A pro bono component to legal education serves many purposes. First, it introduces law students to one of the traditional aspects of the legal profession, public service, and to nurture the habit of sharing the skills and access to the legal system that they are privileged to possess at this early stage of their careers. Second, a pro bono component helps to fill the gap in legal services by providing a pool of pre-professional legal workers whose efforts make legal services more widely available. Third, a pro bono program counters the widely-shared public misperception that the legal profession is self-serving, vicious, greedy and insensitive. Fourth, students receive valuable exposure to clients and actual legal problems and learn hands-on problem solving.
University of Oregon School of Law
Pro Bono Program Mission Statement
The Pro Bono Program is dedicated to promoting pro bono legal work within the law school and throughout the legal community. Through the Pro Bono Executive Board, the Pro Bono Program shall:
1. Encourage participation in pro bono opportunities by all University of Oregon law students during their law school years;
2. Educate law students about professionalism in pro bono settings;
3. Develop, maintain and amend Pro Bono Guidelines and a system for reporting, evaluating and recognizing pro bono participation;
4. Increase awareness of pro bono opportunities through advertising, special promotions, open houses, maintaining an annual newsletter and website;
5. Recognize law student pro bono with a Pro Bono Certificate for all law students who complete 40+ hours of pro bono work during their law school careers;
6. Honor law student pro bono with an annual recognition ceremony;
7. Develop new pro bono initiatives;
8. Track law student pro bono hours;
9. Strengthen community ties with UO law students, the local bar, the state bar, the University of Oregon and the community;
10. Undertake any measure reasonable to support and promote law student pro bono.