Pro Bono Scholars

Pro Bono Scholars Program

A win-win arrangement, our highly-competitive Pro Bono Scholars Program gives students an opportunity to jumpstart their careers and fulfil their pro bono service requirement.

The School of Law's Pro Bono Scholars Program gives third-year law students the opportunity to take the February New York State Bar before they graduate, then work full-time in a pro bono placement while taking one course for their final semester of law school. The course, taught partially via distance, explores access to justice issues and lawyering skills, and includes a short paper and presentation at a local conference.

This program was initiated by the NY Court of Appeals in 2015, and in its inaugural year, the School of Law had the largest number of Pro Bono Scholars of any law school in the state. Applications for its second year were also very competitive - only half of UB applicants were admitted to the program. In 2016, one third of the placements were with community partners in Rochester.

Over the past two years, Pro Bono Scholars have served in the following placements: 

  • Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc.
  • The Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project
  • Center for Elder Law and Justice
  • Journey’s End Refugee Services, Inc.
  • Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc.
  • Legal Aid of Rochester
  • Empire Justice
  • Volunteer Legal Services Project (Rochester)

Additional or different placements may be available for 2018 Scholars.

Note

Although we will check with approved Scholars as to preferences, students may not choose a particular placement - final placements will be made by the Court in consultation with the law school.