Clinic is a non-academic credit clinic that provides pro bono representation in veterans' benefits proceedings.

The Emory Law School Supreme Court Advocacy Project is a student-run organization with a faculty advisor that provides free representation in the United States Supreme Court, on petitions for certiorari and merits briefs, as well as to file amicus briefs.

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project provides immigration and related services to Iraqi refugees.

Student Legal Services provides free legal counseling to current Emory students, staff and faculty with the supervision of a local attorney.

Know Your Rights provides at-risk youth in the Metro Atlanta area with information about their rights during encounters with law enforcement or during involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is not a formal faculty pro bono policy, but faculty engage in in a diverse range of pro bono work addressing issues related to the environment, children's rights, housing and assistance to veterans. For a complete listing of our faculty bios, please visit


Pro bono: Annual recognition ceremony and medals at graduation for students meeting the 75-hour pro bono hour requirement.

Public service: The Deans Public Service Awards recognize up to ten students at graduation who have distinguished themselves through activities undertaken on behalf of the public interest either at the law school or in the wider community.

The faculty selects a third year student each year as the recipient of an award recognizing their work in the public interest.

Community Service

The Student Bar Association sponsors annually the collection of holiday gifts for area homeless children.

Black Law Students Association sponsors an annual blood drive in February as part of Black History Month.

Legal Association for Women Students sponsors an annual fundraiser to benefit those in need.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Sue McAvoy
Public Interest Advisor
Office of Career Services
P: (404) 727-5503

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Suggested public interest curriculum provided to Emory law students; for more information see

Public Interest Centers

Project on Affordable Housing and Community Development - Project where students work as research assistants or undertake directed research for academic credit.

Public Interest Clinics

Barton Child Law and Policy Center: 

Public Policy and Legislative Advocacy Clinics

Juvenile Defender Clinic

Appeal for Youth Clinic

International Humanitarian Law Clinic

Turner Environmental Law Clinic


Second- and third-year students in the externship program are placed with public interest organizations such as the ACLU of Georgia, Atlanta Legal Aid, Georgia Legal Services Program, the Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, and the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta. Third-year students may be placed with a district attorney, a public defender, or with the U.S. attorney's office and may try cases under supervision pursuant to local, state, or federal rules. All of these externships receive 3 credits. These externships are carefully selected, monitored, and evaluated by the administrative professor for externships in order to provide practical lawyering experiences with the supervision of highly qualified and experienced attorneys. Students also attend a weekly class tailored to their practice area in which they receive additional support and supervision by faculty with practice experience in the practice area. Students thus integrate substantive learning with the practice of law and develop their legal skills through exposure to different kinds of law practice, directly, or through the experiences of other students in their externship class.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Administrative Law
Advanced Constitutional Law: Rights and Liberties
Child Welfare Law & Policy
Children's Rights
Climate Change
Constitutional Criminal Procedure
Constitutional Litigation
Counterterrorism Law
Criminal Procedure: Adjudication
Criminal Procedure: Investigation
Criminal Procedure Investigation Skills Workshop
Disability Law
Education Law
Election Law
Employment Discrimination Law
Energy Law
Environmental Advocacy
Environmental Law
Federal Courts
First Amendment
Food and Drug Law
Gender and the Law
Global Public Health Law
Health Law
Immigration Law
International Law
International Environmental Law
International Humanitarian Law
Juvenile Law
Kids in Conflict with the Law
Labor Law
Land Use
Public Health Law
Regulation of Intimate Relationships
Religion and State
State and Local Government
Transnational Criminal Practice
White Collar Crimes

Public Interest Journals

For a complete list, visit

PI Career Support Center

The school offers a variety of support services including:

  • Public Interest Job Search Program (for 2Ls/3Ls in September; for 1Ls in November) -- Introduces students to the public interest job search process, including an explanation of the wide selection of resources at the Career Services Office. Students also learn about job search strategies, summer job ideas, funding, networking, and much more. This program is available only to Emory Law School students
  • Extensive public interest careers materials available
  • Staff support provided to EPIC - Emory Public Interest Committee
  • Co-sponsor (with EPIC) Public Interest Mentor Program
  • Facilitate students' participation in federal work study program
  • Post public sector job listings on-line for students and alumni
  • Georgia Law School Consortium Public Sector Career Fair -- This career fair is geared specifically towards students searching for public interest jobs. It is co-sponsored by the Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) and three other Georgia law schools. The career fair generally takes place in February.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

For a complete description of the program, please click here

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

The Barton Child Law and Policy Center offers a post-graduate public interest fellowship to a law school graduate one-three years out of law school.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

The Barton Child Law and Policy Center offers the Robin Nash Fellowship, a post-graduate public interest fellowship, to a law school graduate one-three years out of law school.

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:

Fellowships are funded through outside contributions solicited by students from individual, firms and corporations and matched by the Law School.

The Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC, the law school's student public interest organization) raises funds from both students and external sources (individuals, firms, and corporations) at its annual EPIC Inspiration Awards and other fundraising events.

The Emory Summer Child Advocacy Program places students from law and other graduate programs in child advocacy internships across Georgia. This program is funded entirely through the state's award from the federal Children's Justice Act grant.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public Interest Dinner Series: A select group of first year students meets throughout the year over dinners with members of the faculty and outstanding public interest practitioners.

Brown Bag Lunch Series: The Emory Public Interest Committee sponsors a lunch series with guest speakers on a public interest topic. EPIC also hosts occasional other public interest events.

Public Interest Conference: There is a one-day public interest conference in the fall with panels of speakers on a particular public interest topic.

Student Public Interest Groups

Emory Public Interest Committee

August 6, 2018