Serving Communities, Developing Pro Bono Leaders
The Schrader Pro Bono Program creates opportunities for students, starting as early as their first year of law school, to provide much-needed legal services to low-income communities, while developing critical real-life lawyering skills. UCLA Law has a rich history of student leadership in pro bono, and the program actively supports student initiatives. Students also respond to partners’ calls for assistance and participate in service learning trips, working in such issue areas as HIV/AIDS, housing and homelessness, education, immigration, juvenile justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, public health, reproductive rights, and workers’ rights.
For many UCLA Law students, participation in pro bono becomes a lifelong commitment to pro bono and access to justice. Through the Schrader Pro Bono Program, students, alumni and faculty work together to support pro bono and the public interest, such as through the Annual Public Service Challenge.
To learn more about program, please read our 2022-2023 Annual Report.
Pro Bono Initiatives
Our students can make a voluntary pledge to complete at least 50 pro bono hours.
El Centro and other student-led projects are at the core of UCLA Law’s pro bono program.
During our Public Service Challenge, we suspend classes and encourage the entire UCLA community to engage in public service work.
UCLA Law celebrates students and alumni contributions to pro bono and the public interest.
See how law students participating in Service Learning Trips to Dilley, Texas, were able to provide critical support to asylum seekers and gain valuable legal skills.
Who We Are
UCLA Law Definition of Pro Bono
For purposes of the UCLA Law pro bono program, pro bono is defined as:
- uncompensated (the student will not receive academic credit, money, or any other type of compensation);
- law-related work;
- performed under the supervision of an attorney; and
- to assist low-income persons or others who do not have access to legal services, or to otherwise advance the public interest, public service, or social justice.
Work done to coordinate El Centro clinics or other qualifying pro bono opportunities for other students may also count as qualifying pro bono work.
For more information, please refer to the Schrader Program Wiki (available for UCLA Law community members).
The Pro Bono Pledge
At UCLA School of Law, students can make a voluntary pledge to complete at least 50 pro bono hours (as defined by UCLA Law) before graduating, starting when they matriculate at UCLA Law. Students who meet that pledge will be honored at graduation with special recognition of their contributions.
Summer Funding Pro Bono Requirement
For summer 2022, students (1Ls or 2Ls) seeking a UCLA Law summer stipend (public interest or judicial) must complete and register at least 10 pro bono hours during the academic year by the summer funding application deadline in early April. For more information, please refer to the Schrader Program Wiki (available for UCLA Law community members).
- How to Log Hours
New York State Bar Pro Bono Requirement
Applicants to the New York State bar are required to have completed 50 hours of pro bono service. The Rule can be found here.
All UCLA Law students considering applying to the New York State bar should refer to the FAQs, which explains what kind of activities qualify, where the pro bono work can be performed, and what documents must be included in your application for admission to demonstrate your compliance.
UCLA Law and the New York State bar pro bono definitions differ. For example, the New York State bar pro bono definition includes pro bono services for low-income clients performed as part of an academic clinical course or externship.
The New York State bar requires that applicants complete a Form Affidavit of Compliance for every pro bono project that applicants are using to fulfill the 50-hour requirement. The Form Affidavit of Compliance requires certification by the supervising attorney.
If you still have questions after reading the FAQs or if you want advance approval of a project, you can email the Advisory Committee on New York State Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirement at ProBonoRule@nycourts.gov.
Questions and Additional Information
To receive updates on the Schrader Pro Bono Program and new pro bono projects, please sign up for our mailing list.
For Alumni & Pro Bono Partners
How to Connect with Us
If you are a public interest legal services organization, law office, or attorney seeking law students to assist with a pro bono project, please reach out to us.
UCLA Law students engage in pro bono work in a variety of ways. They lead and staff student-run projects, participate in service learning trips, and join projects throughout the year responding to community need.
Please fill out this form to tell us more about the pro bono opportunity that you would like to promote to our students, including a description of the project, the projected time commitment, and description of the training and supervision provided.
For People Seeking Legal Assistance
How to Find Legal Help
The Schrader Pro Bono Program does not provide direct legal services. Law students are not permitted to represent individuals unless they are working under the supervision of a licensed attorney. If you are seeking a lawyer, please contact your local bar association, such as the LA County Bar Association, or check LawHelpCA for free or low-cost legal aid assistance.
The California State Bar also provides resources for Californians who need help finding an attorney as well as ways to avoid fraud from notarios and other people posing as attorneys.
Avoiding Fraud by Immigration Consultants