Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are some examples of Pro Bono Service?

Pro Bono Service may include but is not limited to document preparation, legal research, drafting legal memoranda, client interviews and/or intake, fact investigation, language interpretation in a legal setting, or serving as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

What are examples of "opportunities that exist within government agencies which benefit individuals of limited means?"

Examples may include work with a victim rights coordinator, citizen's review board, consumer protection agency, public defender office, or teen court.

What are examples of projects which improve the law, the legal system, or the legal profession?

Examples may include drafting public information materials regarding the law, participating in Law Day activities, working with a bar association pro bono committee on administrative issues, or assisting with Pro Bono Program administration.

What are the steps to take if a student wants to graduate with Pro Bono Honors Recognition?

  1. Sign the Pledge and submit it to the Director of Pro Bono
  2. Select a Pro Bono Project
  3. Sign the Pro Bono Service Commitment (must be signed for each project a student completes)
  4. Complete Pro Bono Project
  5. Complete and submit Pro Bono Time Sheet (with signatures of student and supervisor)
  6. Complete and submit Student Evaluation of Pro Bono Placement

What if a student wants to complete a pro bono project that is not on the pre-approved list?

Students are strongly encouraged to identify and coordinate Pro Bono Service projects that interest the student. The Director of Pro Bono and the Pro Bono Advisory Council will work with the student to identify opportunities and coordinate with licensed attorneys who may supervise the project. Students who want their hours to count toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition must complete and submit a Student-Generated Pro Bono Project Request prior to beginning work on the project.

What if a student organization wants to organize a Pro Bono Project?

Student organizations are strongly encouraged to identify and coordinate Pro Bono Service projects. The Director of Pro Bono and Pro Bono Advisory Council will work with student organizations to identify projects and to coordinate with licensed attorneys to supervise the project. Student organizations must submit a Student-Generated Pro Bono Project Request prior to any students beginning work on the project if the participating students want the hours worked to count toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition. Students who are required to participate in such projects as a condition of membership in the organization may count the hours worked on a pre-approved Student-Generated Pro Bono Project toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition.

May a student complete a Pro Bono Project outside of the Topeka area?

Yes, students or student organizations may submit a Student-Generated Pro Bono Project Request for projects that take place outside of the Topeka area.

What are the deadlines for turning in Pro Bono Time Sheets?

Pro Bono Time Sheets must be completed and submitted at the end of each month in which a student participates in a Pro Bono Project. Students who seek Pro Bono Honors Recognition must have all documents (time sheets and evaluations) submitted to the Director of Pro Bono no later than April 15 for May and summer graduates and no later than November 15 for December graduates.

Must all Pro Bono Projects be pre-approved?

All Pro Bono Projects must be pre-approved for a student's hours to count toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition.

Are hours completed above and beyond externship or clinic hours considered Pro Bono Service?

Externships: Student may count toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition those hours completed beyond the hours required for externship credit if (1) the work satisfies the definition of Pro Bono Service and (2) the student submits and has approved a Student-Generated Pro Bono Project Request and Pro Bono Service Commitment prior to beginning the pro bono service. Only those hours in excess of the hours required for the externship will be counted toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition.
Washburn Law Clinic: Students generally may not count toward Pro Bono Honors Recognition those hours completed beyond the hours required for credit in the Washburn Law Clinic.

Are there different requirements for Pro Bono Honors Recognition for students who graduate in less than three years?

No, students who elect to accelerate their law school studies do not have modified requirements for the Pro Bono Honors Recognition.