Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

Pepperdine University
Rick J. Caruso School of Law
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263


Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information


Sophia Hamilton
Executive Director of Externship and Pro Bono Programs


Category Type


Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for Student Group Projects


Description of Programs


Students are encouraged to volunteer for local pro bono organizations and have the opportunity to provide pro bono legal assistance through clinics (supervised by Pepperdine Caruso Law faculty), practicums (supervised by faculty and partners at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and Ventura County Public Defender’s Office), and externships.


Location of Programs


Malibu and the greater Los Angeles area.




Clinical Education Program and Career Development Office support students in finding pro bono projects and externship placements.




Administrative assistance is provided by the Clinical Education Program. Specific pro bono projects receive funding from grants.


Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects


Advocates for Public Interest Law – Silent and live auction put on by APRIL to raise scholarship money to encourage public interest work in the summer.


Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono




Community Service


Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information


Sophia Hamilton
Executive Director of Externship and Pro Bono Programs


Jeffrey R. Baker
Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Global Programs 


Certificate/Curriculum Programs




Public Interest Centers

Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics (includes the Sudreau Global Justice Institute)

For more information, visit:

Public Interest Clinics

Community Justice Clinic: The Community Justice Clinic provides diverse legal services to non-profits, nongovernmental organizations, and other community organizations who are working to promote justice and to develop opportunities and resources for vulnerable, underserved people and communities. Under faculty supervision, students will provide corporate counsel and services, including formation, governance and compliance

Restoration and Justice Clinic: The Restoration and Justice Clinic provides legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other gender-based crimes. In collaboration with multidisciplinary professionals in Southern California students provide comprehensive litigation services for clients emerging from abusive, violent, and coercive relationships. 

Legal Aid Clinic: The Legal Aid Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission students represent clients who are homeless on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Students provide pro bono legal services in a variety of civil matters, including family law, income tax, consumer law, benefit controversies and post-conviction reentry. 

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic: The Pepperdine Low Income Taxpayer Clinic provides direct legal representation to low income taxpayers at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles. Under attorney supervision, LITC students represent taxpayers in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, including audits, appeals, collection matters, and federal tax litigation.

Faith and Family Mediation Clinic: The Faith and Family Mediation Clinic is open to students of all faiths or no faith. This clinic's practice is at the intersection of California family law, Jewish Religious law, mediation, and interfaith and intercultural work. Clinic faculty and students provide mediation services to families in civil and religious courts.

Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic: In the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic students represent indigent clients as court-appointed counsel in briefing and arguing appeals before the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Students evaluate strategy and legal issues, research intensively, write and submit appellate briefs and present oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mediation Clinic: In the Mediation Clinic students have the opportunity to mediate various types of cases including landlord/tenant, employment and merchant/consumer cases. This clinic offers students the opportunity to actually apply mediation theory in context and to enhance their mediation skills by serving as the mediator in numerous small claims court cases and other referred disputes.

Fair Employment and Housing Mediation Clinic: In the Employment Mediation Clinic, students work directly with Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) senior attorney-mediators serving as clinical faculty at the Straus Institute. Students enrolled in the program will prepare DFEH cases for mediation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. 

For more information about Pepperdine Caruso Law’s clinics, visit:


Students may receive externship credit at approved public interest placements.

For more information about Pepperdine Caruso Law’s Externship Program visit:

Classes with a Public Service Component




Public Interest Journals




PI Career Support Center

The Career Development Office provides individualized career counseling, resource library, job boards, workshops, and interview programs to assist students with finding positions in public interest.

Students are also provided information on summer funding sources and on possible fellowships and Equal Justice Works grants. The Career Development Office also encourages students to attend external Job Fairs focused on Public Interest opportunities including the yearly UCLA Public Interest Career Day and Loyola’s Government Career Day. For more information, visit:

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

Caruso Family Loan Forgiveness Fund

Judge Harry T. Shafer Loan Repayment Assistance Fund

For more information, visit:

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:

Public Interest Stipend Program provides stipends for students working in public interest.

Graduate Student Funded:


Other Funding Sources:

The Public Interest Stipend Program receives funding from various funding sources including the Advocates for Public Interest Law, who raise funds through a student-run auction for summer pro bono work.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs


Student Public Interest Groups


Advocates for Public Interest Law – (A) Provides Pepperdine students with opportunities for community service; (B) Makes students aware of career opportunities in public interest law; (C) Works to provide funding for students who wish to pursue careers in public interest law;(D) Encourages students to make pro bono work a part of their careers; and (E) Educates students with regard to the different areas of public interest law and its importance in the legal field