For questions about the pro bono requirement, see below. For more information, contact the Office of Student Affairs or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the pro bono requirement, and how is it satisfied?
Each student must perform no less than 30 hours of pro bono work through a placement that has been preapproved by the school. Although 1Ls are not encouraged to begin pro bono work until after their first semester of law school, pro bono work may start in any semester of law school and must be completed prior to graduation. The student is responsible for selecting a placement, contacting that office, arranging to do the work, completing the work and filling out all proper forms.
- The work must be law-related. Clerical work is appropriate only to the extent needed to carry out the overall legal task.
- The work must be uncompensated. Students may not receive monetary compensation, academic credit or other tangible benefits for performing the service.
- The work must be supervised by an attorney. Private attorneys working on pro bono cases, court-appointed cases, or qualifying cases for a sliding scale fee can supervise a law student’s work on those cases.
The instructions below tell you how to select a placement. In addition, in order to receive credit, you must be sure that all required forms are filled out, signed by the supervising attorney and returned to the school and that your hours are entered into Symplicity. You may pick up a packet that contains the proper forms at Student Services in room 244.
How many hours of pro bono work are required?
Thirty hours are required. Some placements require more or less than 30 hours. While you must comply with any special requirements the placement imposes on your hours, you may split your hours among various placements or do all of your hours with one placement. Also, depending on the needs of the particular placement, you may do more than 30 hours.
When can I start?
Pro bono work may start in any semester of law school and must be completed prior to graduation. 1Ls are not encouraged to begin pro bono work until after their first semester of law school.
When must I have completed my pro bono work?
December graduates must have their pro bono hours completed by November 1. May graduates must have their pro bono hours completed by April 1. We encourage you to complete the required 30 hours well before the deadline, so we have time to process your paperwork and credit you with having completed the requirement.
What forms am I required to fill out and submit?
You can now enter your pro bono information into Symplicity. Instructions available here. The Pro Bono Packet, with the supervising attorney signature form, can also be picked up from the Office of Student Affairs in room 244.
How do I select a placement?
There are three ways to select your pro bono placement:
- A list of the preapproved placements is available here.
- Browse the Equal Justice Placement Binder located in the Office of Student Affairs.
- Email email@example.com to receive information about preapproved placements.
Students are encouraged to think "outside the box" to locate placements that are specific to their interests. To discuss placements that have not been preapproved, schedule an appointment with the Office of Student Affairs.
What do I do once I’ve selected my placement?
What if my placement has special requirements?
If you select a placement with special requirements, you must comply with them. Any special requirements will be noted on the placement’s information sheet. For example, the Federal Public Defender’s Office requires a commitment to do 40 hours of pro bono work, and the Arlington City Attorney’s Office requires a criminal background check.
What if I want to complete my pro bono work with a placement that has not been preapproved?
You must seek preapproval before you commence work. If you would like to seek approval for a particular placement, you should contact Dean Jeffers to request preapproval of the placement.
You will not receive credit for pro bono work unless your placement is preapproved before you begin.
Can I count work done at my firm toward my pro bono requirement?
No, you may not count work for which you receive financial compensation toward your pro bono requirement. Thus, if you are engaged in pro bono work at a law firm where you are a paid employee, you may not count this time if you are being paid.