Directory

Florida State University College of Law

Florida State University College of Law
425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
www.law.fsu.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Nancy L. Benavides
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Florida State University College of Law
E-mail
P: (850) 644-7338

Category Type

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement Program

Description of Programs

Students are required to complete and report 20 hours of pro bono service during the second or third year of law school. Pro bono work is defined as "work on behalf of indigent individuals or other uncompensated legal work in conjunction with an individual lawyer, law firm or organization on behalf of a disadvantaged minority, the victims of racial, sexual, other forms of discrimination, those denied human and civil rights, or other work on behalf of the public interest. Work on behalf of the public interest means legal work that is designed to represent a position on behalf of the public at large on matters of public interest. . . ."

Students are required to complete an online Pro Bono Orientation prior to beginning their pro bono work. A list of pre-approved placements may be found on the school's web site and hard copies are available in the Office of Student Affairs. A pro bono fair is also held each spring at the law school. Representatives of various placement sites are invited to campus to meet with law students about their organizations and pro bono opportunities. A number of students each year complete well in excess of 20 hours of pro bono service prior to graduation.

Location of Programs

The Program is coordinated by the Student Affairs Office at Florida State University College of Law.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

Nancy Benavides
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
E-mail
P: (850) 644-7338

Funding

The Pro Bono Program is funded, in part, by a grant from the Florida Bar Foundation.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

None listed

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

None listed

Awards/Recognition

Students who perform forty or more hours of public service receive a certificate recognizing distinguished pro bono accomplishment. Their pro bono service is also recognized in the commencement program.

Community Service

While there is no separate Community Service requirement, several of our student organizations are actively involved in promoting community service events and activities throughout the academic year. These organizations include the Student Bar Association (SBA), Public Interest Law Students Association (PILSA), and Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Both SBA and BLSA have been nationally recognized for their community service programming.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Julie Saifullah
Assoc. Director, Placement Office
P: (850) 644-4495
E-mail
Placement Office

Nancy L. Benavides
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
P: (850) 644-7338
E-mail
Office of Student Affairs

Rosanna Catalano
Director, Placement Office
P: (850) 644-4495
E-mail
Placement Office

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Student Pro Bono Program

Students are required to complete and report 20 hours of civil pro bono service during the second or third year of law school.

Public Interest Centers

Florida State University College of Law Public Interest Law Center - Founded in 1991, the Public Interest Law Center, formerly called the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), trains second- and third-year law students in legal advocacy with an emphasis on intensive one-on-one and small group instruction. The Center, which has approximately 110 on-going cases, is unique among law school clinical programs for providing a broad range of legal services. It consists of two clinics: the Children's Advocacy Law Clinic and the Family Law Clinic. The Center represents children, persons with disabilities, and victims of domestic violence. It also handles special education, Medicaid, foster care, delinquency, criminal, school expulsions, developmental services, and supplemental security income (SSI) cases.

Public Interest Clinics

Children's Advocacy Clinic - The Children's Advocacy Clinic represents children in foster care, juvenile delinquency, health care, special education, disability, social security and criminal law cases. The Children's Advocacy Clinic, directed by Clinical Professor Paolo Annino, is nationally and internationally recognized for its advocacy on behalf of children.

Family Law Clinic - The Family Law Clinic serves low income clients with a wide range of family law issues, including dissolution of marriage, custody, visitation, injunctions against violence, paternity, modifications and contempt of court. Clinical Professor Ruth Stone directs the activities of the Family Law Clinic.

Externships/Internships

The Clinical Externship Program offers a supervised program with placements at over 60 public law offices in the state, including Criminal, Civil, Environmental, Labor/Employment, Local Government, Administrative, Tort, Corrections, Economic Crimes/Antitrust, Disability Law, Domestic Violence, Real Estate Transactions, Guardian Ad Litem, Legal Services, Appellate and Judicial (federal and state courts).

Classes with a Public Service Component

Public Interest Law Center

Clinical Externship Program

Public Interest Journals

Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law

Journal of Transnational Law and Policy

PI Career Support Center

The Placement Office services include individual consultations, workshops, career counseling, e-mail and job board postings for students interested in public interest careers.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None listed

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Florida State University College of Law awards several scholarships each year to students interested in public interest law.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

The Denise Diaz Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an entering first year female Hispanic law student dedicated to public service.

The Beverly S. McLear Scholarship is awarded to a second year female law student wishing to practice and capable of practicing environmental law in the area of public interest.

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

The Florida Bar Foundation Public Service Fellowship Fund supports stipends of approximately $5,000 (approximately 4-6 awards annually).

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Several of our student organizations are actively involved in promoting community service events and activities throughout the academic year. These organizations include the Student Bar Association (SBA), Public Interest Law Students Association (PILSA), and Black Law Students Association (BLSA). Both SBA and BLSA have been nationally recognized for their community service programming.

Student Public Interest Groups

Student Bar Association, Public Interest Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, Environmental Law Society and ACLU are some of the active law student organizations that are involved in identifying, creating and promoting public interest and community service opportunities to the law school community.

August 6, 2018