Wednesday, May 27, 2020

All ABout the Pro Bonos

Every student at Loyola has to complete 40 hours of pro bono hours in order to graduate. There are a few restrictions on requirements that a job has to meet to qualify as “pro bono.” But it’s generally pretty easy to get those hours done in short order. Last I checked, I have about 37 hours done with one more year to go. With the presidential elections coming up and several on-campus opportunities, I plan to do much more than 40 by the time graduation comes around.

You can’t actually start accruing hours until after you complete your first semester. Even then you can only get credit for 10 hours total during your 1L year. I started volunteered at a landlord and tenant law firm immediately after my first semester finals were done. During the 2 weeks that I worked there over the winter break and amassed 80 hours of experience. I knew I could only claim 10 hours but it just goes to show how incredibly quickly you can meet that 40-hour requirement.

This last year, as I member of the Byrne Trial Advocacy I also got to volunteer as a bailiff at the National Civil Trail Competition. Basically, we act as timers and event coordinator and also hosts for competitors and visiting judges at one of the most prestigious trial advocacy events in the country. The event itself is tons of fun! You get to watch some really great teams go against one another. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see how different advocates strategize and also learn about different teams’ advocacy styles. The best part though is Saturday night when all the Byrne bailiffs go out to mingle with all the competitors, coaches and judges at the awards dinner. It’s a wonderful event and I hope I have the opportunity to volunteer next year.

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