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JD Requirement

Our Pro Bono Requirement engages students in our innovative and meaningful pro bono program.

Penn Law students working on public interest projects.A Penn Law student advising a client.

All Penn Law students perform 70 hours of law-related, attorney-supervised, uncompensated public service.

Finding the appropriate opportunities

The Toll Public Interest Center will assist you in identifying pro bono opportunities best suited to your skills and professional goals while helping you provide much needed legal services to the community. You can join any of the 26 internal, student pro bono projects, apply for your own student-initiated placement, or take on an external, TPIC-assigned pro bono assignment.

Defining “pro bono”

The term pro bono originates from the Latin phrase pro bono publico, meaning “for the public good.” Pro bono legal services refers to uncompensated, voluntary work that yields a public benefit. This type of legal aid may include working with community, government, or non-profit organizations as well as individuals who are unable to pay for legal services. The American Bar Association encourages all lawyers to engage in at least 50 hours of pro bono work annually in order to fulfill their responsibility to the profession and to the community.

Fulfilling the requirement and more…

  • 83% of graduating students participate in at least one student run pro bono project to fulfill all or part of the requirement.
  • 32% of 1Ls participate in pro bono service.
  • The average number of hours logged per student by graduation is 95.