New York State Pro Bono Scholars ProgramThe New York State Pro Bono Scholars Program (PBSP) is a statewide program established by the New York Court of Appeals that allows 3L students to sit for the February Uniform Bar Exam and complete 520 hours of qualifying pro bono work constituting direct client services or advocacy for those who would not otherwise have access to justice.
Previous classes of Pro Bono Scholars have completed placements at Legal Services NYC, Brooklyn Defender Services, Shearman & Sterling LLP, the New Jersey Public Defender, the Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Project, Sussman & Watkins, and the New York City Housing Development Corporation among many other organizations, in areas ranging from immigration to indigent defense to community development.
ResourcesPro Bono Scholars Program Guide
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
From late February to late May, the Scholars will complete 500 hours of qualifying pro bono work constituting direct client services or advocacy. Students must also complete the requirements of the law school's academic component. During the spring semester, the Scholars will be enrolled at the law school, paying per credit tuition for no more than 12 credits.
Upon certification of the Scholars' successful completion of both of these components, the Scholars will be eligible to officially graduate. If a Scholar does not satisfactorily complete all of the work of both components, s/he will not be allowed to graduate officially. (Note: Scholars will be allowed to walk with their graduating class in late May/early June even if they have not completed their 500 hours by the date of the graduation ceremony).
Brooklyn Law School's Pro Bono Scholars will receive 11 clinical non-classroom credits relating to the 500 hours of work and 1 seminar credits corresponding to the academic component. Scholars will be able to obtain appropriate placements either by independently securing a qualifying placement that is approved by the law school (with the assistance of the Public Service Office) or by applying to the Court for placement.
Students are strongly advised to take the August or November Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) so that they are able to be admitted to the New York State Bar promptly upon passage of the Bar Exam and law school graduation.