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Loyola University Chicago School of Law

Loyola University Chicago School of Law
25 East Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Mary Bird
Director of Public Service Programs
[email protected]

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with a Coordinator and Independent Student Pro Bono Group Projects with no school-wide program.

Description of Programs

Formal voluntary program with faculty coordinator as well as independent student organizations that do pro bono work and public interest projects. Public service and leadership are recognized at the graduation ceremony (listing in graduation booklet and recognition during the ceremony). Not a graduation requirement.

Location of Programs

Office within the law school


One director (attorney) for public Interest programs/ another director(attorney) for social justice who is also part of the faculty of the ChildLaw Center, and a PT program director


Loyola public interest funding supports public interest scholarships-on-entry, staff, stipends for student public interest summer placements, and post-graduate fellowships

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

  • Immigrant Rights Coalition (activities have included Citizenship Workshops and Immigration Detention Project)
  • Law Related Education in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center
  • Loyola Law Academy (Saturday, minority pipeline program)
  • Public Interest Law Society (a) expungement clinics, (b) ABA Legal Answers, and (c) responding to letters from prison
  • Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO) – fighting K-12 suspensions and expulsions
  • Food and clothing drives
  • Days of service

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

Social Security Disability cases/ ABA- PILI Legal Answers / Frequent Advice and Referrals


At the graduation ceremony, students are recognized for public service and leadership. Their names are listed in the program and they are asked to stand to be recognized by their fellow classmates and invited guests.

Loyola hosts an annual Public Interest Convocation. All first-year students are required to attend the convocation, which each year recognizes one lawyer who has devoted their career to full-time public interest work, and another lawyer who has devoted a substantial portion of their career to pro bono service.

Loyola Alumni Awards that include recognition for public interest or pro bono work include:

  • the Public Service Merit Award,
  • the Norman C. Amaker Award of Excellence, and
  • the Donald Hollowell Distinguished Service Award

Community Service

  • Assistance with meals to people with unstable housing through Catholic Charities
  • Beach cleanup
  • Days of Service around Chicago - during Orientation and on Dr. King Day
  • Hunger Week food and clothing collections and deliveries to pantries and shelters
  • Law Related Education in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
  • Serving meals to people who are homeless or unstably housed
  • Urban gardening assistance

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Mary Bird
Director of Public Service Programs
[email protected]

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

  • ChildLaw Certificate
  • Health Law Certificate
  • Public Interest and Social Justice Certificate

Public Interest Centers

Center for Public Interest Law – 1 attorney
Child Law Center – 6 attorneys and 2 attorney teaching fellows
Education Law and Policy Institute – 4 attorneys
Rodin Center for Social Justice – 1 attorney (also working in and counted in the ChildLaw Center) plus another PT attorney

Public Interest Clinics


OBTAIN REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE in representing Chicago-area residents who cannot afford legal services. You'll acquire valuable first-hand knowledge about the essential skills involved in the practice of law, including client interviewing and counseling, case planning and negotiation, fact investigation, and oral and written advocacy.


WORK ON POLICY AND LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH and advocacy projects that have an impact on systems affecting underserved and underrepresented children and families, including child protection, juvenile justice, health, and immigration. 


DEVELOP SKILLS NEEDED TO REPRESENT CHILDREN by serving as children's lawyers in cases primarily involving child protection and high-conflict child custody disputes. Other areas of practice include education, immigration, delinquency, and international child abduction. 


UNDER CLOSE FACULTY SUPERVISION, the Federal Tax Clinic allows students to represent low-income taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Tax Court. 


THROUGH COUNSELING SMALL BUSINESSES, the Business Law Clinic educates students about the transactional practice of law. Under the supervision of clinical attorneys, students put into practice business-oriented knowledge and classroom learnings by providing non-litigation-oriented legal services to small business entrepreneurs. 


PROVIDE EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION to low-income clients by working in collaboration with health care providers to overcome the social and systemic barriers that prevent long-term health and stability. 


Chipo C. Nyambuya
Director of Experiential Programming and Professional Development
[email protected]

LOYOLA'S EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM is designed to provide students with practical experience under the supervision of a judge or attorney and a supervising attorney from the School of Law. This program provides students with the opportunity to develop practice ready and problem-solving skills while working at an approved field placement outside of the classroom. An externship qualifies as Live Client Experience.

