Find Pro Bono Opportunities
Students have a range of options throughout the year when looking for pro bono opportunities.
Georgetown Law Pro Bono Project
The Georgetown Law Pro Bono Project is designed to provide Georgetown Law students, including 1Ls, with opportunities to engage in hands-on, law-related volunteer work. The Project matches students with pro bono placements at area nonprofits and legal services providers to assist with a wide variety of tasks, including: performing intakes, investigating cases, drafting court pleadings, and performing legal and policy research. Projects range in time commitment from around 5 hours per week to 5 hours over the course of the semester and are designed to accommodate busy student schedules while being mindful of providers’ capacity.
Participating in the Georgetown Law Pro Bono Project is a great way to give back to the DC community, gain practical experience, build professional connections, and accumulate hours toward the Pro Bono Pledge. The organizations that participate primarily provide legal services to low-income individuals living in DC or the surrounding metropolitan area. An email will be sent to all students at the beginning of each semester with instructions on how to participate.
Find Your Own
In addition to one-time or shorter-term pro bono opportunities, students may also engage in longer-term work with local organizations through an internship or externship. Externships frequently take place during the academic year and are performed for academic credit (be aware that work completed for credit does not count toward the Georgetown Law Pro Bono Pledge; however, hours above and beyond those credited may be counted). Internships, often taking place over the summer on a voluntary basis or supported by a stipend, can be a great way to develop legal skills, experience and relationships. See the Georgetown Law Pro Bono Pledge FAQs for guidance as to what summer work may qualify for Pledge recognition.
If you are interested in setting up a pro bono internship, the following two databases offer a great way to start your search:
- Symplicity — This site lists postings for paid and unpaid internships and externships. The listings in Symplicity have been sent to Georgetown by employers actively recruiting for the semester or the summer. (Note: 1Ls will not be able to look at Symplicity internship listings until on or about October 15 due to NALP guidelines.) When you log onto the site, select the “Jobs” tab and search from there for possible placements of interest. For guidance on how to approach an organization about a pro bono arrangement, contact the Pro Bono Coordinator in OPICS.
- PSJD — This site lists announcements for internships and projects with domestic and international non-profit organizations and government agencies. In addition, PSJD is a great resource for identifying organizations that engage in the type of work in which you are interested. To access the PSJD database you will need to create a user name and password the first time you visit the site.
Keep in mind that these databases are only a starting point. There are many other area public service oriented organizations that don’t actively recruit. If you don’t feel drawn to any of the positions listed online, or if you are passionate about an issue that you don’t see represented, please contact the Pro Bono Coordinator. OPICS has extensive experience working with local organizations and agencies, and has contacts with many Georgetown friends and alumni who can assist you in finding a placement that is a good match for you and the organization.
Other Pro Bono Opportunities
Throughout the course of the year, pro bono and community service opportunities often arise on an ad hoc or ongoing basis. OPICS frequently receives requests for assistance from partners and practitioners in the community, and we pass these opportunities along to our students. Some of these projects are one-time commitments, whereas others require longer-term involvement.
If you are interested in learning about service opportunities, you are encouraged to:
- Sign up for the Pro Bono Pledge! Be sure to list your interests, language skills, and relevant background when you do.
- Read Georgetown Law Gives Back, the Pro Bono Program newsletter.
- Stop by OPICS to speak with the Pro Bono Coordinator about available opportunities and/or to brainstorm new ones!