This weekend, the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar voted to adopt an aspirational goal for law students to participate in 50 hours of pro bono service over the course of their law school careers.
While there were a few different submissions regarding the ABA’s standard on law school pro bono, the one adopted came from Equal Justice Works and the Law Students for Pro Bono Initiative.
More than 600 law students and graduates signed a petition encouraging the ABA to revise the Interpretation of Section 303-2 to provide a 50-hour aspirational pro bono target for each law school. Click here to read our submission to the ABA.
And, Equal Justice Works’ Executive Director, David Stern, personally testified before the ABA Committee of the Section of Legal Education in support of this goal. A transcript of the hearing can be found here.
The new Interpretation adopted by the Council reads:
In meeting the requirement of Standard 303(b)(2), law schools are encouraged to promote opportunities for law students to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono service over their law school careers that complies with 303(b)(2).
Pro bono projects are a great way for students to gain valuable experience as they prepare for their legal careers, and help instill in every law student the responsibility the profession has to ensure equal justice for all, by helping to provide equal access to all.
Equal Justice Works commends the ABA for its continued efforts to strengthen and promote law schools’ commitment to pro bono. Hundreds of students came together to ensure the ABA knew how important this issue was to law students, and it worked! Congratulations to everyone – students, lawyers and advocates – who supported this issue. The Council’s decision is a tremendous victory for students and the legal profession.