Pro Bono Program
Pro Bono Program
"For the Public Good"
The origin of the term “pro bono” comes from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, which means “for the public good.”
In the legal profession, pro bono services are performed by an attorney for free or for a substantially reduced fee to assist people with limited means.
Syracuse University College of Law's Pro Bono Program is a faculty and student-led collaborative effort between the College of Law and local attorneys who perform public interest work to provide professional engagement opportunities to students and to serve the community.
The Pro Bono Program connects interested students with volunteer placements and pro bono clinics, where they support the attorneys in providing free legal services to people in need. Clinic availability changes based on community activity and interest. Students should contact the student director of the program they are interested in.
New York State requires completion of 50 hours of pro bono work as part of the bar application process.
Under Rule 520.16 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals, applicants who successfully pass the bar examination in New York must demonstrate that they have performed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service before applying for admission to practice. This is achieved through the execution of an affidavit by you and your supervisor to be submitted with your character and fitness application.
Questions about satisfying this requirement? The FAQ page answers most questions.
The College of Law does not require any pro bono hours for graduation. However, the College encourages students to participate in pro bono activities and recognizes students who perform at least 50 hours of pro bono work before graduation.