Pro Bono Program
All Indiana Tech Law School students are required to perform a minimum of 30 hours of pro bono service during their three years in law school. This pro bono service requirement enables students to provide meaningful legal services, particularly to individuals who ordinarily could not pay for legal services or who are in need of assistance that they typically cannot find. Additionally, the pro bono service requirement allows students to engage in hands-on legal work while assisting populations most in need of service.
To qualify for credit toward the requirement, the pro bono service must be law-related. In addition, students may not receive financial compensation or academic credit for providing pro bono service. Moreover, a licensed attorney or other qualified supervisor must adequately supervise the student and review all work. The types of activities that qualify as pro bono service will be approved by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
Students can begin performing pro bono service in the Spring Semester of the 1L year and can receive credit for up to 15 hours of pro bono service performed during the Spring Semester of the 1L year. Starting in the summer after the 1L year, the cap is lifted, and students must complete the remaining 30 hours of pro bono service by the end of their final year to be certified to graduate.
The pro bono program will be administered by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.
Pro Bono Program Structure and Policy
The Indiana Tech Law School Pro Bono program is structured as a Graduation Requirement Program. This model requires students to participate in a minimum of 30 hours of law-related public service as a condition of graduation. Students’ pro bono service is not eligible for academic credit or for monetary compensation for any pro bono qualified activity except for out-of pocket expenses. In order to satisfy the pro bono graduation requirement, work performed must be a qualified activity. Credit bearing public interest clinics or externships are not qualified pro bono activity. Non-legal community based volunteer activities which have no relation to an organization doing law-related work, justice or utilizing legal skills (i.e. serving meals at a homeless shelter) are not considered qualified pro bono activities for the purpose of satisfying the 30 hour graduation requirement. Any questions or disputes regarding whether an activity qualifies as pro bono activity, will be decided by the Pro Bono Program Director (Assistant Dean for Student Affairs).
Pro Bono Activities
In order to qualify for the Program, an activity must be deemed meaningful service to a non-profit organization or person of limited means or enhance the capacity of an organization to do justice. If a student is providing direct legal assistance or advice, that work must be under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Legal work or law-related work that can be performed by non-lawyers, but still require some legal skills (i.e. legal hotline, legal advocacy) does not require attorney supervision. The Career Services office has a list of pro bono organizations and opportunities in the community. The list is updated continually and can also be located on Symplicity. Students are also encouraged to locate their own pro bono activities. Students must contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to confirm the activity as being a qualified activity. Some Examples include:
- Volunteering as an intern at a non-profit legal services organization or government agency
- Working with a private attorney on a case that they have taken on for free
- Helping a volunteer attorney advise a nonprofit organization
- Staffing a drop-in clinic with a bar association or student organization
- Conducting know-your-rights presentations at an area community center
The complete Pro Bono Program guidelines can be viewed by logging onto my.IndianaTech.