Service Hours Q&A
Here are some common questions about the PILF program.
What are the public service hours requirements?
You are required to perform 200 PILF public service hours while enrolled at UMass Law as a condition of your PILF scholarship.
Are the hours prorated for returning students?
Returning students are required to perform 2.2 public service hours for every outstanding credit necessary to graduate (90 credits). Each student will be provided with an exact number of hours that they will be required to perform.
E.g. You are a returning full-time 2L who completed 30 credits in 1L year and you have 60 remaining to graduate. 60x2.2=123 public interest hours.
What are the minimum yearly requirements?
Incoming 1L Students
- First Year - Not less than 50 hours by 8/1 of the end of first year
- Second Year - Not less than 75 hours by 8/1 of the end of second year
- Third Year - The balance of the hours remaining to total of 200 by the end of the third month of the student's last semester of law school
Part Time Students
- First Year - Not less than 25 hours by 8/1 of the end of first year
- Second Year - Not less than 50 hours by 8/1 of the end of second year
- Third Year - Not less than 50 hours by 8/1 of third year
- Fourth Year - The balance of the hours remaining to total of 200 by the end of the third month of the student's last semester of law school
Note: PILF public service hours do not count toward satisfaction of the Pro Bono Program graduation requirement.
The number of hours remaining to perform shall be divided equally over the projected number of years remaining as an enrolled student at UMass Law.
E.g. Returning full-time 2L with 123 public interest hours remaining to perform will be required to perform AT LEAST 123/2=66 public service hours during the 2L year. This is a minimum requirement, and you may exceed the annual minimum requirement.
What qualifies as a PILF public service hour?
- Additional pro bono hours beyond the 30 hours required for graduation
- Additional field placement hours beyond those required for classroom credit
- Additional summer stipend hours beyond those that are required
- Volunteering at a nonprofit charitable, civic, community, governmental, or educational organization
Note: There will be a one-time grandfather of any public service hours that have been performed while you have been enrolled at UMass Law that can be documented in writing and verified by a supervisor. This grandfathering right will expire as of October 1, 2013.
How do I get approval for a placement?
- 1Ls must file a plan by Feb. 1st of their first year with the Director of the PILF Program detailing how they will perform their required hours.
- Returning students must file a plan by October 1st with the Director of the PILF Program detailing how they will perform their required hours.
- Upon approval of a plan, students must submit to the Career Services Office a completed "PILF Public Service Hours Approval Form" signed by the Director of the PILF program. The student will have their form procesed by the Career Services Office, which will provide the student with access to the time reporting module on Symplicity (our online employment database).
- Students will be required to log their hours through Symplicity and get supervisor verification either in writing or electronically.
When must I perform these hours?
- You have until Aug. 1st of each academic year to complete the hours that are required for the academic year.
- In the year or semester that you are graduating, you must complete the hours by the end of the third month of your last semester.
Are there any other requirements as part of the pubic service hours?
Yes, you will be required to complete an end of the year report detailing your experiences. This report will be completed on Symplicity at the completion of each academic year.
Are there penalties for not performing the required hours?
Yes, your scholarship may be terminated.