Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Learning To Love Pro Bono: A Practical Recipe For Engaging Law Students

Alissa Gomez (Houston), Learning to Love Pro Bono: A Practical Recipe for Engaging Law Students:

In April 2019, our Lawyering Skills & Strategies Department at the University of Houston Law Center brought together law students, faculty, practitioners, and UH law librarians, to help low-income clients across Texas using the virtual legal advice platform provided by the ABA’s Free Legal Answers website. Launched in September 2016, Free Legal Answers allows members of the public who income-qualify to post civil legal questions to a secure website and have those questions answered by a licensed attorney in their state. Pairing law students with practitioners, faculty, and law librarians, we were able to answer several real-time client questions, in the span of less than three hours, on issues ranging from family law and landlord-tenant to consumer disputes. The experience brought legal research and writing to life for our law students, and helped remind everyone about the importance of pro bono service to our profession.

We hope you will read this article and consider hosting a virtual legal advice clinic at your law school. It requires minimal set-up and has the potential to affect individuals that otherwise might be well outside the reach of a law school. Below is our simple recipe for success.

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Ah, pro bono work: what my law school told me and my sundry other underwater, out-of-work fellow graduates to do during the recession while speaking out the other side of their mouth to 0Ls about how super-valuable their law degree was. Let's see some mandatory pro-bono requirements for law profs, given the ample free time their 2-1 schedules afford them. 'Til then, let's stop telling students and grads to debase the value of their degrees to zero by working for free for people who, odds are, have far better financial circumstances than said grads

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Aug 14, 2019 6:37:48 AM