5 Ways to Tackle the Pro Bono Requirement

GUEST BLOG Makenzie Way, 2L at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

Depending on what law school you’re at or state bar you plan to take, you might be required to complete some base amount of pro bono. Don’t leave fulfilling your requirement to the last minute, start thinking about how you can begin to tackle some of those hours with these five tips!

  1. Start Early: If you’re a 1L then begin thinking about pro bono now; obviously there’s no pressure to complete a certain amount of hours, but every hour you do complete with help you in 2L and 3L. As. 2L you should be aiming to fulfill close to half, if not more, of your hours before the end of the year.
  2. Consider Course Options: Often clinic and externship registration provides students with the option to trade credit hours for pro bono hours. If you’ve met the minimum credit hour requirement this can be an easy way to fulfill a chunk of your hours.
  3. Leadership Opportunities: If there’s a pro bono group you’re especially interested in considering applying for a board position. Most schools and state bar examinations allow student leaders to count their leader hours!
  4. Weekend Opportunities: If you plan on staying local during holidays and/or long weekends reach out to student groups or your public interest office to see if there are any weekend opportunities. Often these will run for 2-3 consecutive days, meaning you can fulfill anywhere between 15-20 hours!
  5. Summer Options: Many students are under the false impression that pro bono can only be fulfilled during the school year. However, provided you are not receiving compensation or course credit, and the work is being done under attorney supervision, you can fulfill hours over the summer.