Rutgers Law School offers its students numerous opportunities to give back to surrounding communities through public interest and pro bono work. The Latin term pro bono publico means “for the public good” and reflects the law school’s commitment to encourage its students to develop a commitment to service.
Through pro bono work, students work with clients, get hands-on experience, strengthening their legal skills.
Students perform pro bono work in a variety of settings—including government entities such as the state Attorney General’s office, the National Park Service, the Domestic Violence Unit of the Camden County Family Court, and the Newark Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; advocacy organizations such as the ACLU and the American Friends Service Committee Immigrant Rights Program; and numerous community-based organizations.
Opportunities include student-run projects through which law students help vulnerable people in the community. They range from a child custody project, to a project through which clients are helped to emerge from bankruptcy, to LGBTQ assistance, to help for people who need their drivers’ licenses restored. Many New Jersey residents still need legal help as they try to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. There is a spring break pro bono project that focuses specifically on that.
Students planning to practice in New York State should be aware that 50 hours of pro bono service are a prerequisite for admission to the state bar and that specific requirements apply.
Some pro bono projects are tied to a specific campus. Campus-specific questions can be directed to Camden or Newark. For a full list of campus-based student-run projects and additional information on the wide range of pro bono opportunities available to Rutgers Law School students, see the Camden and Newark pro bono information listed below.