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U of I College of Law a Leader in Idaho’s Pro Bono Service

October 25, 2018

Students at the University of Idaho College of Law have provided at least $25 million in free legal services in the 10 years since pro bono service became a graduation requirement.

This week, Oct. 21-27, marks the 10th anniversary of the National Celebration of Pro Bono by the American Bar Association and has been designated as Pro Bono Week by the Idaho Supreme Court. The College of Law’s third-year law students are also the 10th class required to complete first 40 hours, now 50 hours, of pro bono legal services in order to graduate.

Their work – in which students volunteer, earn college credit while performing tasks for public agencies, nonprofits or via services at the college’s various legal clinics — helps provide equal justice under the law to those who would otherwise not afford legal services.

“Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the College of Law’s pro bono graduation requirement is an exciting milestone in our century-plus commitment to serving the legal needs of all people, here in Idaho and beyond,” said Jerrold Long, dean of the College of Law. “I’m extremely proud of the potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of pro bono legal service we’ve influenced directly by services of students and faculty as well as through our alumni, many of whom developed a commitment to pro bono work while here at the College of Law.”

Law students completed a total of 7,224 hours of pro bono service during the 2017-18 academic year, along with 12,529 hours of service through externships at nonprofit and government agencies. During the 2017 calendar year, students also worked a total of 5,648 at the College of Law’s various legal clinics in Moscow and Boise.

On average, College of Law faculty, staff and students perform at least 25,000 hours of free legal services annually, amounting to at least $25 million in legal services to low-income Idahoans and others over the past decade. That commitment was recognized by National Jurist magazine in 2017, which labeled U of I among the top U.S. law schools with the greatest community impact.

Over the past few years, College of Law students have worked on everything from the legal rights of adoptees at a clinic in Yakima, Washington, to public defender assistance in Twin Falls. The various U of I clinics also assist clients on issues including visa/asylum matters for immigration courts as well as child custody and landlord-tenant issues for residents surrounding Boise and Moscow.

Learn more about U of I’s pro bono work.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu