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IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law
530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Olivia Cooley
Senior Associate Director for Professional Development
[email protected]

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator 

Description of Programs

The program at IU McKinney has evolved from a placement model to a student-driven model with the support of the Office of Professional Development. OPD supports students in finding pro bono opportunities through hosting an annual Pro Bono Fair, working with students to get connected with local organizations, and monitoring hours tracking and project completion in McKinney Works. Participation is voluntary and time contributed is subject to the student’s availability. We encourage all students to reach the goal of 50 pro bono hours by the time they graduate. As a Pro Bono Program participant, students volunteer on supervised projects for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and individual attorneys doing unpaid legal work. The work must benefit the underserved, the underrepresented, or organizations with limited resources. Although you will not receive academic credit or pay of any kind, you will gain exposure to diverse areas of practice such as administrative law, criminal law, family law, and children's issues.

Location of Programs

The Pro Bono Program is housed in the Career Services Office. 


The Pro Bono Program is managed by a professional staff member in the Office of Professional Development. Pro Bono opportunities are shared with prospective students through emails and job postings. Students are also encouraged to create their own volunteer opportunities. Students utilize McKinney Works, our online career services platform, to report and track all pro bono hours. 


Our Pro Bono Program is funded by the law school’s operating budget. 

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono 


Students receive a Pro Bono Program notation on their transcripts if they complete at least 50 hours of pro bono work during the course of their law school career. They also receive a certificate and have an opportunity to take part in a recognition reception at the conclusion of their law school career for contributing 50 or more hours to the program. These students are also designated as pro bono program participants in our graduation program. Two annual awards recognize pro bono efforts: The Norman Lefstein Award of Excellence is given to graduating law students who have contributed 200+ hours of pro bono service throughout their law school year and the John Paul Berlon Pro Bono Award is given to a graduating student who has contributed a significant amount of time to the Pro Bono Program and to other community activities throughout his/her law school career.

Alternative Winter or Spring Break Projects


Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information 


Certificate/Curriculum Programs


Public Interest Centers


PI Career Support Center

Public interest career assistance is available as a part of our normal career coaching services. 

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

In return for dedicating your career to serving the legal needs of low-income individuals and families in Indiana, the law school can provide you with loans to refinance existing educational debt and to reduce the burden of educational loan payments. You can apply for the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) if you take employment at a qualifying nonprofit organization/governmental agency after graduation. LRAP loans are forgiven as long as you satisfy the employment requirements. Up to 50% of annual student loan payments (up to a maximum LRAP loan of $5,000 each year) can be awarded.