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Pro Bono & Public Service Recognition Program

Georgia State Law encourages student involvement in both pro bono and public service through the Pro Bono & Public Service Recognition Program. Georgia State Law students have a range of pro bono and public service activities from which to choose.

Pro bono activities include not only those that address unmet legal needs of people of limited means, but also efforts that enhance the capacity of law and legal institutions to do justice. Activities in the local community that are not law-related but promote the interests of charitable or community organizations are also recognized as valuable public service.

We encourage students to engage in pro bono activities and public service, fulfilling one of the fundamental values of the legal profession.

Recognizing pro bono & public service participation

Students who complete 50 hours or more of pro bono and/or public service during law school will graduate with “pro bono and public service distinction.”

There are three levels of recognition:

  • With distinction is awarded to students who perform 50-99 hours of pro bono and/or public service.
  • With high distinction is awarded to students who do 100-149 hours of pro bono and/or public service.
  • With highest distinction is awarded to students who complete 150 or more hours of pro bono and/or public service.

Recognition includes a notation in the graduation program.

Log in with Campus ID to log your pro bono and public service hours.

Note: Reporting service hours on your resume
We encourage you to include your pro bono and public service hours on your resume. A strong record of service as a law student demonstrates to employers your commitment to serving others and can make you an attractive candidate for certain positions.

If you choose to indicate your recognition on your resume, you must include the words “pro bono and public service.” For example, you might state: “with highest pro bono and public service distinction.” Leaving out the phrase “pro bono and public service” would suggest the receipt of academic honors, which is misleading.

Georgia State Law’s Pro Bono Program facilitates connections between students and pro bono legal work. Pro bono service consists of external, law-related service students render in the public interest and for the public good without receiving a fee or earning academic credit. Activities that qualify as pro bono include work that is:

  • Law-related;
  • Not for credit or compensation;
  • Supervised by a licensed attorney or law faculty member, except:
    • Law-related work done for a member of Congress or local government;
    • Translation work done for law-related volunteering;
  • On behalf of one or more of the following:
    • Individuals, groups, or causes that are either under-represented in the legal system or that benefit the public good;
    • A nonprofit organization, government agency, public interest law firm, or private law firm providing pro bono legal services;
    • A charitable, governmental, not-for-profit, or educational organization that works to improve the law, the legal system or the legal profession, including courts and legislatures;
  • Or training for work that meets the above criteria.

Learn more about the Pro Bono Program>>

Public service consists of external, non-law-related service students render in the public interest and for the public good without receiving a fee or earning academic credit. Activities that qualify as public service include work that is:

  • Not law-related;
  • Not for credit or compensation;
  • On behalf of one or more of the following:
  • Organizations with a principal purpose promoting the interests of low-income individuals or communities;
  • Individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights;
  • Charitable groups or organizations;
  • Community groups or organizations;
  • Classes in any K-12 program.

Volunteer work on behalf of a candidate for office or under the auspices of a political party does not qualify for pro bono or public service recognition under this program. For questions about whether your activity qualifies, contact Darcy Meals, the assistant director for the Center for Access to Justice.

Starting in August 2017, Pro Bono & Public Service hours are tracked separately. Learn more>>