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Career & Professional Development Center

Pro Bono & Community Service

Started in 1998, Lewis & Clark Law School’s Pro Bono & Community Service Program helps students find volunteer opportunities at non-profit organizations, courts, and government offices. Those who contribute 30 or more hours during the school year receive an Honors Award for their efforts.  

Employers

Government agencies and non-profit offices seeking students for long-term volunteer positions should create a Job Posting indicating that it is a volunteer position.

To recruit for short-term projects and volunteer events, contact Carra Sahler, Director of Public Interest Law, at 503-768-6634 or sahler@lclark.edu

Employers interested in volunteer summer interns should consider participating in the Northwest Public Service Career Fairs.

Looking for Legal Assistance?

The Pro Bono Program does not provide legal advice.  If you need help, please visit OregonLawHelp.org for a directory of free and low cost legal services or visit the Oregon State Bar Public Information Site.

Students

How it Works

Interested students should sign up for the Pro Bono email list to receive information and alerts.  Time is volunteered from April 1 of one year to March 31 of the next year with hours reported by Friday, March 23, 2018. You may include any anticipated volunteer hours from March 23, 2018 to March 31, 2018. Qualifying work must be done without pay or credit and must have a significant off-campus effect.  The Director of Public Interest Law works with employers to develop volunteer opportunities, and is available to discuss those opportunities with students.  An awards lunch and ceremony is held in mid-April.  

For complete details, see the Pro Bono & Community Service Honors Program Handbook.

Ways to Find Volunteer Opportunities
  • Pro Bono & Community Service Fair –Meet with representatives from local organizations to talk about opportunities with their offices.
  • Lewis & Clark Job Postings – Listings for volunteer opportunities are available online.
  • The Public Service and Public Interest Directory (available in the CPDC) – Contact an organization listed in the directory and ask to volunteer for it.
  • PSJD.org – Search the national listings for opportunities and organizations.
  • Volunteer Opportunity Web Sites – Find one-time or long-term community service opportunities at IdealistHands On Portland, and CNRG.
  • Director of Public Interest Law  – Talk about what you want to do and who you want to help. Email Carra to set up an appointment.

Unlawful Practice of Law

Students must be cautious to avoid the unlawful practice of law, which includes: 1) holding themselves out, in any manner, as attorneys or lawyers authorized to practice law; 2) appearing, personally or otherwise, on behalf of another in any judicial or administrative proceeding other than as an attorney-supervised certified law student; 3) providing advice or service to another on any matter involving the application of legal principles to rights, duties, obligations, or liabilities.

For more information on the unauthorized practice of law, visit the Oregon State Bar Unlawful Practice of Law Site

Any student who is uncertain whether what they are asked to do is the unlawful practice of law should immediately contact Career & Professional Development.

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