Qualifying Pro Bono for Summer Fellowships

To be eligible for the Berkeley Law Public Interest/Public Sector Summer Fellowship, law students must demonstrate public interest/public service involvement by completing and recording 25 hours of qualifying pro bono work. Pro bono hours must be completed and logged by the Fellowship application deadline, which is usually in early April.

NOTE: Students who completed and logged the required 25 hours of pro bono work for the fellowship during the previous academic year need not complete an additional 25 hours of pro bono work in order to apply for funding for a second summer of public interest work.

If you are a legal services organization or government agency employer seeking law students to assist with a pro bono project, please contact the Pro Bono Program.

How Can Students Satisfy the Pro Bono Hours Requirement for the Dean’s Grants?

The pro bono requirement for Berkeley Law Dean’s Grants eligibility may be satisfied in any one of three ways:

  • Completing at least 25 hours of volunteer (unpaid and not-for-credit) pro bono work that meets the Berkeley Law Definition of Pro Bono. Note: Students may claim only up to 5 hours of SLPS training/orientation time towards the pro bono requirement. Commute time may not be counted, nor may hours worked at internships or field placements if they were compensated (either with units, pay, or other funding).
  • Combining pro bono hours with hours spent directly assisting the summer public interest fellowship fund-raising efforts of any Berkeley Law student organization (as certified by the organization) for a total of at least 25 hours. Examples of hours that can be used in combination with pro bono hours to satisfy the 25 hour requirement include hours spent organizing for or working at the BLF auction, ELQ’s Race Judicata, and BHWA’s Barrister’s Ball. They do not include hours spent planning or working at symposia or any other non-fundraising hours.
  • Being certified as having fulfilled all of the eligibility requirements of the Berkeley Law Foundation (BLF) for the BLF summer fellowship.

To find pro bono opportunities, contact the Pro Bono Program.

Please note that the Career Development Office does not provide legal assistance and does not refer individuals and organizations seeking assistance to private attorneys. Law students are not permitted to represent individuals in legal matters unless they are working under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Faculty members make individual decisions about pro bono projects, please contact them directly. Please do not telephone, e-mail or write to the Career Development Office with legal questions or requests for referrals as we are unable to respond to these inquiries. If you believe you need a lawyer, please contact your local bar association at sfbar.org or http://www.acbanet.org/ or contact East Bay Community Law Center.