Poverty Law/Pro Bono Program

Extending our Jesuit Mission with Poverty Law/Pro Bono Work

To receive recognition at the annual awards banquet and at Hooding, law students participating in the poverty law/pro bono program must complete the following:

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Poverty Law/Pro Bono Program

The Creighton School of Law added a poverty law survey course and a civil law poverty externship in the spring of 2017. The two-credit, upper-level elective course (LAW 395 Poverty Law: Legal Needs of the Underrepresented) was made possible by a gift from the Heaney Family Fund. Those enrolled in the survey course are eligible to receive a scholarship to cover half of its cost. The program also sponsors financial aid support for students participating in externships with nonprofit organizations, such as Legal Aid. Students in externships earn four credits: one classroom credit and three non-classroom credits on a pass/fail basis. Students may take a second externship for three non-classroom credits.

Starting in the fall of 2018, the program expanded and named a director, Katelyn Cherney, BA’08, JD, a special assistant professor in the Milton R. Abrahams Legal Clinic. Pro bono and community service hours are now a voluntary component of this program, with students receiving recognition for their time at an annual spring awards luncheon and at Hooding. Those in the graduating class of 2019 must complete 15 hours (at least 10 pro bono and up to 5 community service) to receive this honor and by the spring of 2021 and beyond, this number must total 50 hours.

What Qualifies as Pro Bono Work?

Pro bono work is the provision of voluntary, law-related public service under the supervision of a licensed attorney for which the student does not receive academic credit or pay. Such pro bono legal services must be provided without fee or expectation of fee to persons of limited means or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means.

The delivery of legal services to other disadvantaged populations or community-based nonprofit organizations, or to individuals and organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights may also be considered qualifying pro bono activity subject to the pre-approval of the program director.

What Qualifies as Community Service?

Community service activity is any volunteer work completed for a nonprofit organization primarily serving persons of limited means, or completed through a Creighton-sponsored event or Creighton partnership site identified through the Schlegel Center for Service and Justice that primarily serves persons of limited means. If community service falls outside this description, contact the program director for consideration and pre-approval.

Note: All pro bono and community service activity must be reported to the program director by filling out this form.

Students Must Complete

To receive recognition at the annual awards banquet and at Hooding, law students participating in the poverty law/pro bono program must complete the following:

Graduated Tiers of Service Based on Class Year:

  • 3Ls & Summer 2017 AJDs 15 hours: At least 10 pro bono, up to 5 community service
  • 2Ls & Summer 2018 AJDs 30 hours: At least 20 pro bono, up to 10 community service
  • 1Ls 50 hours: At least 35 pro bono, up to 15 community service