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. The Spring Break 2020 Pro Bono Service Trips will travel to Detroit, Phoenix, Portland (ME), and Washington, D.C.
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 Interest Retreat
The Public Interest Retreat is an annual event planned by BU Law students with the support of BU Law faculty and staff. The retreat is an opportunity for BU Law students interested in public interest law to connect with one another while engaging with leaders in the field and learning about emerging legal issues and approaches to public interest lawyering. Programming includes community building exercises, workshops on topics ranging from direct representation to movement lawyering, and discussions about how to plan for a career in the public interest.
Public Interest Scholars
The Boston University School of Law Public Interest Scholarship program provides a full tuition scholarship for all three years to a number of our students who have demonstrated their desire to pursue a career in public interest law. Public Interest Scholars are an important part of the public interest community here at BU Law and our alumni go on to make an impact in a variety of legal fields.
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.
Pro Bono News
December 4, 2019
Jeff Goldman (’86) began practicing business immigration law almost by accident—changing countless lives in the process.
March 25, 2019
Now in its 14th year, the Spring Break Pro Bono Service program sent students to work at nonprofit organizations across the country.