Pro Bono Recognition Program
The Pro Bono Recognition Program, founded in 1990 by a group of law students, improves access to and understanding of the legal system among members of underrepresented groups, helps law students develop competence, conscience and compassion, and encourages students to be life-long volunteers, recognizing pro bono work as an integral part of a balanced lifestyle. The Pro Bono Recognition Program directs interested students towards general pro bono opportunities, facilitates a student-attorney network to provide students with individual pro bono projects, and recognizes students for their contributions to the community through pro bono work.
- Complete at least 50 hours of not-for-credit and not-for-compensation work during the period of May 1 of the preceding year to April 15 of the year for which recognition is requested.
- Confirmation by the Center for Social Justice and Public Service that the pro bono activities qualify.
- Submit the Work Verification Form by April 15 at 5 p.m of the year for which recognition is requested to Professor Evangeline Abriel or Kerri Bindi.
In order to qualify under the Pro Bono Recognition Program, pro bono activities:
- Must represent/assist person(s) of limited financial means, OR person(s) with limited access to legal representation; and/OR assisting nonprofit, civic, community, religious, or governmental organizations;
- Must be supervised by an attorney, political leader, community member, or faculty adviser;
- Must be uncompensated (this includes any compensation received from grants or fellowships);
- Must NOT be for course credit (any hours beyond those needed to receive credit can qualify);
- Must NOT be used to satisfy any other academic requirements (except for the Public Interest Social Justice Certificate Pro Bono Hours requirement) AND;
- Generally, MUST NOT be work/research done for a Professor, University department or activity. It may include work done as part of the Pro Bono Placement Program.
Note: Qualifying pro bono activities do not have to be legal services, and include assisting nonprofit, civic, community, religious, or governmental organizations. For a full description of the eligibility, please click here.
Award recipients will receive:
- Pro Bono Award Certificate;
- Formal recognition at the annual Public Interest & Social Justice Graduation; AND
- Formal recognition in the Commencement Book.
Structure of Awards
- Bronze Recognition: Recognition for performing 50 or more hours of pro bono service in one calendar year.
- Silver Recognition: Recognition for performing 50 or more hours of pro bono service in one calendar year AND have achieved Bronze Recognition a previous year.
- Gold Recognition: Recognition for performing 50 or more hours of pro bono service in one calendar year AND have achieved Silver Recognition in a previous year.
- Santa Clara Law Pro Bono Graduating Student of the Year Award
This award is given to a graduating students who achieves the Gold Recognition, and who completes the most amount of qualifying pro bono hours during the academic year.
- Santa Law Pro Bono Student of the Year Award
This award is given to a student with any level of recognition, who completes the most amount of qualifying pro bono hours during the academic year.
How does this work with the Public Interest Certificate?
Pro bono hours that count for bronze, silver, or gold recognition may also be used to satisfy the pro bono requirement for the Public Interest Social Justice Certificate.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Email Professor Evangeline Abriel at firstname.lastname@example.org.