Projects must conform to Pro Bono Program guidelines to be eligible for recognition. Pro bono projects must fulfill the following requirements:
- Projects must be law-related;
- Students may not receive any type of academic credit for pro bono work;
- Students and pro bono host organizations may not receive compensation for pro bono work; and
- Pro bono projects must include sufficient training by an attorney, law faculty member, or other licensed professional.
legal work that is required as part of a research assistantship, directed
study, clinic or journal is ineligible for pro bono recognition. Legal
work performed to fulfill the requirements of a stipend program is also
ineligible for pro bono recognition.
Examples of qualifying pro bono projects:
- Volunteering with a not-for-profit legal services organization;
- Working on pro bono cases at a private firm, provided that neither the student nor the firm receives compensation; and
- Participating in a project sponsored by a law student organization, which is appropriately supervised.
Students wishing to perform pro bono projects that do not conform to the requirements should schedule a meeting with Pro Bono Program staff to discuss their project proposal.
Students are encouraged to design and submit pro bono project proposals that address their interests. A student (or group of students) must identify a host organization and work with the organization to design a project. The student submits a written Student Project Proposal application to the Pro Bono Program, and a staff member will then meet with the student to review the proposal. The student may be required to revise aspects of the proposal and obtain approval of any revisions from the host organization. The Pro Bono Program staff can then approve the project and the student may begin work immediately according to the schedule determined by the student and the host organization.
following information is required for all pro bono projects:
- Contact information for the project supervisor and for the host organization;
- A description of the pro bono project including project goals, clients served and expectations of student volunteers;
- Time frame for project completion and student participation schedule (i.e., weekly time commitment, single day, according to student availability, etc.);
- Location of required student participation;
- Required legal skills, courses or clinic experience; and
- Any language requirements.
Project applications should be submitted using the forms provided at the Pro Bono Program website. Applicants may include with their application any training material that will be used to prepare student volunteers. Applicants may also provide additional material, including publications or brochures about the organization or individual attorney or concerning the specific project.
Project Approval Process
Bono Program staff review and approve all pro bono projects. Upon
receiving an application, Pro Bono Program staff will work with the applicant
to revise the proposal to conform to the Pro Bono Program requirements.
Prior to submitting an application, applicants may request to meet with Pro
Bono Program staff to discuss project ideas and create a qualifying project
To expedite project approval, applicants should ensure that their proposals address the following issues:
- Articulate goals and expectations for individual student participation;
- Describe supervision and training for student volunteers, keeping in mind the requirement that the training must be conducted by an attorney, law faculty member or other licensed professional with sufficient expertise in the subject area; and
- Address how work serves eligible pro bono clients.