Pro Bono Recognition Program - Capital University Law School

Pro Bono Recognition Program

  • Capital University Law School's Pro Bono Recognition Program helps students connect with volunteer opportunities at courts, non-profits, and government offices. Those who contribute 50 or more hours to approved projects during the course of their law school career are recognized with Pro Bono Legal Honors. Students participating in the pro bono program gain valuable practical experience in the legal field and network with judges and attorneys while starting on the path to a career-long commitment to giving back.

    Law students may do pro bono legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney in a variety of settings, including

    • Government agencies
    • Courts
    • Nonprofit organizations
    • Corporate pro bono programs
    • Law firm pro bono programs
    • Externship (additional hours beyond course requirement)

    Procedure for Student Participation
    Students may begin pro bono work at any time in their law school career. Full-time students may not spend more than 20 hours per week on any combination of employment and pro bono work while enrolled in classes. First-year students may not spend more than 10 hours on pro bono work during their first semester.

    To register for the Pro Bono Recognition Program, a student must submit a tracking form for the project. Students may complete pro bono work at multiple sites, but must submit a tracking form for each new site and receive approval from the Pro Bono Coordinator if the site is not pre-approved. Participating students must submit timesheets to the Pro Bono office every semester during which the student engages in approved pro bono work.

    Pre-approved pro bono placements include, but are not limited to:

    • PACO Wills Clinic
    • Interfaith Brief Advice and Counsel Legal Clinics
    • Ohio Public Defender Wrongful Conviction Project
    • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
    • Prosecutor/Public Defender/Legal Aid
    • Excess externship hours at non-profit, government agency, or court

    In addition to participating at pre-approved sites, students may pursue new opportunities by creating a new pro bono project or working with a new agency or project. Such opportunities may include sites that give legal advice or resolve a legal problem through litigation, legislation, regulation, or alternative dispute resolution, but only to the extent consistent with the ethical constraints on the authorized practice of law. The work may involve legal services for persons of limited means or participation in projects for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession. Information about new programs may be submitted to the pro bono coordinator for a brief approval process. The pro bono coordinator can provide additional information regarding eligibility requirements for new projects or sites.

    Students may not receive either compensation or academic credit for pro bono work. In addition, neither the supervising attorney nor the sponsoring organization may receive anything of value for the delivery of such legal services.


    Pro Bono Legal Honors
    The Pro Bono Recognition Program seeks to encourage and recognize public service by law students who have successfully completed at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work at approved sites. Such students receive a certificate signed by the law school Dean and the Pro Bono Coordinator, their pro bono designation published on their academic transcripts, and recognition in the bulletin distributed during commencement exercises.

    The Capital University Law School Pro Bono program cannot provide direct legal advice or services to members of the general public. Law students performing pro bono service must be supervised by a licensed attorney. For assistance in obtaining legal representation, please consider the following resources: