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Pro Bono Requirement

UMass Law requires all students to complete at least 30 hours of pro bono service in order to graduate. The pro bono requirement is part of the law school's integrated approach to developing practice-ready, justice-centered attorneys.


The pro bono requirement :

  • seeks to develop a student's commitment to pro bono service
  • provides exposure to legal careers in the public sector
  • creates opportunities to gain practical legal experience
  • offers a platform to build a professional network


To complete the pro bono requirement, a student must: 

  1. Secure a placement that satisfies the four criteria listed below
  2. Obtain prior approval of the placement from the Director of Career Services
  3. Perform 30 hours of pro bono service between after the completion of the first two semesters of law school and the end of the third month of your last semester of law school
  4. Submit a completed and signed Pro Bono Hour Log Form to the Career Services Office for verification



A placement will satisfy the pro bono requirement if it meets these four criteria:

  1. The student will be performing legal or law-related work
  2. The student will be performing the work under the supervision of a licensed attorney
  3. The attorney is performing the work as a public servant (government agencies), in the public interest (nonprofits), or as pro bono (private practitioner rendering legal services on a pro bono basis for which payment in neither sought nor expected) 
  4. The student will not receive payment or academic credit for the work performed.

Students may accumulate their 30 hours over a period of months and from different organizations if they choose.

Finding placements

Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities that address the unmet legal needs of the surrounding community. The Career Services Office also encourages students to perform their pro bono hours at organizations that fit with their individual interests and career goals. Students can find placements that satisfy the pro bono requirement on Symplicity by selecting "Pro Bono" under the "Position Type" field, as well as through the other resources included in the Pro Bono Program guidelines.

Graduation Awards

At Commencement, UMass Law recognizes students who perform pro bono that significantly exceeds the 30 hours required. Students who perform 100 pro bono hours receive the "Servant of Justice" award, and students who perform 200 pro bono hours receive the "Leader for Justice" award.

More information

Forms & information

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