Pro Bono and Public Service Program

Pro Bono and Public Service Program

Northwestern Pritzker Law has a long history of fostering a commitment to public service in its students and graduates, with more pro bono and public service volunteer opportunities available each year. Acknowledging that not all students will pursue public interest careers, we provide a robust variety of opportunities to serve and give back to underserved communities and social justice causes while students are in law school. Students are encouraged to serve through legal and non-legal work in community organizations, advocacy groups, legal service offices, government agencies, and many non-profit organizations.


Julia P.
JD '17

"During my time at Northwestern Law, participating in public service opportunities enriched my education.

I volunteered as a tutor for Chicago Youth Programs, taught with Street Law, worked on expungement and sealing at the Cabrini Green Legal Aid, prepared taxes with Ladder Up, and completed legal research with Sierra Club. Public service allowed me to take what I learned in the classroom into the real world, and helped me to be a small part of a positive change in someone's life."

To further foster student engagement in public service, all students are encouraged to voluntarily meet a goal of 50 hours of pro bono work or public service by graduation to receive public service honors cords. Every student is strongly encouraged to contribute 50 hours (30 hours for transfer students, 15 hours for LLM and MSL students) of public service before graduation. Students who complete the public service hours goal and submit the proper documentation are honored at the public service luncheon during graduation week and receive recognition at graduation. Students who perform 100+ hours are listed as Public Service Stars on the Public Interest Center section of the Law School website. Students who perform 200+ hours are also commemorated on a plaque in the law school atrium.

Checkout the Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities database to get started on your public service goal!  


If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the Pro Bono and Public Service Program at Northwestern Law, please reference the FAQ page. If you still have questions after looking through the FAQs, please contact:

Sara Sommervold
Assistant Director, Academic and Career Management

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
375 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-3069

Related Links

Student Time Log for Volunteer Hours | Public Interest Careers