Pro bono service is the responsibility of all members of the legal profession. Suffolk University Law School’s Pro Bono Program allows law students to begin that service now and encourages students to develop a lifelong commitment to pro bono work. By participating in the Pro Bono Program, students have the opportunity to give back to the community by helping underserved clients or groups and participating in work to improve the law, while also gaining practical experience and building a network of professional contacts.
Although law students are not yet members of the legal profession, we believe that the commitment to serve others should start at Suffolk Law. In furtherance of this principle, the Pro Bono Program challenges all incoming law students to complete at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate.
What Students Are Saying About Pro Bono at Suffolk Law
"I met a lot of great people. It was helpful to see the abstract principles I learned in school applied to the real world."
"When I applied to law school I knew that I wanted to help those who could not help themselves. Yet over the course of the first year, all one hears about is working for large companies and making a lot of money and applying to on campus interviews. I began to question my direction. My pro bono placement helped me regain the trust that I have in myself and my own personal desires in life. It really put into perspective the diverse needs for legal assistance and the opportunities outside of the corporate office."
"Real work, continuous work, great supervision, great atmosphere."
"Meaningful work, work that is of value to the community. Great networking opportunity."
Recognizing and Celebrating Pro Bono
All students who meet or exceed the 50 hour pro bono pledge goal before graduation will receive a "Pro Bono Honors" notation on their academic transcript. Students who complete 75 hours or more of pro bono work also receive recognition at commencement. Students who complete 100 hours or more of pro bono work are presented with a Pro Bono Certificate at commencement.
At the end of each year, an Annual Pro Bono Award Ceremony and Reception is held to honor the pro bono work of Suffolk Law students and their supervising attorneys. Two graduating students (one day division student and one evening division student) who have performed exemplary pro bono service while in law school will be selected to receive a Pro Bono Program Student Award during the event. The Rappaport Center's Public Service Award is also given out at the annual event to an attorney who shows an outstanding commitment to public service.