Students may select from a variety of externship opportunities at sites that have been pre-approved by the law school. Students may earn 1, 2 or 3 hours of academic credit per semester. After completing all required first year course work, a student may earn up to 8 hours of academic credit through the Externship Program. Students who have secured an externship field placement are also required to enroll in an externship seminar course.

The externship seminar course has been designed to complement the field work performed by the student by incorporating and emphasizing professional responsibility and ethics in all classroom assignments and activities. Public Interest externships are available in the following practice areas:

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Child and Family Law

Consumer Protection/Antitrust



Government, Government Relations

Public Affairs

Health Law


Professional Responsibility

And, General Public Interest (broad category covering a wide range of legal aid and social service organizations)

Classes with a Public Service Component


    (For-credit courses; weekly seminars with students placed in agencies or organizations that support public interest work in the following areas or providing representation directly under faculty supervision)

    • Education Law Practicum

      For the Ed Law field work component, students have the option of local placements where they will work under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Students may choose to: (1) provide direct representation and legal assistance to children and families in need of support related to special education and/or school discipline matters; (2) represent school districts in education law matters; or (3) work on education policy matters.

    • Immigration Law Practicum

      The Immigration Law Practicum includes both a classroom and field component. Students will meet two hours each week to discuss key immigration law issues and to develop skills tailored to immigration law practice and advocacy, with an emphasis on families and children.

    • Mediation Practicum

      Students are mediators for live participants through the Center for Conflict Resolution and also advocates for live clients at EEOC and Illinois Department of Human Rights mediations.

    • Veterans’ Law Practicum

      Veteran’s Law Practicum provides pro bono legal representation and case management services to both qualifying veterans and their family members. Senior law students eligible for a 711 license will represent low-income veterans in civil legal matters under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

  • Immigration Detention Project

    The Immigration Detention Project provides an opportunity for School of Law students, faculty, and alumni to provide direct representation to detained immigrants around the country where the need is greatest.

  • Public Interest Law Seminar

    In addition to the seminar, students are required to work with a legal aid agency or research a public interest or social justice issue.

  • Street Law

    In addition to a seminar, law students work with Chicago Public High School teachers to prepare and teach lessons on legal or civics topics of interest to high school students.

Public Interest Journals

  • Children’s Legal Rights Journal
  • Consumer Law Review
  • Interest Law Reporter

PI Career Support Center

Career Services Staff have background in and commitment to public service

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)


Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Post-graduate fellowships- 6 months in duration/ parttime hours (usually 10 post-grad fellowships)

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

Equal Justice Works, Fulbright, Skadden Fellowship, and the Tom Steel Fellowship

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Child Law Fellowship / Consumer Law and Antitrust Fellowship/ Health Law Fellowship /Rodin Fellowship

Graduate Student Funded

Other Funding Sources:

Public Interest Law Initiative school year funding for internships

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Public Interest Law funding – 25-32
Childlaw -- 6-10
International Law- 4
Rodin funding – 3
Consumer/Antitrust Law-- 1-2
Also, many clinical faculty and faculty working on public interest research have summer law student research assistants

Graduate Student Funded:

organization, raises money each year to provide stipends for students working in unpaid summer positions in public service. The number and amount of the awards varies from year to year depending on fundraising and the number of applicants.

Other Funding Sources:

Other summer funding sources include a) Public Interest Law Initiative b) Equal Justice America c) Equal Justice works d) ISBA Rural Practice, e) ABA JIOP f) Peggy Browning Fund

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

  • Citizenship workshops
  • Expunging and sealing criminal records (through coursework or volunteering)
  • Law Related Education in the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center
  • Loyola Law Academy (Saturday high school pipeline program for minority and/or first gen students)
  • Responding to letters from prison
  • Staffing help desks (through coursework or volunteering)
  • Service projects- Days of Service during orientation and Dr. King Day, including community-based food, housing, and cleanup projects

Student Public Interest Groups

  • American Constitution Society
  • Children’s Law Society
  • Cultural Impact Initiative
  • Education Law and Policy Society
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Human Rights Association
  • If/When/How
  • Immigrant Rights Coalition
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Public Interest Law Society
  • Stand Up For Each Other (SUFEO)
  • Student Bar Association

New student groups:

  • Justice Pods – student-led academic and career support groups organized by student interests in various public interest law fields
  • Doing the Work – student-led book and article discussion group focusing on social justice and systemic racism

Also note- all racial, ethnic, and religious affinity student organizations (not listed separately here) are also involved in public interest work.