Information for Project Supervisors

Information for Project Supervisors

We appreciate your willingness to supervise a law student volunteer(s). Pro bono is an important part of our students’ legal education, allowing them to develop legal skills while serving a client in need.

To request the assistance of a volunteer, complete the Pro Bono Project Request Form. All students must be supervised by a licensed attorney willing to provide training, mentoring, supervision, including compliance with all applicable ethical rules. Assigned work should be non-clerical and law-related. Appropriate pro bono tasks include: interviewing witnesses or clients, developing community education materials, drafting legal documents, providing research, analyzing legislation, and assisting in court.  

The Law School’s exam periods are in December and May, so requests for volunteers submitted at the beginning of the academic semesters (late-August and mid-January) receive the best response. Projects with a consistent weekly time commitment of 3-6 hours are preferred. The Pro Bono Program does not guarantee student availability for any project.

Supervising Student Volunteers

  1. Schedule a meeting to discuss training, deadlines, professionalism, appropriate attire, and office policies/ procedures. It is helpful to give the student(s) assignments in writing. Confirm how you will communicate (e.g. email, phone or in-person meetings).
  2. Include your volunteer in case-related activities—meetings with clients, witnesses, or opposing counsel.
  3. Provide substantive feedback on an ongoing basis to reduce anxiety and enhance the volunteer’s ability to produce a quality work product.
  4. Educate your volunteer(s) about ethical rules for conflicts, unauthorized practice, and client confidentiality. ***Students may have previously taken a clinic or engaged in other pro bono work that could create a conflict.
  5. Conduct an exit interview and review performance. Provide advice for future pro bono work.
  6. Complete and submit an evaluation and approve volunteer hours. A link to these forms will be emailed to you at the conclusion of the project.

Questions or concerns?  Contact Assistant Dean for Pro Bono Kimberly Emery at (434) 924-1419 or probono@law.virginia.edu.

 

Tex Pasley

Tex Pasley '17

"We worked with the [Virginia] Supreme Court to draft a model payment plan policy that would ensure low-income individuals could repay their court costs and fees while keeping their driver's license."