Pro Bono Program FAQ

The Center for Access to Justice is launching a student Pro Bono Program to connect students with legal service opportunities. As part of this launch, the College of Law is updating how students record and report volunteer service hours. Students now report law-related volunteering separately from other volunteer service.

  • Rather than report all service hours as “pro bono,” students will report law-related volunteer hours as “pro bono” and all other volunteer hours as “public service.”
  • Students who complete 50 or more hours of pro bono and/or public service during law school will graduate with “pro bono and public service distinction” rather than “pro bono distinction.”

  • Legal and non-legal volunteer service will continue to be recognized at graduation.
  • Students record volunteer service hours at
  • The levels of graduation recognition remain the same: “with distinction” is awarded for 50–99 hours, “with high distinction” is awarded for 100–149 hours, and “with highest distinction” is awarded for 150 or more hours.
  • 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.

Within the legal community, the term “pro bono” means uncompensated legal services performed for the indigent or for a public cause.* Other law schools, government, private law firms, public interest organizations, the Georgia Bar Association and the American Bar Association all use “pro bono” to mean volunteer legal service. This change in our terminology will therefore better align our reporting of pro bono hours with the dominant understanding of what the term “pro bono” means.

*See, e.g., Pro bono, Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).

Law-related service students render in the public interest and for the public good without receiving a fee or earning academic credit. Read the full criteria.
Non-law-related service that students render in the public interest and for the public good without receiving a fee or earning academic credit is reported as public service.

More Information

  • For questions about whether an activity qualifies as pro bono service or public service, contact Darcy Meals, assistant director of the Center for Access to Justice
  • Sign up for pro bono service opportunities through the Pro Bono Program.