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Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

111. E Taylor St.,
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-4467

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Frankie Shinn-Eckberg 
Sr. Director, Student Services Sr. Director, Student Services 
[email protected] 

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for In-house and Collaborative Student Group Projects


Description of Programs

At the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, our Director of Pro Bono Programs and Student Life supervises the voluntary Pro Bono Program. The Pro Bono Board consists of faculty, administrators and students working together to ensure that our students have an ample number of quality pro bono opportunities, and to make access to these opportunities as easy as possible. The Director and Pro Bono Board coordinates projects administered by other student organizations, promotes and monitors student involvement, and makes and implements policies and procedures relating to student pro bono activities.

At any one time, we may have about 20 student-run pro bono projects, as well as pro bono efforts that law students can do independently in accordance with policies. Some of our groups are run completely in-house, such as the Homeless Legal Assistance Project. Others are outreach projects that work in conjunction with community agencies, such as the Family Lawyers Assistance Project. One of our most unique programs is the Crime Victims' Legal Assistance Project that was a pilot program through the Department of Justice, and has now won national recognition and is being duplicated in other locations. Please visit us online at


Location of Programs

Stand Alone Program – Rebecca White Berch Pro Bono Center, named for the Vice-Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, & open to all pro bono groups and students involved with pro bono efforts.



The program is supervised by the Director of Pro Bono Programs and Student Life. The Pro Bono Board is comprised of 6-10 students, a faculty advisor, and an administrator. There is an application process for board membership.



We seek grants to fund training, recruitment, publications, and workshops. We seek any and welcome funding to assist with student projects.

Student pro bono groups are provided a work center and access to facilities and students, such as ability to email the student body.


Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

ACLU at ASU – The ACLU Pro Bono Organization works with the Arizona Civil Liberties Union to provide legal research and assistance to protect and preserve civil liberties. This program offers students the opportunity to work with volunteer lawyers in the community on current civil liberties issues projects and litigation.

Advocacy Program for Battered Women – Students assist attorneys in providing legal information and referrals to domestic violence victims at 8 valley women's shelters.

Arizona Justice Project – Volunteers assist in reviewing criminal cases to determine whether there is a possibility of overturning convictions.

AZ Attorney General Satellite Outreach Project – The Community Services Program of the Office of the Attorney General includes satellite offices throughout Arizona. As the first university-based office, student volunteers (including non-law students) make it easier for the public to access information on consumer fraud, civil and victims' rigthts, and other matters affecting our most vulnerable members of the community and the general public.

Black Mesa Trust Legal Project – The Black Mesa Trust is a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the water resources of the Navajo and Hopi people. Black Mesa Trust is an organization born out of concern for the depleting water supply and its long range implications on the health and viability of the Black Mesa ecosystem and native people.

Crime Victims' Legal Assistance Project – Students work in conjunction with attorneys to provide legal advice to victims of crimes.

Criminal Defense Mentor and Pro Bono Program – This program represents an alliance between students attending ASU College of Law and the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. Students generally work on specific case assignments independantly, or may work as a group on a large-scale project.

De Colores – Students assist attorneys in providing legal information at domestic violence shelters. Spanish speakers preferred. This program is coordinated by the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.

Disability Law Project – The purpose of the Disability Law Pro Bono Project is to consider all matters of legal interest that relate to the subject of Disability Law and the Disabled in Law.

Elder Law Project – The Elder Law Pro Bono Project works with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, local and regional centers that assist the elderly, and local law firms. The project provides legal research assistance to help educate senior citizens regarding their legal rights and help prevent them from becoming victims of fraud, as well as provide assistance with legal documents, such as living wills.

Eloy INS Detention Center Project – Students teach immigrants detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service how they can represent themselves in immigration court. This program is coordinated by the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.

Employment Law Project – The goal of this group is to educate both employees and employers about their respective rights in the workplace, as well as work with the EEOC in advocacy work, educational seminars, and research.

Family Lawyers Assistance Project – FLAP provides assistance to individuals who are representing themselves in family court matters such as paternity, child support, divorce, and custody.

Guardian Ad Litem – Law stduents work in conjunction with volunteer attorneys through the Children's Law Center.

Homeless Legal Assistance Project – Volunteers work with staff at the shelters to identify residents' legal needs. Students interview residents to screen their needs before presenting them to valley-wide attorney volunteers. Attorneys address the residents' concerns by providing advice, referring them to outside resources, or assigning research projects to the students. Volunteers follow up as needed to help the clients resolve their issues. The Homeless Legal Assistance project also provides non-legal assistance by sponsoring various food, clothing and necessity drives as well as other projects.

Junior Law – Students present cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court to 7th and 8th grade students.

Street Law – Sudents teach law-related courses to local inner-city junior high and high school students. These programs are coordinated by the Black Law Students Association and the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.

Student Animal Legal Defense Organization – SALDO is dedicated to preventing animal abuse through legal action. Students help attorneys with research, litigation, and lobbying. They work on projects that help companion, wildlife, and laboratory animals. SALDO members also help organize CLEs on animal law.

Students for Reproductive Rights – Our mission is to join students with community leaders to work for the protection of reproductive rights including but not limited to sexual education, contraception, abortion, and access to clinics such as Planned Parenthood.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA is sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division. Training for the student volunteers is conducted by certified public accountants. VITA volunteers from the College of Law assist taxpayers in preparing their tax returns. Most of the taxpayers are ASU students, including many foreign students, and local community members.

Volunteer Legal Assistance for Artists – Created from an identified need in the community, this project will provide free online information for artists and those affiliated with artists, such as managers, curators, and venue owners.


Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

The policies for Tenure and review state that "the College of Law expects its faculty to be of service to the College, to the university, to legal education, to the legal profession, and to the community."Public interest litigation is listed as a specific example.



Students who graduate with 50 hours or more of pro bono service will graduate with pro bono distinction and will be recognized at graduation.

These are the three levels of recognition:

  • Pro Bono Distinction is given to students who report between 50 and 99 hours of pro bono service.


  • Pro Bono High Distinction is given to students who report between 100 and 149 hours of pro bono service.


  • Pro Bono Highest Distinction is given to students who report 150 or more hours of pro bono service.


Those students with the highest number of hours are also eligible for graduation service awards.

In addition, a few of the groups have their own awards event.

There is an annual Pro Bono Reception that recognizes the graduating students who gained one of the Pro Bono Distinctions, volunteers with the various groups, highest achievers in the first and second year students, peer awards for best group and best leaders, outstanding advisors, and Matheson Service Awards - the highest graduation honor for service to the school. Awards are hand-made trophies made by the students of a nearby homeless school - and presented by the student who made the award to each winner.


Community Service

There are several ongoing projects - such as "Canned Immunity" food drive (all who donate during the drive have immunity in class), literacy drives, mentoring programs with community groups, and Habitat for Humanity.


Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information


Certificate/Curriculum Programs


Public Interest Centers


Public Interest Clinics




Classes with a Public Service Component


Public Interest Journals


PI Career Support Center


Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)


Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:


Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded


Other Funding Sources:


Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:


Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:


Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs


Student Public Interest Groups

 Updated 3/21/2024