About the Pro Bono Scholars Program

The New York State Court of Appeals launched its Pro Bono Scholars Program (PBSP) in spring semester 2015. Instead of following the usual calendar for the last semester of law school and admission to practice law in New York State, Columbia students in the PBSP will:

  • Prepare for the New York bar exam in January and early February 2021.

  • Take the New York bar exam in February 2021.

  • Devote 12 weeks of their final spring semester in law school (March 1-May 21) to a law school experiential learning program in which they will provide pro bono legal assistance and participate in closely-related classes at their law schools (for a total of approximately 520-540 hours).

  • Receive expedited review of their applications to the bar, if they pass the bar exam; and

  • Be eligible for admission to practice in New York in July or August 2021, if they pass the bar exam; successfully complete the PBSP and all other graduation requirements; and the character and fitness requirement is completed. (PBSP Scholars at other law schools may be admitted earlier due to different graduation certification procedures at their schools.)

All of the law schools in New York State are participating in the PBSP and each has designed its own PBSP course.