At Berkeley Law, there are two awards that students can receive for pro-bono work. The two awards are the Eleanor Swift Award and the Pro Bono Champion Award.
Eleanor Swift Award
About Eleanor Swift
During her thirty-six-year teaching career at Berkeley Law (1979-2015), Professor Eleanor Swift engaged in every aspect of the school’s gradual embrace of experiential learning and its increasing support for public interest and social justice law practice. In 1990, working with Professor Stephen Sugarman, Professor Swift developed and taught the first companion class to the clinical program at the East Bay Community Law Center. In 1992, she was appointed by Dean Herma Hill Kay to lead a special committee to develop a blueprint for clinical education at the law school, advocating for a plan that led to the clinics and the skills and field placement programs that we now have today. In 1996, in the wake of Proposition 209, Professor Swift teamed with Professors Rachel Moran and Angela Harris to start the Center for Social Justice (now the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice). Since then, she has chaired or participated in almost every committee dealing with school support for experiential learning and our students’ public interest and social justice careers.
Pro Bono Champion Award
Beginning with the Class of 2019, students may nominate themselves or other students for the Pro Bono Champion Award. Each year, the award is given to the graduating student who best exemplifies a commitment to and the values of pro bono work. Factors that will be considered include but are not limited to hours spent on pro bono work during the academic year, leadership, and support for the Berkeley Law Pro Bono Program and Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects more generally. Nomination Process: Anyone in the Berkeley Law community may nominate any Berkeley Law student. Nominations shall be made in the form of a memo of up to two pages on why the nominee should receive the award. Nominees will be asked for consent to be considered, and must submit a bio, CV or resume. Nominations will be accepted beginning February 1, 2019.
Summer Public Interest Fellowships (“Dean’s Grants”)
Every Berkeley Law JD student is guaranteed funding to pursue public interest or public sector summer work. These Summer Public Interest Fellowships (often called “Dean’s Grants”) are separate from the Pro Bono Pledge and administered by the Career Development Office, not the Pro Bono Program. Please visit the Finance Your Public Interest Career webpage or contact the Career Development Office for more information.