Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Touro Law PILP Requirement?
The PILP requirement is a Public Interest Law Perspective Requirement that must be fulfilled by all students in order to graduate. This requirement can be fulfilled in one of three ways: the successful completion of a clinic, the successful completion of a satisfying course or Certification of the completion of 50 hours of Pro Bono work.

2. When can I begin to fulfill the PILP Requirement?
Touro law students can begin to fulfill their requirement during their first semester at Touro Law Center through pro bono work. However, if the student wishes to fulfill the PILP requirement through a clinic or course, then students can fulfill their requirement after their first year of study. J.D. students are encouraged to begin fulfilling their PILP requirement as early as possible.

3. When must my hours be completed by?
All pro bono hours must be completed by April 15 for Spring graduates and November 15 for December graduates.

4. How can I complete my pro bono hours?
A student can either find their own placement which will require approval for that placement from Catherine Carbonaro, the Director of Public Interest who can be reached at (631) 761-7033, or they can seek assistance through the Career Services Office or the Touro Law Office of Clinical Programs.

5. Where can I complete pro bono hours that satisfy the PILP?
Students may complete pro bono hours at any pre-approved placement that fulfills the requirements of the PILP. The work must be performed for a public interest organization which serves the poor or another under-served group, or for a private attorney or firm on a pro bono case which has been assigned by a pro bono or volunteer referral service for low-income clients. The work must be legal in nature and may include interviewing, factual investigation, drafting legal documents, legal research and similar duties. Clerical duties do not qualify toward the requirement. Additionally, time needed to train the student for the activity or the instruction on the case will not count.

6. Can I satisfy the pro bono requirement with a paid position?
NO. The Pro Bono Requirement can be filled with a paid position. (NOTE: This is not true of the State Court requirement.)

7. Can I fulfill my pro bono requirement at a private firm?
There are limited situations where placement at a private firm would be acceptable in order to satisfy the PILP requirement, such as an attorney or firm which has been assigned by a pro bono or volunteer referral service for low-income clients (example: 18B cases). Any private firm placement should be cleared with Catherine Carbonaro or CSO, even an 18B situation.

8. Can a position with a governmental agency such as a District Attorney’s Office satisfy Touro’s pro bono requirement?
While an internship or externship with a governmental agency such as a District Attorney’s Office may satisfy the requirements for the court for admission, it will not satisfy the PILP requirement in order to graduate from Touro. Further questions regarding this should be directed to Catherine Carbonaro or CSO.

9. If I am unable to find a pro bono placement on my own what can I do?
Contact the CSO or the Office of Clinical Programs as soon as possible, additionally, you can contact Catherine Carbonaro.

10. After I have completed pro bono hours what steps must be taken to receive fulfillment of the PILP requirement?
Following the completion of pro bono hours, students must have the New York State Pro Bono Requirement Completion form filled out by their supervisor and they are to turn in a copy of the completion form to Catherine Carbonaro while retaining the original to submit to the New York State Board of Bar Examiners when required. (after passing the bar and completing submission papers).
Additionally, students must complete a placement evaluation. Upon approval, students may then submit the completion of their placement form and evaluation to Catherine Carbonaro so that satisfaction of the requirement can be noted on the student’s record.
Note: Placement in the Pro Bono Scholars Program will satisfy both Touro Law and New York State Courts’ Pro Bono Requirements.