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Pro Bono Scholars Program
The Public Interest Center oversees the Pro Bono Scholars Program at St. John's Law. The program allows students to devote their last semester of study to performing pro bono service for the poor. Pro Bono Scholars spend 12 weeks working full time in a pro bono placement, while also completing a 14-credit academic component at St. John's Law. They have the opportunity to develop quality mentoring relationships and receive invaluable practical training under the supervision of both a practicing lawyer and a faculty member.

As an additional benefit, St. John's Pro Bono Scholars can take the New York bar examination in February of their final year of study, before they graduate. Upon successful completion of the program and any other graduation requirements, Pro Bono Scholars will be awarded their J.D. degree and will be admitted to practice as soon as practicable after graduation. Therefore, by participating in the program, they can accelerate the pace at which they can enter the legal market as licensed attorneys. The first of its kind in the country, the program is designed to reinforce the legal profession’s commitment to, and St. John's Vincentian mission of fostering, a culture of service while generating countless hours of pro bono work each year on behalf of New York's most vulnerable citizens.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Class rank in top 60% at time of application and before starting senior year.
  • May not serve on executive board of journals, Moot Court, PTAI, or DRS
  • No more than 4 credits of clinics, externships, or Street Law prior to final semester (selection committee may waive up to 8 credits)
  • Practicum students are not eligible
  • On track to complete all degree requirements—except for credits and APWR—prior to final semester

Apply Now:
The application deadline for the 2017-18 Pro Bono Scholars Program is Friday, September 22, 2017. To apply, please visit the Law School's Online Student Center and download the application from the Pro Bono Scholars page under the Pro Bono tab.


Clinics and Externships
The Public Interest Center also works closely with the Law School’s Clinical Programs and Career Development Office to offer clincs and externships that give students an opportunity to serve the public interest. Students build practical skills hands on doing real legal work for New Yorkers in need through our 10 in-house and partner clinics:

The public interest placements available to students through our externship program include:

  • District Attorney's Offices
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • New York City Law Department
  • New York State Attorney General's Office
  • U.S. Attorney's Offices
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Contact Us
Please contact us at publicinterest@stjohns.edu to learn more about the Public Interest Center's curricular offerings.