PRO BONO FAQ’S

1) Is Pro Bono a required course?
Yes, 310-A Pro Bono is required for graduation. Pro bono work may not be started until after the completion of the first year for full-time students or completion of 30 hours for part-time students. It must be completed by the last day of class in the last semester of the third year.

2) How many Pro Bono hours must I complete during my three years of law school?
Students enrolled prior to August of 2009 must complete twenty (20) hours of pro bono service under the supervision of an attorney. Students enrolled as of and after August 2009 must complete forty (40) hours of pro bono service under the supervision of an attorney.

3) May I complete more than the required number of Pro Bono hours?
Yes, students may receive a Pro Bono Commendation on their law transcript if they complete the following number of hours: Class of 2011 students must complete 40 or more hours to receive commendation. Class of 2012 and beyond students must complete 60 or more pro bono hours for commendation.

4) If selected, how do I enroll for Pro Bono?
You must add 310-A Pro bono to your class schedule in DataVU in the semester in which you plan to complete the pro bono hours. Do not register until you are certain you will be able to complete the required hours; otherwise, you may receive an “Incomplete” on your law transcript.

5) How do I find a Pro Bono site at which to work?
Please check Strategy for current pro bono listings in the Job Listings or the Resource Library in Strategy for potential pro bono opportunities.

6) What forms are needed to complete to fulfill my Pro Bono requirement?
The student must complete the Student Log and the attorney supervisor must complete the Supervisor Report. Both reports must be submitted together to the Assistant Law Registrar once your pro bono work is completed. See Pro Bono Requirement to download those forms.

7) May I complete my Pro Bono work with a private law firm/attorney?
Students must submit the Site Confirmation Form to the Career Planning Center and receive approval prior to beginning the work only when working with a private law firm or corporation.
NOTE: The work assigned by the private law firm or attorney will qualify only when the attorney MUST ALSO be working for the client on a pro bono basis or for a reduced fee.

8) To whom do I submit my Pro Bono forms when the work is completed?
The Assistant Law Registrar will accept your reports only when your pro bono work is fully completed prior to graduation. You may NOT submit multiple reports each semester.

9) Are the Pro Bono sites only offered locally or available in other regions?
Pro Bono sites are available all over the country, although the majority of sites listed on the Potential Pro Bono Opportunities listing are located in the Midwest to allow students to participate during the semester in addition to completing coursework at the law school.

10) May I propose a Pro Bono site of my own choosing?
Yes, students are allowed and encouraged to contact employers with whom they wish to complete their pro bono hours. This is a great opportunity to gain legal experience in your desired geographic region or practice area. Keep in mind that you must receive prior approval only when a student proposes to work for a private law firm or corporation. Students must submit the Site Confirmation Form to the Career Planning Center and receive approval prior to beginning the work. This form is not necessary if student is working for an employer in the public (non-profit) sector. Site Confirmation Form will be returned to the student to submit with all final reports to the Assistant Registrar.

11) Can I receive payment or a stipend for my Pro Bono work?
Are travel and accommodations reimbursed? You may not be compensated in any fashion for your pro bono work. Your travel and parking costs are your responsibility and travel is not counted as part of your time logged.

12) May I receive SPIS money while I complete my pro bono hours?
NO, you must decide whether you wish to receive SPIS money for your work or pro bono credit for those hours. You may not count the same hours for both programs.

13) Can I complete Pro Bono work in the summer?
Yes, many attorney supervisors are delighted to have students complete their pro bono work during the summer. Often, the summer offers more opportunities as other students prefer to work in a paid position during the summer. Also, paid positions may not be offered as often, therefore, completing your pro bono hours in the summer allows you to add legal experience to your resume when other opportunities are not available.

14) If I have completed my externship hours, may I stay to work additional hours and count those as Pro Bono hours?
Yes, often extern students will complete their required hours well in advance of the end of the semester. Be sure to complete your extern hours and required reports prior to starting and recording your pro bono hours.

15) Must my work be supervised by an attorney to qualify for Pro Bono?
Yes, supervision by a licensed attorney is important to guard against the unauthorized practice of law.