Public service is woven throughout the BU Law experience, and there are myriad ways you can engage in public service during your time here. These include:
Pro Bono Program
You can participate in BU Law’s pro bono program by volunteering to provide law-related service to persons of limited means or to organizations that serve them or other underrepresented groups. JD students who complete the pro bono pledge by performing at least 50 hours of pro bono work during law school are recognized with a special designation on their transcripts. (LLM students can satisfy the pledge by completing 18 hours.) The Career Development & Public Service Office (CDO) can connect you with one of BU Law’s many partner organizations offering pro bono opportunities, or you can create your own placements in consultation with the CDO.
Pro Bono Trips
Each year, BU Law sponsors Spring Break Pro Bono Service Trips across the US, placing groups of students at non-profit legal organizations, where they assist attorneys representing low-income clients with a variety of legal issues, ranging from foreclosure prevention to deportation issues. Recent trips have included Biloxi (MS), Detroit, Harlingen (TX), New Orleans, and Portland (ME).
Public Interest Project
You can get involved with the Public Interest Project (PIP), one of the oldest, largest, and most active student organizations at the law school. PIP’s mission is to foster BU Law students’ commitment to non-profit, government, and pro bono work and to promote community service. PIP organizes networking events, discussions and panels on public interest opportunities, and coordinates community service activities. Additionally, PIP raises money for and provides grants to students working at unpaid summer positions with non-profit, public interest, or government organizations. The Annual PIP Auction is one of the most popular events on the School of Law calendar.
Public Service Fellowships
Since 2010, the School of Law has awarded year-long BU Law Public Service Fellowships to select members of the graduating class to support their work at under-resourced public interest and government organizations across the US and abroad, including Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Immigration Project, New York State Attorney General’s Office, Greater Boston Legal Services, Florida Public Defenders Office, Asylum Ecuador, and California Rural Legal Services.
You can gain real-world legal experience in public service settings in a number of BU Law’s clinics. Opportunities include prosecuting or defending criminal cases in Boston or neighboring Quincy, representing clients of Boston Legal Services in civil matters, assisting victims of human trafficking, advocating for immigrants’ rights, or working for the state or federal government.
Lawyers for Affordable Justice
Lawyers for Affordable Justice (LAJ) is a new incubator program for recent law school graduates, operated jointly by Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law, and Northeastern University School of Law. LAJ’s goal is to support, nurture, and train entrepreneurial new lawyers in innovative practice methods in order to encourage them to serve low- and moderate-income clients who cannot afford conventional legal services in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England. Participants must demonstrate a strong interest in solo practice and are selected through a competitive application process.