Pro Bono Requirement
In furtherance of St. Thomas University School of Law’s mission to provide service to the community, which incorporates the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Commitment and Rule 6.1 of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, all students must complete fifty (50) hours of pro bono as a graduation requirement. First-year law students may not begin their pro bono graduation requirement until completion of the first year of law school; however, second- and third-year law students are able participate in both legal and community-based pro bono.
Students may fulfill the pro bono requirement with up to twenty-five (25) hours of community-based pro bono or with all fifty (50) hours of legal pro bono. This requirement instills a long-term pro bono ethic in law students and provides them with practical legal experience while serving the community. Students work under the supervision of lawyers and faculty in a variety of non-profit legal service organizations, government agencies, and law firms.
The Office for Career Development (CD) coordinates the Pro Bono Program, developing a variety of sites where students can fulfill their pro bono requirement and maintaining the records of students’ pro bono work. A comprehensive handbook explaining the pro bono program, listing the pre-approved organizations, procedure for requesting a student-generated pro bono project, and containing the reporting and evaluation forms can be found in the CD Student Handbook, Pro Bono Handbook section (located in Symplicity under the “Resources” tab then click “Document Library”).
St. Thomas Law’s Pro Bono Program cannot provide direct legal advice or services to the public. Law student volunteers must be supervised by a licensed attorney at a qualifying placement. For assistance in obtaining an attorney, please contact the Dade County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (305) 371-2646, the Broward County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service at (954) 764-8310, the Palm Beach Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (561) 687-3266, the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 1-800-342-8011, your local Legal Aid Office at http://floridalawhelp.org/ or the Florida Public Defender’s Office for the corresponding circuit of your case: http://www.flpda.org/.