The Pro Bono Challenge

The Pro Bono Challenge

The Pro Bono Challenge is the Law School’s voluntary pro bono program.  All students are strongly encouraged to engage in pro bono work both during their time at the Law School as well as throughout their professional careers.  Rule 6.1 of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct directs all attorneys to aspire to complete at least 50 hours of pro bono annually.

Those students who complete the Pro Bono Challenge by logging 75 hours of pro bono (25 hours for LL.M. students) will be recognized at commencement and with a Dean-signed certificate. (Class of 2019) The graduate(s) who best demonstrate(s) an “extraordinary commitment to pro bono service” will be honored with the annual Pro Bono Award. In addition, students who log at least 25 hours in their first year and at least 50 in their second year will be recognized. Pro bono service is a valuable addition to your resume.

To qualify for the Pro Bono Challenge, the work must be:

  • law-related/non-clerical;
  • supervised by a licensed attorney or faculty member;
  • provided to a nonprofit organization (501(c)(3) or (4)), legal services, governmental agency, or a private law firm engaged in pro bono; (volunteer work for a federal, state, or local judge does not qualify for the purposes of the Pro Bono Program. Please see FAQ 7)
  • uncompensated (financially or with academic credit);
  • completed while the student is enrolled at the Law School

Hours for the Pro Bono Challenge must be entered in GoodWorks and approved by the project supervisor.

Please note that while most of the pro bono projects that qualify for the Challenge will also satisfy the New York State Bar Pro Bono Requirement, not every project does.

Getting Started

  • Check GoodWorks for new projects.
  • Watch for pro bono emails and updates about student-led pro bono projects including Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trips.
  • Log your pro bono hours in GoodWorks.
  • Complete the Pro Bono Challenge

Pro Bono Program Fast Facts, 2018-19

  • 312 students logged pro bono hours
  • 15,998 pro bono hours logged
  • 72 Class of 2019 graduates completed the Pro Bono Challenge
  • 168 students participated in winter break pro bono, volunteering over 6,945 hours at 100 organizations across the country.
  • 58 students participated in the 2019 Alternative Spring Break program with 25 different organizations


Doriane Steva Nguenang Tchenga

Doriane Steva Nguenang Tchenga '21

"I have been able to help in a meaningful way while also developing my legal research, writing and interpersonal skills."