Pro Bono Graduation Requirement & New York State Office of Court Administration Pro Bono Requirement
Every Touro Law student must comply with Touro Law Center’s Public Interest/Pro Bono Requirement for graduation and must also complete a New York State 50 hour pro bono requirement if you plan to be admitted to New York Courts.
PLEASE NOTE: There are key differences between what counts toward the Touro Law Center PILP Requirement for graduation and what counts under the New York State 50-hour Pro Bono Requirement. It is possible to fulfill both the Touro Law PILP and the New York State 50 hour requirement in the same placement if the placement meets Touro Law’s narrower definition of pro bono. Please be aware that Touro Law’s rule does not include work with government agencies including courts (for example a District Attorney’s Office placement may count for the New York Court requirement, but not for Touro Law’s requirement). There are other significant differences between the requirements. Please review both carefully. For further information regarding the New York State 50-hour Pro Bono Requirement please read the details on New York State’s website
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 Requirement for Touro Law the work must be:
- Legal in nature, unsalaried and without other compensation, but placements for credit will count. Work for which a student receives credit (for example, an externship) may 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. Unsalaried work for courts or governmental agencies including 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.
- Students participating in the New York State ProBono Scholars Program will also satisfy both the Touro Law and the New York State Courts ProBono requirements, if they are in an otherwise appropriate placement.
Touro College ProBono Recognition Award
At graduation, Touro Law recognizes students who have completed more than the 50 hour requirement. In order to be included, please notify Thomas Maligno
of all work and hours that are completed in excess of the 50 hour requirement. You may use the Pro Bono Completion Form
for this program.
STEPS TO FULFILLING THE TOURO LAW PILP
1. Find a Pro Bono Placement
Placements can be found through the Career Services Office, the Office of Clinical Services, the executive director of the Public Advocacy Center Thomas Maligno, or the student may suggest a placement for approval. Students may search for a suitable placement through the following resources:
2. Obtain Placement Approval
Each student must obtain approval from Thomas Maligno
, Director of Public Interest, that the placement, if completed, will satisfy the Pro Bono Requirement.
The student must send the description of the Pro Bono Requirement 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
NO CREDIT WILL BE GIVEN FOR ANY WORK PERFORMED BEFORE A COMPLETED PRO BONO PLACEMENT FORM IS FILED WITH THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC INTEREST.
3. File a Completion Form and Evaluation
At the conclusion of the 50 hours of pro bono work, the student must have the supervisor complete the Form Affidavit of Compliance
, certifying satisfactory completion of the placement, and return it to Thomas Maligno
, Director of Public Interest. Touro Law is now accepting the Courts Pro Bono Completion Form to satisfy Touro Law’s requirement. Please note that the student will have to submit the original of this form to the Office of Court Administration when he/she applies to be admitted. Therefore, when the form is signed by the employer it should be submitted to Thomas Maligno to make a copy which will be used for Touro Law purposes. The original will be returned to the student.
The student must also complete an evaluation of the placement, which will be made available to future students who might be considering the placement. Click here for the evaluation form
The following Touro Law Clinics are eligible to fulfill the PILP requirement:
• NOTE: Any clinical placement with government or the courts such as interning in a DA’s office or clerking for a judge does NOT meet Touro Law’s requirement.