• Pro Bono Requirement

    Giving back while gaining experience

    With the honor of a law license comes the responsibility to give back in the form of legal services without compensation for those who cannot afford to pay. This long-standing commitment to pro bono service has been adopted by the ABA and state bar associations, many law firm and corporations. Hamline also has a strong tradition of serving underserved communities. In 2009, we extended our commitment by requiring every Hamline Law student to perform a minimum of 24 hours or pro bono service prior to graduation.

    This is not just another graduation requirement. Pro bono service gives you the opportunity to:

    • meet and work with real clients
    • solve clients' critical life problems
    • represent clients in court as a certified student attorney under supervision of a practicing member of the bar
    • gain substantive experience for a lifetime

    The requirement can be fulfilled during any of your three or four years at Hamline Law. It can be satisfied in a single project, by a few hours each month, or in any other combination of service. If you complete 50 hours or more, a special notation is placed on your transcript. The Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF), which has an office on the law school's lower level, provides a variety of projects and clients from which you can choose. Susan Morrow JD '98 (hamline@mnjustice.org), the Hamline Law coordinator for MJF, has regular office hours and can answer questions about volunteering through MJF.

    If you prefer, you can design your own pro bono project, subject to approval of the assistant dean of students and multicultural affairs. A supervisor at the work site needs to be available to review your work and certify your hours. More information and forms are available at the Office of the Registrar.