Be a Pro Bono Scholar

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How can I become a Pro Bono Scholar?

Acceptance into the program is a four-step process: 

  • first a law school committee will review applications and select Pro Bono Scholar Candidates,
  • then the Pro Bono Scholars Program Office in Court of Appeals for the State of New York will review the selected candidates and issue final approval. 
  • Pro Bono Scholars are then matched with an approved placement based on their interest and placement availability.
  • and finally, the Pro Bono Scholar Program Office approves the placement and the assurance from the Law School that the Pro Bono Scholars will graduate if they successfully complete the Program.

Law students apply onlineThe deadline to apply is Friday, April 20, 2018. Students should be notified of selections by the end of May.

Along with your application, please submit the following materials to

  • Your resume
  • An unofficial transcript
  • A writing sample

What does this mean for me taking the bar and when do the placements start?

If you are selected, you will be eligible to take the February bar examination. The Monday after the exam, you will serve full time for 12 weeks (from March - May 2019) in a local pro bono placement, while also completing a 3-credit seminar course at the law school.

Why should I consider this program?

As a Scholar, you will be providing access to justice for those in need and getting significant experience and developing contacts in the public interest field locally and statewide. Accepted Scholars for next year will also be permitted to take the New York bar examination in February 2019 (before graduation).

Upon successful completion of the program and any other graduation requirements, you will be awarded your Juris Doctor degree and, assuming success on the bar exam and meeting of other bar requirements, be admitted to practice as soon as practicable after graduation. Therefore, by participating in the program, you accelerate the pace at which you can enter the legal market as a licensed attorney, with a semester of full-time experience.

If you have any questions, please contact Melinda R. Saran, Vice Dean for Social Justice Initiatives.