Pro Bono Service Opportunities - FAQ
Why do we have a pro bono requirement?
Pro bono service is an integral part of a lawyer's responsibility and has been for centuries. All citizens have legal rights, but not all of them know what those rights are or how to enforce them. However, the inability to obtain legal assistance can have devastating consequences. A lawyer's knowledge, skills, and priviledges require that he or she donate time to protect the rights of citizens in need.
Where can I do pro bono service?
For the most part, students earn pro bono credit by providing service to any agency, nonprofit organization, attorney, or governmental entity.
Do I have to do all of my pro bono hours at one time or at only one place?
No. Students can perform pro bono service at several different agencies in order to fulfill their pro bono requirements. Your pro bono obligations can be fulfilled by working at several different times. The only requirement is that you complete all of your pro bono hours. However, it is in the best interests of you, your supervisor and any client that you develop a long-term relationship with one legal service provider.
Can I earn pro bono hours if the attorney I'm working for is earning money on the project?
No, you cannot. When working for a private anttorney, without pay, you need to obtain a letter from the attorney indicating that he or she is not receiving and does not expect to receive any fees, including court-appointed fees for the case.
How does pro bono work benefit me?
In addition to meeting the graduation requirement, students who perform pro bono work will expand their professional networks, improve their lawyering skills, and obtain the experience necessary to develop their professional identities. Students who have worked diligently at their assignments may earn letters of reference from their pro bono supervisors for future employment. Your integrity, reliability, and competency will also grow. Ultimately, pro bono service will enrich you intellectually, personally, and professionally.