Pro Bono Graduation Requirement Frequently Asked Questions

  • Any time after you finish your first-year finals and file a Statement of Intent.

  • Yes. You must have the placement approved as a Special Placement by the Public Interest Law Department Director.

  • Yes. Private attorney placements may be available as Special Placements, so long as students work on pro bono cases under the supervision of an attorney, do not receive pay for the work performed and receive approval from the Public Interest Law Department Director before the work begins. 

  • Yes. As long as the placement meets the criteria to be a "QPIO," and is approved by the Public Interest Law Department Director in advance.

  • No.  Government agencies do not qualify as "QPIO's,” nor do Judge's chambers.

  • No.  Day students may complete the requirement during two consecutive semesters.  Evening students may take longer, as long as the requirement is completed prior to the last semester. 

  • Yes, in some circumstances.  You will not satisfy the pro bono requirement if you do a judicial field placement or if you do a field placement with a governmental agency such as the office of the district attorney or public defender.  However, if you complete two units in a qualified public interest agency, you not only get academic credit for the field placement, but you automatically complete the pro bono requirement. For further information, please go to the Field Placement Department website or contact the Field Placement Department at 213.736.1103.

  • Yes.  A field placement at a Qualified Public Interest Organization automatically fulfills the pro bono requirement -- as long as you have filed the Statement of Intent form, the field placement is a minimum of two units, and a passing grade is received.

  • That information will be maintained on your official law school transcript.  You must file a Statement of Intent form with the Public Interest Law Department before you begin the requirement.  When you have completed the requirement, a Student Log/Supervisory Report must be submitted to the Public Interest Law Department, FH232, or via email to Christine.Zeimantz@lls.edu as an attachment.

  • Drop by the Public Interest Law Department and speak to Professor Sande Buhai, the Public Interest Law Department Director, or call her at 213.736.1156. You'll be amazed at the range of opportunities.

  • No. The Pro Bono Graduation Requirement must be completed before you start your last semester of law school.

  • You will not graduate. There are no exceptions or waivers.

Note: The answers to these and other questions are in the Pro Bono Program Handbook.  Students must read the handbook in its entirety.