Wednesday, July 9, 2014
New York Law Journal: Courts, Law Schools Gear Up for Pro Bono Scholar Program:
New York's 15 law schools and the state court system are laying the groundwork for a new Pro Bono Scholars program, where students can dedicate their final semester to pro bono work on behalf of low-income clients in exchange for early bar admission.
Starting next spring, about 150 students will spend 12 weeks working full-time for a law school clinic, legal services nonprofit, government agency or law firm. Placements will begin March 2, after participants take the February bar exam.
Though their work will be unpaid, students will receive at least 12 academic credits and participate in a weekly, on-campus seminar to complement what they're learning on the job. Licensed attorneys will supervise them.
Early bar admission is a top selling point for potential Pro Bono Scholars. Participants will be admitted by June 2015, up to a year before their classmates who take the July bar exam.