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University of Iowa College of Law

University of Iowa College of Law
290 Boyd Law Building
Iowa City, IA 52242

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Prof. Brian R. Farrell
Director, Citizen Lawyer Program
[email protected]  

Category Type

A Formal Voluntary Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator 

Description of Programs

The University of Iowa College of Law's Citizen Lawyer Program (CLP) creates opportunities for law students to extend their education as future lawyers and leaders beyond the classroom and traditional clinic programs through community-based volunteer work. In partnership with judicial, nonprofit, and government partner agencies, CLP has developed and coordinates law-related Pro Bono Projects and places up to 80 law students each semester in a variety of projects focused on enhancing access to justice. New projects are developed based on student demand and as opportunities arise. Information on CLP is available online at  

Location of Programs

Iowa Law's Pro Bono Projects are coordinated by the Citizen Lawyer Program.  


The Citizen Lawyer Program is staffed by a Director and student research assistants. Up to 90 students are assigned to CLP's Pro Bono Projects each semester following an application process. The work of student volunteers is supervised by partner agency attorneys, with the CLP Director and research assistants serving as liaisons.

The CLP Director reports to the Dean of the College of Law. 


The salaries of the CLP Director and research assistants, and select program and activities, are funded through Iowa Law's operational budget. Student organizations raise additional funds for pro bono programs and activities.  

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

Iowa Law does not systematically collect this information. However, faculty and staff participate in a variety of pro bono activities, including volunteering with students in conjunction with several of CLP's Pro Bono Projects.  


The Boyd Service Award is bestowed at graduation on students who have completed at least 100 hours of service. The award is recognized by a designation on the diploma and by wearing an honor cord at the commencement ceremony.

The Pro Bono Society is a law student group that emphasizes the importance of public service and volunteerism in the legal profession. The Pro Bono Society serves as a vehicle to assist law students seeking to earn the Boyd Service Award. Membership is an earned honor that signifies an objectively measured commitment to serving others during the school year, as well as the development of the skills and values important to a life of public service in the tradition of "pro bono publico." Students must complete 15 hours of service and attend at least one "Lawyers and Leaders" program each semester to be eligible for membership.

Winter or Spring Break Projects 

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Prof. June Tai
Director, Field Placement Programs
[email protected]

Tami Diebel
Assistant Director, Career Services
[email protected] 

Certificate/Curriculum Programs


Public Interest Centers

  • Center for Human Rights
  • Global Wealth Management
  • Innovation, Business & Law Center
  • Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center
  • Law, Health Policy, and Disability Center
  • Labor Center
  • National Health Law and Policy Resource Center  

PI Career Support Center

The College supports public interest job fairs, mentoring programs, individual public interest career counseling, public interest panels, and networking events.  

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

Iowa Law School Foundation Loan Repayment Assistance Program

Provides modest financial assistance to graduates who obtain eligible public service employment and need assistance to repay loans taken during law school. Selection priorities are demonstrated commitment to public serve, need as determined by the total eligible debt to income adjusted for geographic cost of living differences and debt as determined by the total amount of eligible loan debt.


The recipient must have more than $5,000 in student loan debt, demonstrate the procurement of employment in public interest law, an area which includes but is not limited to legal assistance groups, public defenders offices, special interest and minority group advocates and civil liberties unions. The recipients starting and projected average annual salary derived from the employment described above must have a salary less than 125% of the "standard maintenance allowance (SMA) in their area. Recipients are selected by a committee comprised of a member of the establishing class, faculty and staff.

Summer Public Interest Grants

The law school offers a number of summer public interest grants, each with its own eligibility criteria which are designed to help offset reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the field placement. All applicants must be volunteering with a public interest or government agency. Public interest agencies include IRS Code 501(c)(3) entities, government agencies, and advocacy groups. Grants are funded by the law school and private donors.

Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) Summer Stipends

EJF students raise funds each year through a series of fundraisers. EJF manages the application and selection process and awards are based primarily on applicant's participation in EJF fundraising events and general commitment to public interest. The law foundation matches the funds raised each year by the students in the Equal Justice Foundation.

Public Interest Summer Internship Class of 1998 Fund

Recipients must be a currently enrolled law student and must demonstrate procurement of summer employment in public interest law, an area which includes Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) entities, government agencies, and advocacy groups. Projected summer employment compensation must be either low or unpaid. The applicant's level of need and the intensity of commitment to public interest law are the primary criteria for selection. Academic achievement will not be considered a factor. Recipients are selected by a committee of faculty and staff.