Pro Bono Initiative - Recognition


Pro Bono Certificate

Students are encouraged to complete at least 50 hours of pro bono law-related services while enrolled at the College of Law.  Students who complete at least 50 hours of qualified pro bono work while enrolled as a student at the College of Law will receive from the Dean at graduation a Pro Bono Certificate and a notation of this accomplishment will be made on the graduation program*.  Students earning a Pro Bono Certificate will also be honored with pro bono cords at graduation.  Moreover, students completing:

  • 75 hours to 99 hours will receive a Pro Bono Certificate, Silver Level. 
  • 100 to 199 hours will receive a Pro Bono Certificate, Gold Level.
  • 200 hours or more will receive a Pro Bono Certificate, Platinum Level.  

The Pro Bono Certificate awarded will be reflected on the student’s official transcript. 

To receive credit toward the Pro Bono Certificate, students must submit their hours to the deans office by completing a paper Pro Bono Submission Form and submitting to Assistant Dean Marc Pearce, or by completing the online Pro Bono Submission Form, for each pro bono project completed.

To ensure pro bono credit will be awarded for the volunteer work performed, students should seek pre-approval from Assistant Dean Marc Pearce  prior to commencement of the work, unless the work is advertised as “pre-approved.”

As a reminder, any pro bono work deemed “legal services” must be supervised by an attorney and must comply with the Supreme Court Rules pertaining to senior certification and/or the unauthorized practice of law, as applicable.  Students should also review the UPL Endorsement regarding pro bono legal work students can perform under lawyer supervision.

*For graduating students, all pro bono hours must be submitted to the Dean’s Office by April 10 in order for awards received to be reflected on the student’s transcript and on the graduation program.


Student Award for Outstanding Impact through Pro Bono Service

Each year a student may be presented with an award for his or her outstanding impact through pro bono service.  The impact may be measured by reviewing a single act or project, or multiple acts or projects performed by the student during his or her enrollment at the College of Law.  Criteria to be considered may include, but is not limited to: total pro bono hours, record of pro bono work performed, and the overall impact the pro bono work has had on a community or underserved population.

Nominations for the award will be solicited and accepted by March 31 of each year.  Upper-class students at the College of Law are eligible for nomination for the award.  Nominations may be accepted from students, faculty, administration and staff, or by self-nomination.  Nominations should include a detailed description of the pro bono work completed by the student nominated, including a description of the impact the work has had on a community or underserved population. 

The Pro Bono Committee will review nominations and vote to select the recipient of the award.  An announcement will be made shortly thereafter.  In the event of a tie, or where two students are determined to be equally deserving of the award, the Committee may select two recipients for the award.  The award will be reflected on the student’s official transcript.