Pro Bono Experiential Learning Requirement

RWU Law’s Pro Bono Experiential Learning Requirement is designed to instill in law students the value and habit of providing pro bono legal service to low-income communities and increasing access to justice, while at the same time providing an opportunity for students to gain valuable practical legal experience.


The Pro Bono Experiential Learning Requirement (Pro Bono ELR) requires every student to undertake 50 hours of law-related pro bono legal work, as defined by ABA Model Rule 6.1, in order to graduate. Law students may not receive compensation or academic credit for their qualifying service and placements must be approved.

“Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional workload, has a responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay, and personal involvement in the problems of the disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer.” - Model Rule 6.1 of Professional Conduct, American Bar Association, Comment #1

RWU Law’s Pro Bono ELR Student Information Guide outlines the program rules and requirements and can be found here:

Pro Bono Experiential Learning Requirement Student Information Guide

Three Ways to Satisfy the Pro Bono ELR

Unpaid Internships with Public Interest Organizations, Government Agencies, and Judges/Courts

There are many public interest legal organizations (e.g., legal aid offices, public defenders, prosecution offices), government agencies, and judges, in Rhode Island and around the country, doing amazing work, where you can intern and accrue pro bono hours. You can also work with a private attorney who is doing pro bono or working on a court-appointed criminal matter, and this also counts as our pro bono for the 50-hour graduation requirement. All you need to do is request pre-approval through our Etrieve system

Pro Bono Collaborative Project

The Pro Bono Collaborative (PBC) develops and facilitates pro bono legal service projects that match RWU Law students with Rhode Island’s top law firms and attorneys to provide pro bono legal assistance to community-based organizations and their constituents.  Students are screened by the Feinstein Center, but may be supervised by Pro Bono Collaborative partnering law firm attorneys.  If selected, students are asked to commit two semesters and can expect to work on their project between 4-15 hours per month.  We recruit for Pro Bono Collaborative projects each August and email opportunities to join projects periodically throughout the year.

Join a PBC Project

Alternative Spring Break

We offer a robust Alternative Spring Break Program where students spend a week engaged in full time pro bono legal service with their peers. 

Learn More About ASB

Certifying Your Pro Bono Hours

To receive credit for completion of the 50-Hour Pro Bono Experiential Learning Requirement, students must complete all required forms and submit them through the Etrieve system to the Feinstein Center by the required deadlines.  Forms must be completed for each pro bono placement or project that the student intends to use towards their 50-hour requirement.

See all Pro Bono ELR Forms

Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.