The Pro Bono Society was formed in September 2011 to recognize the outstanding efforts of law students engaged in pro bono during their tenure at UW Law School. Students will be recognized upon meeting the following benchmarks:

  • LL.M. Graduates
    • 20 approved hours
  • J.D./S.J.D. Graduates*
    • 50 approved hours
    • 100 approved hours

Students who meet these benchmarks will be inducted into the Pro Bono Society and graduate with pro bono distinction.

Requirements

Each student seeking membership into the Pro Bono Society must adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Project Requirements
    • Law-related
    • Uncompensated
    • No Academic Credit
    • Supervised/Trained
    • Serve Eligible Clients
  2. Canvas Training Course
    • Students are required to complete the Pro Bono Program's Canvas training course BEFORE any pro bono work will be credited towards Pro Bono Society hours.
  3. Logging Time
    • Students log pro bono hours in Symplicity under My Account > Pro Bono
    • Students may log time in daily or weekly increments.
    • Travel: No travel hours will be credited towards Pro Bono Society hours.

Students are encouraged to request individual advising sessions with Pro Bono Program staff to identify and apply for projects tailored to their interests and to become eligible for recognition for their service. Program staff can provide resources for students, including specific information about current pro bono opportunities and contact information for site coordinators.

* For J.D./S.J.D. Students

The Pro Bono Program has two levels of recognition for the Pro Bono Society - one at 50 hours and one at 100 hours of pro bono service. The Commencement Program, the Honors and Awards Program, and the Pro Bono Society certificate will denote which level you have attained. Additionally, you will receive one purple honors cord at 50 hours or one purple and gold honors cord at 100 hours.

The Commencement Program will have one of the following designations after your name, depending on the level you attain:

  • For 50 - 99 hours, there will be one † after your name and the corresponding key will say “† Pro Bono Society Member with 50+ hours of service.”
  • For 100+ hours, there will be one ‡ after your name and the corresponding key will say “‡ Pro Bono Society Member with 100+ hours of service.”
  • The Honors and Awards Program will list your name under the appropriate category: 50+ Hours or 100+ Hours.

The language on the Pro Bono Society certificates will differ, depending on the level you attain:

  • For 50 - 99 hours the certificate will say: “You are hereby inducted into the University of Wisconsin Law School Pro Bono Society and granted this award of distinction for exemplary pro bono service for contributing over 50 hours of pro bono work.”
  • For 100+ hours the certificate will say: “You are hereby inducted into the University of Wisconsin Law School Pro Bono Society and granted this award of distinction for exemplary pro bono service for contributing over 100 hours of pro bono work.”

We have two levels of recognition in order to encourage students to continue submitting their time once they reach 50 hours and to recognize their substantial contributions to pro bono service. If you have any questions please contact the Pro Bono Program Coordinator.

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