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Criteria for Graduate Recognition

Friday, March 13, 2020 Deadline for may 2020 graduates to submit PIRC forms (no Extensions)

Graduation Recognition on the Delaware Campus: Pro Bono Distinction

Delaware Law encourages students to help increase access to justice by performing pro bono service. Lawyers in the United States are recommended under American Bar Association’s (ABA Model Rule 6.1 Voluntary Pro Bono Service) ethical rules to contribute at least fifty hours of pro bono service per year. Pro Bono Publico is a Latin phrase for professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee as a public service. Pro bono service, unlike traditional volunteerism, uses the specific skills of attorneys to provide legal services to those who are unable to afford them.

Delaware Law recognizes students who perform a significant amount of volunteer legal work with pro bono distinction at graduation. Students who have performed at least 50 hours of pro bono legal service during law school, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, are eligible for recognition if the following criteria are satisfied:

  1. Service must be completely pro bono; students may receive neither money nor academic credit for this work. Students who are paid or receive academic credit for some of their work, but who exceeded the number of hours of  work for which they were paid or awarded credit, may be recognized for the uncompensated hours if their supervisors verify that this time was uncompensated. For clinic students, this determination is completely at the discretion of the clinic professor.
  2. Service must be to a public interest agency or office approved by PIRC. A variety of agencies may qualify. Judicial clerkships do not qualify. Need guidance finding a pro bono position that meets your interests and availability? Complete and submit the PIRC Volunteer Information Form to [email protected]
  3. For each graduating class, eligible volunteer work may begin in the second semester of the first year of law school for those students with a minimum 2.3 GPA.
  4. Volunteers must use the forms provided in the Student PIRC Packet to document and verify their pro bono hours.
  5. Students who graduate with pro bono distinction will have their names noted in the graduation program book (March 13, 2020, deadline for May 2020 graduates to submit hours) and will wear honorary red cords over their graduation gowns. Students who meet all of the requirements will be notified by PIRC that they have qualified for graduation recognition. Cords will be distributed to students by the PIRC staff.

Questions? Contact Catherine Zwolak Kilian, Esq. at [email protected].

To discuss pro bono opportunities for you, first complete and return the PIRC Student Volunteer Form to [email protected] PIRC will then contact you via email to schedule a time to discuss pro bono opportunities for you.

Already chose your pro bono position? Remember, every student must have written approval by the PIRC Director confirming that the pro bono position qualifies for pro bono distinction. Need approval? Complete and return the Student Pro Bono Position Approval Form to [email protected].

Be proactive! Review the Student PIRC Packet to learn how to track and verify all of your pro bono hours. In order to submit pro bono hours, students must provide a completed Student PIRC Packet to the Career Development Office (this includes an assessment and verification to be completed and signed by the supervising attorney) by the below listed deadlines.

If you volunteered during the… then your form is due by…
Fall Semester the last day of Fall Semester classes.
Spring Semester & are not graduating this year the last day of Spring Semester classes.
Spring Semester & are graduating this year Friday, March 13, 2020
Summer the first week of Fall Semester classes.