Baylor Law's Pro Bono and Public Service Program
Baylor Law 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 Pro Bono and Public Service Program, Baylor Law 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.
Objectives of the program
- 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
- 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
- The majority of the 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 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 and Pledge form, see below.
- 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) in Symplicity. The “Pro Bono” tab is at the top of your homepage of your homepage in Symplicity.
- A max of 25 hours may be recorded when not enrolled in at least 5 hours of credit. This is not a per quarter limitation, it is for the entire law school career.
- Hours must be completed at least one month prior to graduation
|Pro Bono Pledge Completed
||50 hours at graduation
||Certificate, recognition at Student Awards Ceremony
||75 hours at graduation
||Certificate, recognition at
Student Awards Ceremony, Bronze Level Award trophy
||150 hours at graduation
||Certificate, recognition at Student Awards Ceremony, Silver Level Award trophy
||200 hours at graduation
||Certificate, recognition at Student Awards Ceremony, Gold Level Award trophy
Platinum Level - designation as Public Interest Fellow*
*In Addition to the requirements listed, designation at graduation as a Public Interest Fellow is subject to faculty approval.
225 hours at graduation plus at least 10 hours from among the following classes:
- Administrative Law: Federal
- Administrative Law: Texas
- Advanced Criminal Procedure
- Advanced Family Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Client Counseling
- Civil Liberties
- Civil Rights Actions
- Comparative Systems of Justice
- Constitutional Law: Free Speech
- Elder Law
- Employment Discrimination
- Environmental Law
- Family Law
- Family Law Advocacy and Procedure
- Family Rights Practice and Procedure
- Field Placement focused on public interest (faculty pre-approval required)
- Health Care Law
- Immigration Law
- Juvenile Justice
- Legal Clinics (if course credit is earned)
- Municipal Government
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Post-Conviction: Sentencing
- Poverty Law
- Public Interest Law
- Retirement Law
- Separation of Church & State
- Supreme Court Seminar
- Voting Rights
|Certificate, recognition at Student Awards Ceremony, Platinum Level Award trophy, recognition in graduation program
Intent to Participate Form
If you intend to participate in the Pro Bono & Public Service Program, please access the form here before completing any Pro Bono or Community Service hours.
If you would like to pledge to complete 50 hours of volunteer service in the Pro Bono & Public Service Program during your law school career, please access the form here before completing any Pro Bono or Community Service hours.
Completing and submitting a signed Pro Bono Pledge Form will not preclude you from later seeking academic credit for your service rather than recognition.
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.
For any other questions, please contact Josh Borderud.