Columbia Law School’s mandatory pro bono program, which was adopted in response to a student initiative in 1992, ensures that every student devotes at least 40 hours to public interest law service between the end of 1L year and March 1 of 3L year.
Since the program’s inception, more than 50% of every graduating class has exceeded the required 40 hours, and nearly 85% have indicated they are committed to performing pro bono when they become practicing attorneys. Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) works with student organizations, legal service providers, government agencies, law firms, and other community partners to facilitate a wide variety of pro bono projects and opportunities.
If you are an attorney seeking pro bono help for a public interest matter from our students, visit our For Employers page. SJI does not offer legal advice to individuals or organizations.
Watch our Pro Bono 101 video tutorial or our more recent Pro Bono Information Session for 2Ls and 3Ls from spring 2022 to learn more about the Columbia Law School pro bono graduation requirement for J.D.s, the New York State Bar admission pro bono requirement, how to find pro bono opportunities, and how to get credit for your work.