Pro Bono Opportunities

The Pro Bono Program identifies current unmet legal needs and coordinates with governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, legal services organizations, pro bono attorneys, law alumni, and faculty to develop a wide range of volunteer opportunities. We strive to ensure that every law student can find a pro bono project that meets their personal and professional goals. Students can choose from opportunities such as assisting victims of domestic violence, counseling immigrants seeking asylum, developing impact litigation strategies for civil rights cases, or advocating for a client wrongly convicted of a crime.  All pro bono projects must meet the criteria to qualify for the Pro Bono Challenge.

How to Find a Project

  • Check your e-mail for weekly announcements from of new pro bono projects;
  • Log into GoodWorks to apply to a currently posted project;
  • Join a student organization that offers supervised pro bono opportunities for its members;
  • Set up your free student account on PSJD to locate potential host organizations; or
  • Contact your professors or law alums to ask about assisting with their pro bono work.

Types of Projects

  1. In-House projects coordinated by the Pro Bono Program are semester or year-long opportunities with a weekly time commitment of 3-5 hours. These established placements allow student volunteers to engage in complex legal work with ongoing training, mentoring, and supervision. The number of these projects is limited and the application process can be competitive. Examples of in house projects are listed below.
Wills for Heros
UVA Law students assist attorneys in providing local Albemarle County police officers and their spouses with basic estate planning documents.
  1. Ad hoc projects with shorter and more flexible time commitments are continuously posted on GoodWorks. Weekly emails from are sent to students to highlight new postings.  Sample ad hoc host organizations include:


Michael Gwinn and Erin Ralston consult with a veteran. UVA Law student Michael Gwinn assists attorney Erin Ralston in answering a local veteran’s questions regarding disability claims — part of a Veteran’s Pro Bono Clinic partnership between the Law School, Goodman Allen Donnelly and the UVA Women’s Center.

  1. Student organizations are another way law students can engage in pro bono legal service.  For example, the Migrant Farm Workers Project (MFP) recruits student volunteers to visit farm workers in local camps to discuss their legal rights, the Domestic Violence Project places volunteers in local Commonwealth Attorney’s offices to assist victims of domestic violence obtain court protection from abuse, and the Street Law Program visits public schools to teach students about constitutional law and to practice oral advocacy skills through mock trial events.

Other student organizations at UVA Law that offer pro bono work include:

Consider joining a student organization that focuses on an area of interest to you and then volunteer for an existing pro bono project or create your own.

UVA Law students Siarra Rogers and R. Cooper Vaughan touch base with a fruit picker on a Central Virginia farm where he works — part of the yearly outreach the Migrant Farmworker Project provides. More
  1. Pro Bono Databases - PSJD is a searchable database of more than 12,000 international and domestic public service organizations. PSJD allows students to access information and contacts for thousands of potential host organizations.  In addition, the database can be used to search for organizations geographically or by practice area. Register for a free student account at

Although GoodWorks and other databases, like PSJD, are a source of possible projects, many public service organizations don’t actively recruit pro bono volunteers. Nevertheless, these organizations are often excited to host a student volunteer who takes the initiative to reach out to them. If you are passionate about a cause and want to volunteer, don’t hesitate to contact an organization directly. In addition, the staff of the Pro Bono Program has an array of contacts, including public service alumni. For assistance with finding or developing a pro bono project, contact us at @email.

  1. Winter and Spring Break Pro Bono - many law students choose to volunteer over their winter or spring break. These pro bono projects, developed in conjunction with the staff of the Pro Bono Program, offer the opportunity to volunteer full-time over the course of one or two weeks.

In 2023, 197 students participated in the Winter Break Pro Bono Program, volunteering over 6,390 hours at 92 organizations across the country.

Winter Pro Bono Project Host Organizations - 2014-2023

In 2023, 53 students participated in the Spring Break Pro Bono Program, volunteering over 2120 hours at 22 organizations across the country. Recent pro bono projects taking place durng the Law School’s spring break in March include host organizations in: : Richmond, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Bronx, NY; Charlotte, Durham, and Greensboro, North Carolina; Whitesburg, KY; and New Orleans, Louisiana. More

Spring Break Host Organizations - 2014-2023

Sara DeStefano

“[The Pro Bono Program gave me opportunities to keep] my Spanish language skills sharp and [use] them to provide better access to legal services for Spanish speakers.”