Pro Bono and Community Engagement
The University of Kentucky College of Law is committed to providing public service opportunities for UK Law students and encouraging civic engagement by faculty in relation to academic expertise. It is part of our mission to enhance the public’s understanding of law, engage in law reform and provide legal services to the indigent.
Our faculty and students impact our community through assistance, community service, and public interest positions (such as legal clinic opportunities & externships).
To sign up for pro bono or request participation in a pro bono opportunity, please select the appropriate form below.
Impact Through Pro Bono
Pro bono service generally refers to attorneys providing legal services without compensation to traditionally underserved individuals and non-profit organizations. For UK College of Law, "Pro Bono activities” are defined as independent law-related public service activities.
1. “Independent” means activities for which the student:
(a) does not receive compensation
(b) does not receive a Summer Public Interest Law Stipend and
(c) has not received academic credit.
2. “Law-related public service” means public service that attempts to alleviate social problems relating to legal processes, or otherwise addresses problems that attorneys and law students are well equipped to solve using legal skills or other skills that lawyers normally utilize. Such law-related public service can be provided to the following: one or more individuals; organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights; or charitable, religious, civic, community, government and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes. Such law-related public service must be conducted under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
Activity Pre-approval and Reporting Requirements
Independent law-related public service hours may be earned in 1) a College of Law sponsored pro bono activity or 2) in an activity developed by individual students with the prior approval of the Assistant Dean for Administration and Community Engagement. All hours earned must be reported to the Assistant Dean for Administration and Community Engagement at the time and in the manner prescribed by that person and published on the College of Law website.
Pro Bono Award and Recognition
Upon the completion of 50 hours of independent law-related public service, a student shall receive the College of Law Pro Bono Award. The award will include a certificate and recognition at the College of Law commencement ceremony.
First Year Student Participation in Pro Bono Program
First year students may participate in the pro bono program only through College of Law sponsored pro bono programs that are approved for first year participation by the Assistant Dean of Community Engagement in consultation with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Pro Bono means no compensation or academic credit. Students will gain practical legal experience through pro bono service that may enhance career opportunities for students, provide exposure to various areas of law, and provide networking opportunities within the legal community. Most importantly, pro bono service upholds the foundational values of our distinguished profession by assisting those unable to afford legal counsel. Students engaged in pro bono must work under the supervision of an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky or respective state.
Impact Through Community Service
Community service involves projects and initiatives not necessarily related to providing direct legal services. Engaging in community service is essential and highly regarded in the legal profession. Community service builds goodwill and, for the legal profession, honors an obligation established by tradition to give back to the community and make it a better place to live. The UK Law Student Bar Association, student organizations and administration provide various opportunities for community service projects.
Impact Through Public Interest
Our faculty and students also impact the community through clinical and externship experiences, most of which are for course credit, and public interest positions that often provide stipends to students through grant funding. Examples include the UK Law Legal Clinic, SPILF, Kentucky Innocence Project, Judicial Clerkship Externships, and the UK HealthCare Risk Management Externship.