As a condition for graduation, Harvard Law School requires J.D. students to contribute at least 40 hours of uncompensated, pro bono legal work.

J.D. students entering in or after the fall of 2015 are required to complete 50 hours in order to meet the pro bono requirement.

Individual state bars may have separate pro bono requirements for admission; all students are advised to check those requirements for any state in which they may seek to practice.

Our hope is that by giving back to the community, our graduates will develop a lifelong commitment to using their education and skills to contribute to the public good.Outlined below are places students can work, the types of work students can perform, and the process for ensuring pro bono hours are counted. If you have any questions about the pro bono requirement during your academic career, please contact Lee Branson Mestre in the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs or set up an advising appointment.

You can also review the HLS Handbook of Academic Policies for the Pro Bono Requirement policy.

Who has to fulfill the pro bono requirement?
What happens if students don't meet the pro bono graduation requirement?
Where can students work?
May I work at more than one placement?
Can I set up my own pro bono project?
Can I fulfill the pro bono graduation requirement away from campus?
Do summer public interest jobs qualify for the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does law firm pro bono work count for the graduation pro bono requirement?
How do I find pro bono projects?
What kind of work qualifies for the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does work as a research assistant to a faculty member qualify for the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does a judicial clerkship qualify for the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does work on a political campaign or 527 qualify for the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does non-legal volunteer work count toward the requirement (e.g. Big Brother/Big Sister)?
Does foreign language translation qualify for the graduation pro bono requirement?
I am a transfer student. Can my prior with other schools count towards the requirement?
When can students begin working towards the graduation pro bono requirement?
When must students complete the requirement?
When will pro bono hours appear on the transcript?
May students do more than 40 or 50 hours of pro bono work?
Does training time count towards the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does transportation time count towards the graduation pro bono requirement?
Does observation time count toward the graduation pro bono requirement?
What is the procedure for students volunteering with a Harvard Law School Student Practice Organization (SPO)?
What is the procedure for students doing clinical work?
What is the procedure for students doing summer public interest jobs?
What are the steps for fulfilling the pro bono graduation requirement for volunteer projects?
What are the available pro bono resources?
What is the New York Bar Pro Bono Admission Requirement?