The Pro Bono Challenge encourages every law student to volunteer at least 25 hours annually. Students who complete the required hours receive a certificate of recognition at the end of their first and second years. This can be a valuable addition to a resume. Graduating students who have logged at least 75 pro bono hours (25 hours for LL.M.s) will be recognized in the commencement brochure and will receive a certificate of completion signed by the Law School’s dean. The graduate(s) who best demonstrate(s) an “extraordinary commitment to pro bono service” will be honored with the annual Pro Bono Award.
In order to log hours for the Pro Bono Challenge, the work must be:
- supervised by a licensed attorney or faculty member
- on behalf of a nonprofit organization, government agency, or a private law firm providing pro bono legal services
- uncompensated (financially or by academic credit)
- completed while the student is enrolled at the Law School
The Pro Bono Program will recognize the following types of work for credit toward the Pro Bono Challenge:
- client interviewing
- legislative drafting
- legal research and writing
- case investigation
- legal and/or policy advocacy
- community legal education
public service work (e.g. home building, food drives, or tutoring) does not qualify for the Pro Bono Challenge. Such work may qualify as public service hours for the PILA Grant application process.
To log their hours towards the Pro Bono Challenge, student volunteers must complete the online work log at the completion of a project. Attorney supervisors will be asked to approve all hours submitted by student volunteers.
Please note that not all projects that qualify for the Law School’s Pro Bono Challenge will qualify toward the New York State Bar Pro Bono Requirement.