In celebration of our 25th anniversary in 2007-08, the College of Law’s faculty, students, and staff pledged 25,000 hours of pro bono service. Student pro bono activity played a major role in reaching that goal.
Now that the 25,000 hour pledge has been achieved, the College of Law continues to encourage and support student involvement in pro bono activities through our Pro Bono Recognition Program. Pro bono activities include not only those that ensure adequate legal services for moderate and low income individuals but efforts that enhance the capacity of law and legal institutions to do justice, and activities in the local community that promote justice. The Pro Bono Recognition Program is designed to encourage students to engage in pro bono activities while in law school and thus conduct themselves in accordance with highest values and standards of the legal profession. An essential part of the professional development of lawyers is the inculcation of the fundamental values of the profession, and an important component of these values is support for and participation in pro bono service.
How Student Pro Bono Participation Will Be Recognized
Students who complete 50 hours or more of pro bono service during law school will graduate with "pro bono distinction." There are three levels of recognition:
With Distinction is awarded to students who complete between 50 and 99 hours of pro bono service
With High Distinction is awarded to students who complete between 100 and 149 hours of pro bono service
Recognition will include a notation in the graduation program, and students will receive a special certificate of recognition. NOTE: If you choose to indicate your recognition on your resume, you must include the words "pro bono." For example, you might state "With Highest Pro Bono Distinction." Leaving out the phrase "pro bono" would suggest the receipt of academic honors and would be misleading.
What Constitutes Pro Bono Service?
Pro bono service consists of external (i.e. outside the law school) service rendered in the public interest and for the public good without receiving a fee or earning academic credit. Services that qualify as pro bono service under the Pro Bono Recognition Program include such services as service:
to the poor or to organizations that have as a principal purpose promoting the interests of the poor; or
to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; or
in connection with activities for improving the law, the legal system or the legal profession; or
to charitable groups or organizations; or
to community groups or organizations; or
to classes in any K-12 program.
If you have questions about whether your activity qualifies as pro bono service for purposes of the Pro Bono Recognition Program, please contact Associate Dean for Student Affairs Kelly Timmons. Note that volunteer work on behalf of a candidate for office, or under the auspices of a political party, does not qualify for pro bono recognition under this program.
Reporting Pro Bono Hours
To record pro bono hours, access the web-based self-reporting system. Access is controlled with the MyLaw ID system. All pro bono hours should be recorded in the semester in which the work is performed.
List of Pro Bono Opportunities and Contacts