How to Enroll in the Program
To join the Pro Bono Program, we ask that you first sign a Law Student Pro Bono Pledge and a Law Student Acknowledgment of Professional Responsibility by completing the Pro Bono Registration form on Symplicity.
What Constitutes Pro Bono Work
Student pro bono work is defined as:
- Law-related assistance to lawyers providing work without a fee, or at a substantially reduced fee, to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; or
- Law-related assistance to lawyers providing work at no fee or at a substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters that are in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate; or
- Participation in activities intended to improve the law, the legal system or the legal profession.
Work must be unpaid and not for credit.
Finding a Pro Bono Placement
Some postings for pro bono opportunities are listed on Symplicity, the law school’s career services management system. All pro bono opportunities listed on Symplicity are pre-approved for pro bono credit.
Students may also initiate their own pro bono projects and arrange their own placements as long as students receive prior approval. You may request approval for a new project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the details of your placement.
Students are also encouraged to make an appointment with Sarah Bookbinder in the Office of Professional and Career Development to discuss options for a Pro Bono Program placement. Appointments can be made through Symplicity.
Accumulating & Reporting Pro Bono Hours
All pro bono hours must be recorded on Symplicity. After recording hours, students must print their log, have it signed by a supervisor, and submit a copy of the signed form to PCD. Hours without a supervisor's signature will not count towards the pro bono requirement.
The Pro Bono Program is not mandatory. However, students may count pro bono hours towards their Experiential Learning & Professional Development Requirement. You must bring the Professional Development Requirement form to your supervisor to sign. The form is available online and in PCD, and must be returned to the Academic Services Office.
Who May Participate
While first year students are permitted to participate in the Pro Bono Program, we are mindful of the time constraints and pressures of the first year of law school, and encourage all first year students to be especially cautious about taking on additional responsibilities.
Pro Bono Honors
All students who meet or exceed their pro bono pledge goal before graduation will receive recognition for their efforts:
- 50 hours of pro bono work: Notation "Pro Bono Honors" on academic transcript.
- 75 hours of pro bono work: Notation “Pro Bono Honors” on academic transcript and recognition of Pro Bono Honors at commencement.
- 100 hours or more of pro bono work accumulated at time of graduation: Notation “Pro Bono Honors” on academic transcript, recognition of Pro Bono Honors at commencement, and Pro Bono Certificate presented with diploma at commencement.