Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements of the BU Law Voluntary Pro Bono Program?
Participating J.D. students pledge a minimum of 50* hours of unpaid work of meaningful law-related service to persons of limited means, or to organizations or government in matters designed to primarily address the needs of persons of limited means or to organizations or government agencies dedicated to underrepresented groups and/or social issues including those groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, or public rights. This can also include participating in activities providing information about justice, the law or the legal system to those who might not otherwise have such information. Work performed beyond the requirements for a BU Law clinic for which the student does not receive extra course credit may count toward the pro bono hours. Participating LL.M. students pledge a minimum of 18 hours for the same pro bono work.
*35 hours for Classes 2016 and 2017
Do clinical programs qualify as pro bono work?
Legal work performed in one of the BU Law clinical programs for academic credit will not qualify towards the pro bono program. However, work performed beyond the requirements for a clinic for which the student does not receive extra course credit may count toward the pro bono hours.
Does pro bono work performed during a paid summer job qualify under our program?
Not if the student is getting paid to do the pro bono work. Pro bono work meeting the BU Law required criteria done outside of a paying job would qualify.
Does public interest work funded by PIP or other summer grants count for pro bono work?
No. To qualify for pro bono work under the BU Law program, the work must be unpaid, from any source.
Does work performed during full-time unpaid summer internships count for pro bono work?
No. Work performed during full-time unpaid summer internships does not count as pro bono work.
How will students find pro bono opportunities?
Pro bono opportunities are posted on Symplicity. Students can search for them by using the Advanced Search tool under the Jobs/Resume Collection tab: simply select "Pro Bono" from the drop-down Position Type box.
BU Law has partnerships with a number of organizations through which students may find individual or group pro bono projects. Students may contact any of our Pro Bono Partners directly and inquire about pro bono projects.
Students also have the option to create their own opportunity.
May students find their own pro bono projects?
Yes. Students are encouraged to seek their own pro bono projects based upon their specific interests. However, to ensure that the pro bono work meets the specific requirements of the BU Law Pro Bono Program, please contact the Pro Bono Program before committing to any such project.
How will students record their pro bono service hours?
Students log their pro bono work hours using the BU Law Pro Bono tracking form on Symplicity. You can report the hours under the Pro Bono Reporting tab. (To access the Pro Bono Reporting tab for the first time, click the "submit application" button at the top of the page.) Each new entry can be tracked by clicking “Add New”. Please submit all of your hours by the end of each semester.
How does the law school recognize student participation in the Pro Bono Program?
To encourage and recognize student commitment to pro bono work, the law school includes a notation on student transcripts stating that they have completed the program. Students are also recognized at the annual Year End Pro Bono Celebration. During this event, all students who have completed the pledge receive certificates of completion and the graduating JD and LL.M. students who have completed the highest number of pro bono hours are presented with an award.