“You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.”
- Winston Churchill
“We encourage every student to participate in pro bono program regardless of whether they are going to be corporate attorneys or civil servants. It’s the tradition of lawyers to give back.”
- Mia Friedman, director pro bono and public service programs, Rappaport Center
Pro bono publico
"For the public good." It’s part of the responsibility of being a lawyer. In fact, the ABA recommends practicing lawyers serve at least 50 pro bono hours a year. That’s what Suffolk recommends its law students do by the time they graduate. And many have.
Rappaport Center: The Pro Bono Nexus
Suffolk law students – with the help of The Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service -- volunteered more than 8,800 pro bono hours in 2012.
To qualify as pro bono work, Suffolk counts only work that provide no fee and no academic credit; involves legal-related service supervised by an attorney; and is for a non-profit organization, including government, educational, advocacy, or legal aid groups.
Into the Classroom
The Rappaport Center helps students arrange individual pro bono experiences, but it also manages the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, part of a national effort to have law students teach Constitutional law to disadvantaged teenagers.
While pro bono work can contribute to networking, resume, and future job possibilities (not to mention solid experience), it’s also the right thing to do. It’s a good habit to have.
(Suffolk students considering practicing in New York: as of 2015, anyone sitting for that state’s licensing exam must document 50 hours of pro bono work during law school.)