Pro Bono FAQ - Capital University Law School

Pro Bono FAQ

  • The following are some of our most frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions that are not answered here, please contact our Pro Bono Coordinator, Ashley Messick. 

     How soon in my law school career can I start volunteering for pro bono credit? 

    • You can start any time you are ready! In most cases, little to no prior law knowledge is necessary to begin. If training are required for a specific opportunity, you will be made aware of that ahead of time. Note: In your first semester of law school, you may not complete more than 10 hours of pro bono work.

     What should I wear to my pro bono volunteering shift? 

    • We recommend that you wear business (suit) or business causal attire. 

    How do I enter my hours on Symplicity?
    • Log in to Symplicity and go to "My Account" and then to "Pro Bono." You should review the instructions HERE for specific instructions.

    How are my hours confirmed after I enter them on Symplicity?
    • We trust that you will be honest with your reporting; however, we will be randomly checking hours by contacting your employer to verify your hours. 

    What deadline is used for calculating my academic year hour totals and be eligible to receive Pro Bono Legal Honors?

    • You must have all your pro bono hours entered on Symplicity by the last day of classes of your final semester before graduating. Any hours that you complete past that deadline will not be considered in your overall total. 

    What standard do you use to decide if a volunteer opportunity will qualify for credit?
    • We approve 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. 

    Can I get pro bono credit for completing extra hours at my Externship?

    • Maybe. You would need to contact Ashley Messick, the Pro Bono Coordinator, who will determine if that site would be approved for pro bono credit purposes. Email her HERE

    Can I get pro bono credit for the work that I do for a law firm?
    • Yes, as long as your supervising attorney accepted the case on a pro bono basis and you are not compensated for the work in any way. 

    Must my work be supervised by an attorney to qualify for pro bono credit?
    • Yes, the supervision of a licensed attorney is necessary to protect against the unauthorized practice of law. 

    Do the hours I spent training for a pro bono project count towards my total hours if I never complete any work on the actual project?
    • No. For example, if you complete the popular VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) training and/or take the certification test, but end up not doing any volunteering for any VITA clinics, then you may not count those training hours for pro bono credit. 

    What If I volunteer for a political campaign? Can I count those hours toward my pro bono total?

    • No, work for a political candidate does not meet Capital’s criteria for pro bono work. 

    I volunteered with Moot Court. Does that count?
    • If you volunteered for the competition and served as a bailiff, judge or witness, then yes. Otherwise, it will not count.