Pro Bono Outreach
Welcome to Savannah Law School’s Pro Bono Program. Our Pro Bono program encourages students to voluntarily perform work that helps people of limited means or organizations that promote justice. The Pro Bono Outreach (PBO) Office maintains a non-exhaustive list of pro bono organizations and opportunities. Students select the pro bono activity that interests them and then contact the organization to volunteer. The students provide the PBO Office with the name of the organization and the number of hours worked. The PBO keeps track of the hours each student volunteers. Students who participate and excel in the program are recognized and celebrated at graduation.
The Savannah Law School Pro Bono Program reinforces the mission of the law school – to prepare highly competent and professional lawyers who possess a strong social conscience, continually demonstrate high ethical standards, and are committed to the improvement of the legal system and society.
Pro Bono Activities
To qualify for the program, an activity must render meaningful service to a non-profit organization or person of limited means, or enhance the capacity of an organization to do justice. If a student is providing direct legal assistance or advice, the work must be under the supervision of an attorney. However, legal work that can be performed by non-lawyers, but still requires some legal skills (i.e. mediation, legal advocacy or legal hotline assistance), does not require attorney supervision.
A student cannot receive any academic credit or monetary compensation for pro bono service. Non-profit externship work can qualify as pro bono service as long as the student has already completed the minimum number of hours required for the externship. Work on behalf of a candidate for office or for a political party will not qualify as a pro bono service. Any questions or disputes on whether an activity qualifies under the program will be decided by the PBO Office.
A list of the approved pro bono placements may be found here. The list is updated continually and is not exhaustive. When opportunities arise that need immediate attention announcements will be sent by email. Students are also encouraged to find or create their own pro bono opportunities. Students must contact the PBO Office to confirm that the activity will qualify under the program.
Tracking Pro Bono Hours
Once a student has secured a pro bono opportunity, they must notify the PBO Office with the name of the organization or project and register on the Pro Bono/ Externship TWEN page. The student must then submit written or electronic timesheets of the hours worked. Blank timesheets are available on TWEN. The PBO Office will keep a log of each student’s pro bono hours.
- When do I have to turn in my timesheets?
All timesheets are due to the PBO Office by April 1 of each year. You are free to submit timesheets before April. Your total hours will be confirmed no later than May 1.
- Can I get pro bono recognition for work done at a non-profit externship?
You may get pro bono recognition for service at a non-profit externship AFTER you have completed the minimum number of hours required to receive credit for your externship.
- Can I volunteer at an organization not listed as an approved placement?
Yes. The placement list is not exclusive and students are encouraged to find volunteer opportunities that match their interests. Students must contact the PBO Office to confirm that the activity will qualify under the Pro Bono Program.
Awards & Recognitions
Students must perform their pro bono work at one or more of the approved pro bono placement locations and submit their timesheets by April 1 in order to be eligible for the following awards and recognitions:
- The Pro Bono Service Award
Awarded to students who devote a minimum of 25 hours to pro bono service in an academic year
- Pro Bono Honor Roll
Recognition granted to all students who devote 75 hours or more to pro bono service in an academic year
- The Pro Bono Graduating Student of the Year
Awarded to a member of the graduating class who completes the most hours of pro bono service throughout his or her law-school career
Lauren K. Knight
Director of Career Development and Externships