Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Current Law Students

What is pro bono?

Pro bono work is a wonderful opportunity to help others while networking, learning the law, developing lawyering skills and building your resume. Pro bono work is defined as any legal work performed by students for which they receive no academic credit and no compensation.

How do I make sure my work will be counted toward total hours for awards and other recognition?

All pro bono work must be

  • Approved in advance by the Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement
  • Supervised by a licensed attorney
  • Included in the list of legal services and activities set forth in Model Rule of Professional Conduct 6.1

Why should I do pro bono during Law School?

Pro bono allows you to start applying your legal education to help others right away. Service can motivate and inspire you. Pro bono also offers a way to develop satisfying relationships with others, including lawyers, law faculty and students, and community members. It can help put your legal studies into context and to more fully understand your coursework. Pro bono provides you with opportunities to build your resume and get practical legal experience. Finally, if you are interested in a public interest career, you can show future employers your demonstrated commitment to advocacy.

“Pro bono work is where I found the motivation to continue to go to law school because it reinforced the value and importance of the education I was receiving.”
– Kelley Boyd

I am already busy, how much time will it take?

Pro Bono opportunities range from a one-time four-hour commitment to ongoing weekly commitments of two hours or more. There are pro bono opportunities that can fit all schedules. If you need help finding an opportunity that works for you, contact the Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement.

“As law students, even though it seems like we are constantly busy and there is no possible way to fit anything more into our schedule, pro bono work is still possible. Even one to two hours per week could make a difference in someone's life. I began by volunteering at 7Hills for only two hours a week, which does not seem like much, but when organizations and individuals are relying on help from others it can really help.”
- Celina Walker

Do I need to be a Rule XV certified student attorney?

No. Rule XV certification is not required for many pro bono opportunities. Even students in their very first semester of law school can do pro bono.

Learn more about Rule XV requirements.

How can I receive Law School recognition for my pro bono work?

Students who perform significant pro bono work during law school are eligible for notations on their law school transcript and other recognition.

50 Hours. Students who perform at least 50 hours of pro bono work after the conclusion of their first year, first semester exam period and before graduation will be eligible for a notation of such service on their law school transcript, as well as such other recognition as the dean deems appropriate, including publication of the names of students earning such recognition.

100 Hours. Students who perform at least 100 hours of pro bono work after the conclusion of their first year, first semester exam period and before graduation will be eligible for a notation of such service on their law school transcript, as well as recognition during commencement or a student awards ceremony.

How can I get started?

To get started, log in to Give Pulse and join the Law School’s Pro Bono group. Once you log in, you can review the opportunities that are currently available. If you are looking for something that is not listed or already have a new opportunity in mind, contact Professor Annie Smith, Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement.

What is Give Pulse and why should I use it?

Give Pulse is The University of Arkansas system used to publicize, manage, and track service opportunities. The Law School uses Give Pulse to promote pro bono opportunities and to track students’ service.

Using Give Pulse allows you to access information about pro bono opportunities and to enter your hours of service. To be eligible for notations on your law school transcript and at graduation, your service must be entered in Give Pulse.

FAQs for Potential Partners

Who is a potential partner for the pro bono program?

Our pro bono program partners with lawyers, law firms, and a wide range of organizations, including local and national nonprofits, legal services organizations, educational institutions, and others. If you think you or your organization might want to partner with us, contact the Professor Annie Smith, Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement.

What kinds of work can law students do?

Law students can engage in a broad range of activities, from performing research and drafting legal documents and to conducting intakes and educating community members about the law. If their pro bono work includes engaging in the practice of law, students must generally be Rule XV certified and supervised by a licensed attorney.

How can I request assistance from law students?

Community organizations and lawyers who would like to partner with law students to do pro bono work should contact the Professor Annie Smith, Director of Pro Bono and Community Engagement. Individuals who need legal assistance may contact the Law School’s Legal Clinic at (479) 575-3056.

I am an individual in need of legal assistance, can the pro bono program help?

The pro bono program does not provide legal assistance to individuals. If you are in need of legal representation, you may contact the Law School’s Legal Clinic at (479) 575-3056.