Pro Bono Recognition Program: Information for Future Students


  • 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)

    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 create new opportunities. 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.

    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
    Law students who have successfully completed at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work at approved sites 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.

    To learn more about our Pro Bono Recognition Program, contact Ashley Messick, Pro Bono Coordinator (614-236-6887).

    Disclaimer
    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:

    Capital University Law School Legal Clinic (614-236-6245)
    Columbus Bar Association
    The Legal Aid Society of Columbus
    Franklin County Public Defender