Students who wish to enroll in the Pro Bono Program must read the Pro Bono Program Handbook. Below is a summary of the information contained in the Handbook. Please also take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions handout.

How to Enroll in the Program

To join the Pro Bono Program, we ask that you first sign a Law Student Pro Bono Pledge and a Law Student Acknowledgment of Professional Responsibility.

What Constitutes Pro Bono Work

Student pro bono work is defined as:

  • Law-related assistance to lawyers providing work without a fee, or at a substantially reduced fee, to persons of limited means or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; or
  • Law-related assistance to lawyers providing work at no fee or at a substantially reduced fee to individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations in matters that are in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate; or
  • Participation in activities intended to improve the law, the legal system or the legal profession.

Work must be unpaid and not for credit.

Finding a Pro Bono Placement

All postings for pro bono opportunities are listed on Symplicity, the law school’s career services management system. All pro bono opportunities listed on Symplicity are pre-approved for pro bono credit. To view the currently posted opportunities, take a look at the Pro Bono Program Widget:

Students may also initiate their own pro bono projects and arrange their own placements as long as students receive prior approval. To receive pre-approval of a student-initiated project, please submit a Law Student Pro Bono Placement Approval Form.

Students are also encouraged to make an appointment with the Director of Public Interest and Pro Bono Programs to discuss options for a Pro Bono Program placement. To make an appointment, email rappaportcenter@suffolk.edu.

Last, students should sign up to receive the Rappaport Center’s weekly email announcements, which includes updates on public service and pro bono opportunities available to law students.

Accumulating & Reporting Pro Bono Hours

All pro bono hours must be recorded and submitted on a Law Student Pro Bono Work Log.

Who May Participate

While first year students are permitted to participate in the Pro Bono Program, we are mindful of the time constraints and pressures of the first year of law school, and encourage all first year students to be especially cautious about taking on additional responsibilities.

Evaluations

To help ensure the quality of pro bono opportunities available through the Program, students are required to complete a SurveyMonkey Evaluation for each Pro Bono Program placement.

Pro Bono Honors

All students who meet or exceed their pro bono pledge goal before graduation will receive recognition for their efforts:

  • 50 hours of pro bono work: Notation "Pro Bono Honors" on academic transcript.
  • 75 hours of pro bono work: Notation “Pro Bono Honors” on academic transcript and recognition of Pro Bono Honors at commencement.
  • 100 hours or more of pro bono work accumulated at time of graduation: Notation “Pro Bono Honors” on academic transcript, recognition of Pro Bono Honors at commencement, and Pro Bono Certificate presented with diploma at commencement.
  • 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. The Awards are presented at the Annual Pro Bono Award Ceremony and Reception in April and again at the Dean’s Reception and Awards Ceremony during commencement weekend.