What does the Initiative mean to me as a student?
- Gain experience. Volunteering through PBI will introduce you to the practice of law and through our placements you will “hands-on” experience and knowledge that will help you to become a better attorney. As you search for employment during law school, real world legal experience will set you apart from other applicants.
- Establish a network of contacts. Volunteering introduces you to practitioners in your areas of interest who can provide references, advice, and career guidance.
- Personal fulfillment. Thousands of low-income Utahns face legal problems without access to representation. Your volunteer efforts may prevent a client from being wrongfully evicted or help a disabled client secure benefits. Many attorneys cite pro bono cases as their most fulfilling work.
- Explore. Volunteering provides an opportunity to explore new, unfamiliar areas of the law. Students may discover a passion for a field they had not previously considered.
- Employment. Jobs have come through volunteering with PBI. When you volunteer at a PBI Free Brief Advice Clinic and/or a pro bono placement–you are able to work directly under the supervision of an attorney. They are able to help mentor and view the quality of your work.
Participation in the Pro Bono Initiative is strong. The academic year of 2012-2013, PBI had 437 pro bono placements filled throughout our community with 45 students graduated with the Certificate of Service. The Pro Bono Initiative also operates nine Free Brief Adivce Legal Clinics, which are staffed by our volunteer law students and volunteer attorneys.
It is not required, but all law students are encouraged to perform at least 50 hours of law-related volunteer work before graduation. To qualify, work must be uncompensated, earn no credit, and is in the service of the public interest as defined in A.B.A. Model Rule 6.1 (voluntary pro bono publico service).
Contact Pro Bono at 801.581.5418 or send us a message you have any questions or comments or if you need further information.