Initiating a Project

Pro bono project proposals may be submitted by students, legal services organizations, or individual attorneys. The submission method varies according to the project initiator.


Students are encouraged to design and submit pro bono projects that address their interests. A student (or group of students) must identify a host organization and work with the organization to design a project. The student submits a written Student Project Proposal to the Mithoff Program Director, who then will meet with the student to review the proposal. The student may be required to revise aspects of the proposal and obtain approval of any revisions from the host organization. The Mithoff Program Director then can approve the project and the student may begin work immediately, according to the schedule determined by the student and the host organization.

Student who are interested in developing a new pro bono project are invited to consult with the Mithoff Program Director at any time, including before they have identified a host organization for the proposed project.

Legal Services Organizations

Legal services organizations should identify a specific project within their organization for student volunteers to work on under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Legal services organizations then may obtain student assistance by submitting a Pro Bono Project Application, which requires applicants to describe the project goals and the type of student pro bono participation requested. If pro bono student participation is used to support ongoing projects within the host organization, the organization should articulate specific goals for the student participation. Upon receiving and reviewing the application, the Mithoff Program Director may conduct a site visit and meet with the supervising attorneys. Once the project is approved, it will be advertised to students.

If an organization is seeking student volunteers for multiple projects, it should submit a separate application for each project. There is no limit to the number of students or projects that a single organization can host.


Individual attorneys working with pro bono clients must register with a legal services organization or, in limited circumstances, serve as court-appointed counsel prior to becoming eligible for student pro bono assistance. Attorneys then may register with the Richard and Ginni Mithoff Pro Bono Program using an Attorney Registration Form. The Mithoff Program Director will arrange a meeting with the attorney to discuss the regulations of the Mithoff Program and the attorney must sign a commitment to adhere to the Mithoff Program’s guidelines. Once an attorney is approved, the Mithoff Program Director will make the project available to students. Upon request, the Mithoff Program Director also can assist in pairing students with attorneys.