Pro Bono & Community Service

careerprobonoactivity

Pro Bono Project | Community Service Project

Pro Bono Project

  • Provides desperately needed legal services to organizations with limited resources
  • Fosters law students’ pride in serving their community
  • Gives law students valuable practical experience and professional feedback
  • Lets students meet and interact with legal practitioners in the community
  • Instills goodwill on behalf of the law school, its graduates, and our community
  • Develops professional responsibility in the practice of law

Mission

The mission of the Pro Bono Project is to help students develop an awareness of their future ethical and professional responsibilities to provide service to their community. Participation in the program gives students the opportunity to perform valuable community service while learning about the legal needs of the underserved and developing the legal skills necessary to help meet those needs.

Pro Bono Work Defined

Legal work performed without either compensation or academic credit

  • Directly related to the delivery of legal services to indigent or underserved individuals by attorneys or organizations
  • For attorney/s on behalf of organizations, donations which qualify under state or federal tax law
  • Law related work for federal, state or local government, including governmental agencies (i.e. VITA), but excluding the law school and law enforcement

How It Works

Students earning 35, 70, or 105 hours of pro bono work will achieve a general certificate, an excellence certificate, or an outstanding achievement certificate respectively.

Certificates will be awarded to graduating 3Ls, while qualifying 1Ls and 2Ls will be invited to the celebration, and encouraged to continue their good work.

Pro bono-Project Registration and Hours-Reporting Instructions

Print and complete the Intent-to-Participate form.  Submit the form to the Center for Career Development.

  • You must fill out the Intent to Participate, which defines the professional and ethical commitment you will be making when you participate in the program.  The Intent to Participate form should be turned in to the CCD prior to beginning work with the pro bono agency.
  • Document the hours worked on the Pro Bono Project Log.  The signed hours log must be submitted to the Center for Career Development at the end of each semester to qualify for a certificate.

Hours must be entered each semester and verified by your supervisor.  As a graduating 3L, final verified hours must be submitted by an announced deadline to qualify for a certificate.

What is the Joseph Little Pro Bono Support Fund?

Another way that UF Law is supporting students’ pro bono work is through the Joseph Little Pro Bono Support fund.  This fund was set up with the intention of helping remove obstacles that students may face when considering working for a public service agency.  Students doing pro bono work, for a public-service agency listed with the Center for Career Development, or a new agency that satisfies the requirements of the Joseph Little Pro Bono Support Fund and is pre-approved by the Center for Career Development, may have certain incidental expenses, including travel outside of Alachua County, reimbursed.  Learn more about this fund and how to apply at: http://www.law.ufl.edu/_pdf/career/students/PB_Reimbursement_1210.pdf.

To Get Site Approval

To volunteer with a government agency, court, or non-profit organization not on the Pro Bono Opportunities Chart below, you must request advance approval of the organization. Submit the written request to the Pro Bono Coordinator in Career Development showing the organization meets all of the following criteria:

  • Work must be legal in nature
  • with a government agency, court, or non-profit organization
  • while supervised by an attorney
  • no pay or academic credit may be received
  • work must benefit the under-served, underrepresented, or those with limited resources

Training Prerequisites

Some pro bono opportunities, such as Guardian Ad Litem Program (GAL), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), and mediation programs require substantial training hours before a student can begin performing pro bono work.

If a pro bono opportunity requires training, only a portion of the training hours may be used to calculate the total number of pro bono hours. The formula is as follows: for every 30 hours of volunteer work, 10 hours of training may be added to count toward pro bono hours. For example, if 20 hours of training is required, you must work 60 volunteer hours to count the full 20 hours of training and to add them to your total pro bono hours.

Finding an Opportunity

Pro Bono Forms

Questions?

Contact UF Law’s Volunteer Project Coordinator:
Office: 352.273.0860
Email: careers@law.ufl.edu

Community Service Project

  • Provides needed support to a limitless variety of community-based projects
  • Helps develop an awareness of grassroots issues
  • Creates a bond between the students and their community to carry into their professional career
  • Instills goodwill on behalf of the law school, its graduates, and our community

Mission

The mission of the Community Service Project is to help students develop an awareness of the issues and needs permeating their greater community. Participation in the program gives students the opportunity to explore a wide variety of interests, while networking in the community.

Community Service Work defined

Non-legal work performed without either compensation or academic credit

  • Related to meeting the needs of the indigent or underserved
  • For the betterment of the environment and/or community at large
  • Excludes ambassadors and student recruiting

How It Works:

Beginning Fall 2008, students earning 35, 70, or 105 hours of community service work will achieve a general certificate, an excellence certificate, or an outstanding achievement certificate respectively.

Certificates will be awarded to graduating 3Ls, while qualifying 1Ls and 2Ls will be invited to the celebration, and encouraged to continue their good work.

Community Service Project Registration and Hours Reporting Instructions:

      • You must fill out the Intent to Participate, which defines the professional and ethical commitment you will be making when you participate in the program.  The Intent to Participate form should be turned in to the CCD prior to beginning work with the pro bono agency.
      • Document the hours worked on the Community Service Project Log.  The signed hours log must be submitted to the Center for Career Development at the end of each semester to qualify for a certificate.
      • Hours must be entered each semester and verified by your supervisor.  As a graduating 3L final verified hours must be submitted by an announced deadline to qualify for a certificate.

Training Prerequisites

Some community service opportunities require substantial training hours before a student can begin performing community service work.

If a community service opportunity requires training, only a portion of the training hours may be used to calculate the total number of community service hours. The formula is as follows: for every 30 hours of volunteer work, 10 hours of training may be added to count toward community service hours. For example, if 20 hours of training is required, you must work 60 volunteer hours to count the full 20 hours of training and to add them to your total community service hours.

Finding an Opportunity

Community Service Forms

Questions?

Contact UF Law’s Volunteer Project Coordinator

Office: 352.273.0860
Email: careers@law.ufl.edu

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