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:
Three Ways to Satisfy the Pro Bono ELR
Internship with a Pre-Approved Organization or Agency
We have many pre-approved public interest organizations and agencies, doing amazing work, where you can intern. These organizations have hosted our law students in the past and provide a high-quality pro bono experience.
Want to fulfill your pro bono hours at an organization not on our pre-approved list? No problem, you can request pre-approval through the Feinstein Center for a self-initiated pro bono project or placement.
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 are 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.
Alternative Spring Break
Spend Spring Break fully immersed in a public interest legal service project—locally, regionally or nationally.
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 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.