Frequently Asked Questions

PRO BONO FAQS AND SUMMARY OF REPORTING PROCESS

Why Pro Bono Service?

All lawyers should aspire to render some legal services without fee for the good of the public. The goal of the Chase Pro Bono Service Program is to instill in our students a commitment to provide pro bono services as a member of the legal profession. As an educational program, the Pro Bono Service Program will help students gain legal skills, expose them to various areas of the law, and enhance their contact with the legal community.

What Is The Pro Bono Service Requirement?

All Chase students complete 50 hours of pro bono service as a graduation requirement. Fifty hours is a minimum requirement; many students choose to perform additional hours.

What Is The Timing For Completing The Requirement?

The 50 hours of pro bono work must be completed prior to the student's graduation date. First year students may engage in pro bono activities during their second semester of their first year.  Many placements will only be appropriate for students who have completed their first year of law school. Students may perform pro bono work during the academic year or during the summer.

What Constitutes Eligible Work?

Pro bono work is broadly defined as law-related work performed in public interest, pro bono, or other non-profit organizations; in the public sector (governments, legislatures, courts); with private practitioners or law firms where the work is performed at no cost or at a reduced fee on behalf of underrepresented clients. The work performed by the student must be uncompensated and not for academic credit. Students must be supervised by an attorney, Chase faculty member, legislator, or advocate with expertise in the relevant subject matter.

What Organizations Qualify For Pro Bono Placements?

The types of qualifying organizations include: legal aid; public defender; public interest law firms; government law offices; judicial clerkships; law-related education; courts/judges; faculty based pro bono projects; extern placement sites; the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program; and the Chase Street Law Program. Please consult the Pro Bono Service Program Handbook for further information.

Which Organizations Are Approved Placement Sites?

Organizations offering placements will complete the Placement Opportunity form and submit it to the Pro Bono Program office. The Pro Bono Coordinator will approve all placement opportunities. Students may search for approved pro bono placements through the Pro Bono section in Chase Symplicity. A student may request approval of a pro bono project at an organization not listed as an approved placement site by emailing Jane Underwood. Please consult the Pro Bono Service Program Handbook for the information to include in your email.

How Does Pro Bono Service Relate To Clinical Placements Or Employment?

While students may not receive monetary compensation or academic credit for work done to satisfy the pro bono requirement, students may in some cases be able to perform their pro bono work at their place of employment or at a placement site where the student worked in a clinical course or in an externship program. Please consult the Pro Bono Service Program Handbook for further information.

How Does The Placement Process Work?

The student selects an organization from the list of Approved Pro Bono Placements and then contacts the organization to discuss the placement opportunity. Alternatively, a student may propose a pro bono project at an organization not listed as an approved placement site, by emailing Jane Underwood. Please consult the Pro Bono Service Program Handbook for the information to include in your email.

Detailed information about the placement process and the steps required to register, submit a request for approval of an organization, and log hours can be found in the Pro Bono Service Program Handbook.

How Do I Log On to Chase Symplicity?

Go to the Student Symplicity page and enter your user name and password. Contact Jane Underwood, or at 859-572-6485 to have this information resent to you.

Who Do I Contact With Questions Or Concerns About The Pro Bono Service Program?

Please contact Jane Underwood, who coordinates the Chase Pro Bono Service Program, via e-mail or at 859-572-6485. She will assist students with finding a placement and resolving any issues they might encounter during the placement, while also working with placement sites to address their needs and concerns. Questions regarding program requirements, procedures, forms, logging on to Symplicity, etc. can also be directed to Jane Underwood, or at 859-572-6485.

SUMMARY OF REPORTING PROCESS

Task

Who Completes and When? 

Placement Opportunity Form

Qualifying organizations submit this completed form to the Pro Bono Service Program office as placements become available. This form is also available in Forms and Handbook.

Determine if opportunity is approved

Student searches Chase Symplicity for approved opportunities. Students may request approval of an placement not on the approved list by emailing Jane Underwood.  Please consult the Pro Bono Service Program Handbook for the information to include in your email.

Initial Pro Bono Registration Form

Student completes via Chase Symplicity, saves and prints a copy, obtains the signature of placement supervisor, then emails or delivers the completed form to Jane Underwood, in NH205.

Student Log of Pro Bono Hours

Student completes via Chase Symplicity.

Supervisor Evaluation form

Complete this form. Student delivers form to supervisor for completion and signature and ensures that the signed form is delivered to Jane Underwood, in NH205.

Student Evaluation form

Student completes via Chase Symplicity.

Student transcript notation that pro bono requirement has been completed

After completion of 50 hours (and all forms and evaluations have been completed and approved) notation on transcript will be viewable by student.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all information (including initial registration form, hours worked, evaluation forms, etc.) is properly entered into Chase Symplicity and all required forms have been received by the Pro Bono Service Program office.  Students should keep a copy of all forms for their own records.