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Contact Us
Touro Law Center Campus
225 Eastview Drive/Room 302
Central Islip, NY 11722
Telephone: (631) 761-7033
Fax: (631) 761-7039

Thomas Maligno
Director of Public Interest and Executive
Director of the Public Advocacy Center

Pro Bono Graduation Requirement

The certified completion of 50 hours of Pro Bono work is one of three ways Touro Law Center J.D. students may choose to satisfy their Public Interest Law Perspective (PILP) Requirement for graduation.  Students may also elect to successfully complete one of the designated qualifying clinics.

To satisfy the Pro Bono option, the work must be:

  • Legal in nature, unsalaried and without other compensation, such as academic credit. Work for which a student receives credit (for example, an externship) may not also satisfy the pro bono requirement.
  • Under the supervision of an attorney; and designed to directly or indirectly address the legal needs of poor persons or of traditionally underrepresented groups. Work in a private profit-making law firm, even if unsalaried, will not qualify unless the work is performed exclusively on behalf of an eligible client, represented by the firm through the Nassau County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, the Suffolk County Bar Association Pro Bono Project or similar pro bono matching program in other counties.   
  • Performed in a setting which will enable the student to be involved in the provision of legal services to disadvantaged individuals or groups, such as a legal aid office, advocacy group for battered spouses, and public interest organizations such as the Children's Defense Fund. Unsalaried work for governmental agencies or a District Attorney's office will not qualify unless it meets the requirements. 
  • 50 hours spent in actual legal work. The time necessary for training or explanation of the tasks to be accomplished will not count toward the 50 hour requirement.

Requirement for Graduation

1.  Find A Placement

A placement must be obtained through the Career Services Office or the Office of Clinical Programs, or the student may suggest a placement for approval. To locate a suitable placement, students may find it helpful to search:

2.  Get Placement Approved

Each student must obtain approval from Thomas Maligno, Director of Public Interest, that the placement, if completed, will satisfy the Pro Bono option.

The student must send the description of the Pro Bono option to the attorney who will be supervising the work. The form describing the responsibilities and tasks of the placement must be signed by the student, supervising attorney, and then approved by the Director of Public Interest. The student must then file this form with the Career Services Office.
3.  Conclusion of Placement

At the conclusion of the 50 hours of pro bono work, the student must have the supervisor complete the Pro Bono Report of Completion form, certifying satisfactory completion of the placement, and return it to Thomas Maligno, Director of Public Interest. 

The student must also complete an evaluation of the placement, which will be made available to future students who might be considering the placement. On approval, the student can deliver signed Report of Completion, along with Placement Form and Evaluation to the Registrar to note satisfaction of the Requirement on the student’s record.

All forms are available online, from Thomas Maligno, the Director of Public Interest and in the Career Services Office, Room 306.