If you are a member of the general public seeking legal assistance, the Pro Bono Program is unable to help you. Seeking Legal Assistance offers information about pro bono and free legal services in Virginia.
We appreciate your willingness to work with a law student volunteer and to provide them with an opportunity to develop valuable legal skills while serving a client in need. Pro bono is an important part of our students’ legal education.
To request the assistance of a student volunteer, please complete our Pro Bono Project Request Form. All students must be supervised by a licensed attorney who will provide appropriate training, mentoring, review of work product, and evaluation as well as ensuring compliance with all applicable ethical rules. Assigned work should necessitate the use of legal skills and not be clerical in nature. Appropriate volunteer tasks include: interviewing witnesses, counseling clients, developing community education materials, drafting court documents or regulations, legal research and writing, analyzing legislation, and/or appearing in court or at an administrative proceeding.
The Law School has exams in December and May, so projects submitted at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters (late-August and mid-January) will receive the best response. Semester or year-long projects, with a consistent weekly time commitment of 3-6 hours are ideal. The Pro Bono Program does not guarantee student availability for any project.
Tips for Effective Supervision of Student Pro Bono Volunteers
- Schedule an initial meeting with the student(s) to clarify your expectations for the project. Discuss all relevant deadlines, expectations for professionalism, and appropriate attire, and office policies/ procedures. It is helpful to give the student(s) assignments in writing.
- Include your volunteer in case-related activities—particularly meetings with clients, witnesses, or opposing counsel.
- Provide substantive feedback on an ongoing basis both to reduce student anxiety and to enhance the volunteer’s ability to produce a quality work product.
- Educate your student volunteer about ethical rules in areas such as conflicts, unauthorized practice, and client confidentiality.
- Conduct an exit interview with the student to review their performance and provide advice for future pro bono projects.
Questions or concerns? Contact Assistant Dean for Pro Bono Kimberly Emery at (424) 924-1419 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.