Lawyers, and those aspiring to join the legal profession, have a professional obligation to provide pro bono legal services to those unable to afford lawyers, to promote access to justice, and to serve the public good. The UConn School of Law has a longstanding commitment to serving the community and training lawyers who will make pro bono service and work in the public interest an integral part of their careers. The Law School provides numerous opportunities for students to provide vitally-needed pro bono services and perform work in the public interest while at the same time honing their legal skills and deepening their understanding of law and legal institutions. The Law School’s clinical programs, public interest grants and fellowships, and Pro Bono Pledge program all play an important role in these efforts.
The Law School offers a wide range of clinics in which students receive academic credit for their work providing legal services in areas such as immigration, criminal law, tax, children’s rights, environmental law, civil rights, poverty law and mediation to persons unable to pay. Students, supervised by Law School faculty or expert practitioners in the clinical programs, are given broad responsibility for handling all aspects of legal matters while receiving intensive supervision and training.
UConn's Public Interest Law Group awards summer stipends to students working in unpaid summer positions with entities serving under-represented and disenfranchised communities. Funding for these fellowships is raised through an annual auction, held each November, which is a major social event for the entire Law School community.
The Pro Bono Pledge Program encourages and recognizes law student participation in pro bono activities and community service projects for which no academic credit or compensation is received. Students who perform (50) or more hours of pro bono service prior to graduation receive a notation on their Law School transcript highlighting their pro bono contributions.