The Pro Bono Pledge – JD Classes of 2017 and 2018

Pro Bono Pledge

The law school encourages all students to pledge to complete at least 50 hours of law-related pro bono work before they graduate–and most of our students far exceed that challenge. Those students who meet or exceed 50 hours by graduation will receive a notation in the graduation program and a letter of commendation from the Dean. To fulfill the Pro Bono Pledge, students must engage in 50 or more hours of pro bono work as defined by ABA Model Rule 6.1.  The work must be completely uncompensated, either with pay or academic units. For more information on how you can fulfill the Pro Bono Pledge, please contact Diana DiGennaro, the Pro Bono Program Director, at

Please note:

  • This version of the Pro Bono Pledge applies only to JD students graduating in 2017 and 2018. Information about the new Pro Bono Pledge, applicable to current LL.M. students and JD Classes of 2019 and beyond, is available here.

Record Your Hours

If you previously used the Pro Bono Dashboard to record your pro bono hours, please continue to do so.

If you have never used the Pro Bono Dashboard, please use this form to record your hours:


Students may nominate themselves or others for the Eleanor Swift Award for Public Service. The award is awarded annually to an exceptional member of the Berkeley Law community (students, staff or faculty) who—like Professor Eleanor Swift—has performed outstanding work to strengthen Berkeley Law’s commitment to public service. Eligible candidates will have increased the law school’s commitment to public service through any or several of the following activities that enable Berkeley Law students to engage in public service legal work during law school or in their careers either as public interest and social justice lawyers or on a pro bono basis: exceptional leadership, administration and support, innovation, outreach, teaching, professional or public writing, mentoring, advocacy, advising, and/or participation in Berkeley Law’s public service programs and activities. Nomination Process: Anyone in the Berkeley Law community may nominate anyone else in the community. 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.

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.