Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

ABA Standards Regarding Law School Pro Bono Programs

Standard 302(b)(2) of the ABA Standards for the Approval of Law Schools provides:

A law school shall offer substantial opportunities for . . . student participation in pro bono activities.

Interpretation 302-10 provides:

Each law school is encouraged to be creative in developing substantial opportunities for student participation in pro bono activities. Pro bono opportunities should at a minimum involve the rendering of meaningful law-related service to persons of limited means or to organizations that serve such persons; however, volunteer programs that involve meaningful services that are not law-related also may be included within the law school’s overall program. Law-related pro bono opportunities need not be structured to accomplish any of the professional skills training required by Standard 302(a)(4). While most existing law school pro bono programs include only activities for which students do not receive academic credit, Standard 302(b)(2) does not preclude the inclusion of credit-granting activities within a law school’s overall program of pro bono opportunities so long as law-related non-credit bearing initiatives are also part of that program.