Pro Bono Service
Stetson University College of Law students donated 31,670 service hours in 2014-15.
Students - Review these resources for the latest pro bono service opportunities:
Stetson was one of the first law schools in the country to establish a pro bono service requirement for graduation. The legal community has embraced Stetson's commitment to public service, and Stetson Law has been nationally recognized for its emphasis on public interest.
Professionalism is honed over the course of your law school experience, but is expected from day one. Upon acceptance to Stetson, you are regarded as a member of the legal profession. High ethical standards are implicit in every element of your training, and a commitment to service is part of our mission.
Please see the Pro Bono Documentation Form (PDF) and the requirements listed below. Students have performed their pro bono service at a variety of Tampa Bay area organizations.
Pro Bono Graduation Requirements
All J.D. students who enter the College of Law in or after Fall 2010 (whether as a new or transfer student) are required to complete 60 hours of pro bono public service. At least 30 hours must be completed in legal-related activities; the 30 remaining hours may be completed in non-legal-related activities. Students who are in a clinic that has been pre-approved as a public service clinic will receive up to 30 hours of public service credit which will satisfy the legal pro bono requirement. However, public service credit from working in a clinic does not count in computing pro bono hours for the Blews award.
Completing the Hours
- Deadline to complete all hours: Students must complete all 60 required hours before the end of their next-to-last semester in law school. Students who have not completed all required hours by this deadline will have their grades and transcripts held until they have completed the requirement. July graduates will be treated as May graduates for purposes of this policy.
- Annual hours requirement: Each student must complete at least 10 of the required hours each academic year, unless the Director of Pro Bono grants an exception for extraordinary circumstances. A student may complete more than 10 hours in any given year; once a student has completed all 60 hours, he or she is not required to complete additional hours to meet this annual minimum. For purposes of this policy, an academic year ends on May 31.
Legal-related activities are limited to:
- Pro bono service for the indigent;
- Pro bono service for a public agency;
- Pro bono service for a private attorney on a case in which he or she is working pro
- Pro bono service performed under the supervision of a faculty member, if the
faculty member is engaged in a legal pro bono project and the student's work is
more than mere research assistance; and
- Pro bono service performed for a law school project pursuant to a grant or other funding, where the work is supervised by someone other than the faculty member overseeing the project, and the work is not used by the faculty member for activities that would generally be supported by research assistance (such as scholarship or speeches).
All pro bono activity which is not already pre-approved by the law school must be pre-approved. In order to get credit for pro bono legal work with a private attorney, students must submit a letter from that attorney describing the work to be performed and explaining that the person or entity the work is being done for needs the service but cannot afford to pay. The letter must also state that the attorney will be supervising the student throughout the project.
Non-legal activities must be approved by the Director of Pro Bono. Non-legal-related activities exclude fundraising for the University and the College of Law. Students may not satisfy their non-legal pro bono requirement by volunteering for departments on campus.
Pro bono activities will be posted on this website as well as on Facebook (Stetson Law Pro Bono) Any promotion will specifically categorize activities as either legal or non-legal-related. Students will be formally introduced to these requirements during New Student Orientation.
For more information or assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
William F. Blews
Pro Bono Service Award
In honor of William F. Blews '66, Stetson Law has established this award to recognize those students who, at a minimum, perform twice the number of Pro Bono service hours required for graduation.
Stetson Ranked Among Nation's Best for Pro Bono Service
Stetson Law was ranked seventh in the nation among the 2014 Super Lawyers Top 10 Law Schools for Pro Bono Graduation Requirements.
Stetson Law students donated 31,719 pro bono service hours to more than 400 organizations in the 2013-2014 academic year. Stetson is one of the first law schools in the U.S. to require pro bono service of its students.
“Stetson Law led the way in promoting the pro bono requirement in law schools,” said Dean Christopher Pietruszkiewicz. “Today, we remain dedicated to instilling a passion for public service in our students and graduates.”