Pro Bono Guidelines
The Mithoff Pro Bono Program recognizes qualifying pro bono work by Texas Law students. Qualifying pro bono work has the following characteristics:
In order to qualify for pro bono credit, work performed by Texas Law students generally must be law-related pro bono work. Pro bono projects must require legal knowledge and/or application of legal skills to qualify as law-related. Subject to individual approval by the Mithoff Program Director, students may perform certain non-legal work for pro bono credit. Non-legal work may not account for more than 20 percent of a student’s qualifying pro bono hours.
Serves Eligible Clients
Qualifying legal and non-legal pro bono work must serve:
- Clients of limited financial means;
- Charitable, governmental, or not-for-profit organizations that serve clients of limited financial means;
- Charitable, governmental, or not-for-profit organizations that seek to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties and other public rights;
- Charitable, governmental, not-for-profit, or educational organizations where payment for legal services would significantly decrease their ability to serve clients; or
- Charitable, governmental, or not-for-profit, or educational organizations that work to improve the law, the legal system or the legal profession, including courts and legislatures.
These guidelines are adapted from ABA Model Rule 6.1.
Performed Without Compensation
Students may not receive any financial compensation, including a public interest fellowship or stipend, in relation qualifying pro bono work. In order to qualify, the pro bono work must be done outside of a student’s job requirements (i.e., cannot be pro bono done at a firm internship if the student is compensated for time spent on pro bono matters).
Any pro bono work performed to fulfill requirements of a clinic or directed study, or to obtain other academic credit, will not be counted towards recognized pro bono hours. Hours performed in a clinic and internship placement in excess of the hours required to receive credit may be counted as qualifying pro bono work.