Public Interest Fellowships may be awarded to qualified first or second year law students for full time summer positions with non-profit organizations representing traditionally underrepresented clients, groups, or interests. To be eligible, students must show a demonstrated commitment to public interest law and public service prior to and while attending law school, and be an active participant in the SBA’s Public Interest Committee’s activities. The amount of the stipend and the number of Fellowships awarded will vary each year, based on the available funds.
The Pro Bono Service Project was developed in furtherance of the principle that members of the legal profession and those aspiring to enter the legal profession have a special professional responsibility to assist in providing quality legal services to those who cannot afford it. Through the Pro Bono Service Project, St. John's School of Law challenges all law students in good academic standing to pledge at least 30 hours of law-related volunteer work before they graduate.
A Public Service Award is given at Commencement to those students who have completed at least 500 hours of qualifying service. Students who demonstrate an exceptional level of pro bono service, including dedicated service to specific pro bono projects (including student-run programs), will be eligible for additional awards at Commencement. The Pro Bono Service Project will adopt the same definition of pro bono as the New York Court of Appeals in 22 NYCRR 520.16.