School navigation

Career & Professional Development Center

Pro Bono & Community Service

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

Participating students gain hands on experience and make connections with judges, public interest attorneys, and government attorneys while starting on the path to a career long commitment to serving their communities.  We invite everyone in the Lewis & Clark Community to participate.

Completion Form

Employers

For long-term volunteer positions, government agencies and non-profit offices are encouraged to create Job Postings indicating that it is a volunteer position. To recruit for short-term projects and volunteer events, contact Bill Penn, Public Interest Law Director at 503-768-6890 or wcpenn@lclark.edu. For complete information on accessing and supervising law students through the Pro Bono Program, read the Public Interest Employer Handbook.  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  for the Pro Bono eMail List to receive information and alerts, attend the program orientation, and meet volunteer coordinators at pro bono panels early in fall semester.  Time is volunteered from April 1 of one year to March 31 of the next year with hours reported by the first Monday in April.  Qualifying work must be done without pay or credit and must have a significant off-campus effect.  The Public Interest Law Coordinator works with students to discuss volunteering and works with employers to develop volunteer opportunities.  An awards lunch and ceremony is held in mid April.  For complete details, see the Pro Bono & Community Service Honors Program Handbook.

Forms & Documents

Ways to Find Volunteer Opportunities

  • Pro Bono Panels – Hear representative from local organizations talk about opportunities with their offices.
  • Lewis & Clark Job Postings – Search listings for volunteer opportunities are both online and on the windows outside career services.
  • The Green Book (available in the CPDC) – Contact organizations listed in the directory and ask to volunteer.
  • PSLawNet.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.
  • Public Interest Law Coordinator – Talk about what you want to do and who you want to help.  Email Bill to set up an appointment.

Unlawful Practice of Law

Students must be cautious to avoid the unlawful practice of law including, but not limited to 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.