This Valentine's Day, show some love for your community: pay it forward. Gunner law students in the Sixth Circuit can get into the spirit of generosity by participating in a pro bono competition.
Law students are often so wrapped up in their classes and job prospects that they often don't realize how much pleasure and fulfillment they can find from doing pro bono work. Take it from Dana Tapper, a then-law student recognized by Ellen DeGeneres for her commitment to public service.
Here are the nuts and bolts of the ABA's Sixth Circuit Law Student Division's Pro Bono Competition:
How Students Are Recognized
The top three schools with the highest collective number of hours will be recognized with a certificate of merit. In addition, students who complete 16 hours or more of pro bono service will be recognized with a pro bono certificate.
There are three levels of student recognition:
- With Distinction is awarded to students who complete between 16 and 33 hours of pro bono service;
- With High Distinction is awarded to students who complete between 34 and 50 hours of pro bono service; and
- With Highest Distinction is awarded to students who complete 51 or more hours of pro bono service.
A variety of activities can count towards pro bono credit. For a list of possible pro bono opportunities, check out the ABA's pro bono program directory.
For example, you can rack up pro bono hours by joining any of the following efforts:
- non-profit agencies that serve low-income clients;
- organizations that primarily promote the interests of the poor;
- groups or individuals devoted to securing and protecting civil rights;
- governmental entities;
- K-12 legal education projects;
- general charitable or community-oriented groups;
- legal profession enrichment and betterment projects; and
- pro bono project management (credit for leading, organizing, and coordinating pro bono projects).
This list isn't exhaustive. It's just the tip of the iceberg of the volunteering opportunities available. The key is to do the work without receiving a fee or earning academic credit.
When you've completed your pro bono hours, email a brief description of the service as well as proof of the number of hours to StanfordlMoore@gmail.com no later than April 21, 2014.
Happy Valentine's Week! Cupid's going to love your big heart, you benevolent gunner, you.
- Why You Should Do Pro Bono Work (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- 5 Reasons In-House Counsel Should Do Pro Bono Work (FindLaw's In House)
- Remember You're Free to Deduct Pro Bono Expenses (FindLaw's Strategist)