The Pro Bono Program: Frequently Asked Questions
Is the 75-hour Pro Bono Challenge a graduation requirement?
The Pro Bono Challenge is a voluntary program and not a requirement for graduation.
Can I do more than 75 hours of pro bono?
You can do as many hours of pro bono as you like, but you must log at least 75 hours during your time at the Law School (25 hours for LLM students) to be certified as completing the Challenge.
In order to meet the Pro Bono Challenge, do students need to perform 25 hours per year or can all 75 hours be completed in a single academic year?
While students are encouraged to participate in the Pro Bono Program throughout their time at the Law School, students do not need to log 25 hours each year to meet the Pro Bono Challenge. Students must have logged 75 hours by May 1 of their 3L year.
How do I log my hours for the Pro Bono Challenge?
In order for your hours to count towards the Pro Bono Challenge, you must submit an online work log at the completion of the project. All hours for the year must be submitted by the last day of classes in the spring. Before your hours can be approved, you must also complete a student evaluation. You will not be able to log any hours until you have completed an online student volunteer agreement. All of these forms are accessible through GoodWorks.
Can 1Ls participate in the pro bono program?
First-year students are encouraged to do pro bono as soon as they feel ready. Many first-year students will do pro bono during the fall semester, but others will wait until winter break or the spring semester. Before committing to a pro bono project, consider your ability to successfully take on such a project in addition to your academic and other commitments. Some projects are not available to first-year students due to the need for more advanced legal skills.
Can LL.M.s participate in the pro bono program?
LL.M. students are welcome to do pro bono. LLMs who log at least 25 hours will be recognized as meeting the Pro Bono Challenge.
Does work done for a Law School clinic qualify as pro bono?
Work done in association with a law school clinic qualifies as pro bono only if the hours are supervised by a clinical faculty member, the student confirms that they are not currently enrolled in the clinic, and/or they provide written verification that the work is not being done for academic credit.
Can work for a Law School faculty member qualify as pro bono?
Volunteering for a faculty member on a pro bono matter (e.g., amicus brief or policy advocacy project) will qualify. Assistance with the faculty member’s academic or scholarly research does not qualify. The student may not receive any financial compensation for hours to be qualified as pro bono.
Does work done for my summer employer qualify as pro bono?
Pro bono work completed over the summer will qualify for the Pro Bono Challenge only if it is done in addition to any work normally required by the student’s summer employer. The student must not be financially compensated during the period the work is performed. Pro bono work done while a summer associate at a law firm does not qualify. Summer pro bono projects should be approved in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do judicial clerkships qualify as pro bono?
Clerking or interning for an individual judge does not qualify, but volunteer work for a court program that assists pro se litigants may count if the work otherwise meets the definition of qualifying pro bono. Contact email@example.com to verify that your volunteer assignment with a court will count towards the Pro Bono Challenge.
Does work for a political campaign qualify as pro bono?
Fundraising and other organizing projects for a partisan campaign are not considered pro bono. Nonpartisan poll monitoring that has attorney supervision can qualify for pro bono credit.
Does translating work qualify as pro bono?
Translation (written or oral) of legal documents and/or proceedings that is performed in conjunction with a pro bono case qualifies.
Does travel time qualify as pro bono?
Training and travel time directly related to the provision of pro bono services qualifies (e.g., travel to other law offices, jails or detention centers, etc.). Travel time to and from the pro bono work site does not qualify.