Baylor Law School's Pro Bono and Public Service Program

Baylor Law School Pro Bono and Public Service Program raises awareness of the needs in our local community and encourages student involvement in pro bono and community service work. Through Baylor Law School Pro Bono and Public Service Program, Baylor Law School connects needs in the community with students who want to volunteer, acting as a clearinghouse for opportunities, and keeping track of volunteer hours for recognition and resume purposes. Seventy-five percent of the work must be related to the legal field, while the remaining percentage can be any form of community service.


Objectives of the program

Structural
  • Make students aware of opportunities to serve and to connect students to those opportunities
  • Track hours performed for internal use and for reporting purposes
  • Recognize students for their service
Ideological
  • Expose students to the needs of the Waco community and beyond
  • Impart to students the responsibility they have as attorneys to serve
  • Help students learn to find time to serve while managing a heavy workload
  • Provide students with educational experiences to enhance the classroom learning experience
  • Develop the desire in students to make pro bono work a priority once they begin practicing
Who can participate?
  • All students regardless of future career goals
  • 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls can all participate, but students cannot participate in law-related work until the completion of their first quarter
What work is included?
  • Public interest (government, prosecutors, public defenders, direct services, law reform, public interest law firms, judicial internships) and community service
  • 75% of hours must be in law-related service*
    *Examples: assisting a professor with a pro bono project, working with the State Bar Pipeline Project, unpaid internship with the Legal Assistance Project, volunteering at Lone Star Legal Aid
  • Up to 25% of hours can be any type of community service*
    *Examples: building with Habitat for Humanity, serving at Meals on Wheels, taking pets to nursing homes through Fuzzy Friends
  • Work cannot be for academic credit, disciplinary purposes, or for pay (with the exception of a living stipend)
    * For a list of organizations or to get approval for a project, see Stephen Rispoli, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs.
How does the program work?
  • Complete the Intent to Participate form (See Terri Kroll in the Faculty Secretaries Suite)
  • If not a "recognized organization," get approval prior to completing work in order to have it qualify for the program
  • Record hours regularly (preferably weekly, but at a minimum quarterly)
  • At least 75% of the hours must be performed while taking at least 5 quarter hours of credit
  • Hours must be completed at least one month prior to graduation
Level Qualification Recognition
Bronze Level 75 hours at graduation Certificate, recognition at
Student Convocation
Silver Level 150 hours at graduation Certificate, recognition at Student Convocation,
paper weight
Gold Level 200 hours at graduation Certificate, recognition at Student Convocation,
plaque

Platinum Level - designation as Public Interest Scholar*

*In Addition to the requirements listed, designation at graduation as a Public Interest Fellow is subject to faculty approval.

225 hours at graduationplus at least 10 hours from among the following classes:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Client Counseling
  • Civil Liberties
  • Civil Rights Actions
  • Elder Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Environmental Law
  • Family Law
  • Family Law Advocacy and Procedure
  • Family Rights Practice and Procedure
  • Health Care Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Non-profits
  • Post Conviction-Sentencing
  • Retirement Law
  • Separation of Church & State
  • Voting Rights
Certificate, plaque, 
recognition at Student Convocation,* recognition in graduation program*

Student Forms

Intent to Participate Form

If you intend to participate in the Pro Bono & Public Service Program, please submit the form below before completing any Pro Bono or Community Service hours. Intent to Participate

Completed forms should be returned to Terri Kroll in the Faculty Secretaries Suite.

Organization Approval Form

If you have independently found a volunteer opportunity, please complete the form below to ensure the work falls within ABA, State Bar, and Baylor guidelines.
Approval Form

Hours Reporting Form

Use the form below to report your hours for the Pro Bono & Public Service Program.
Hours Reporting Form

Please return completed forms to Stephen Rispoli, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Pro Bono Programs, in office 313.

Hours should be reported regularly.


For any other questions, please contact Stephen Rispoli.