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OCP encourages students to design pro bono work that best meets their interests. Students doing pro bono work may receive credit towards HLS’s 50 hour pro bono graduation requirement. Students who complete over 1,000 and 2,000 pro bono hours in their 3 years at HLS will receive recognition in the graduation program.

Where can students work?

Students may work:

  • on behalf of people who cannot afford (in whole or in part) to pay for legal services
  • for the government
  • for a non-profit organization as defined under IRS sections 501(c)(3) & (4)
  • protecting rights of marginalized individuals/groups
  • in the broader public interest
  • for a law firm working on a pro bono basis
  • or for a foreign equivalent of the above

How do I find pro bono opportunities?

There are several options.

  1. You can find a legal organization, law firm, or an HLS faculty member who is licensed to practice on your own.
  2. You can search existing opportunities under the Public Service section in Helios, where all organizations and currently advertised positions will be displayed. While searching in Helios, you can narrow your search by keyword and location, and filter by position type, issue area, practice setting, work type, and/or clinic. You can also save your search criteria and return to at a later time.
  3. View discrete projects posted in Administrative Updates.
  4. You can set up an advising appointment with Lee Mestre to discuss your various options and find a project that is a good fit for you.

What kind of pro bono work qualifies for the graduation requirement?

To receive credit students must be doing legal work that is supervised by a licensed attorney. Work should involve the application or interpretation of law, the formulation of legal policy, drafting of legislation or regulations, and/or have an advocacy or representational component.

Eligible tasks include:

  • assisting an attorney at trial
  • assisting pro se litigants in court
  • client and witness interviewing and investigation
  • community legal education
  • drafting documents
  • preparing a case for trial
  • research and writing

For more information on what type of work counts read the FAQs in Pro Bono Graduation Requirement webpage.

Follow Steps to Set Up Placement & Get Pro Bono Credit

Follow Steps to Set Up Placement & Get Pro Bono Credit