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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

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Pro Bono Program

Pro bono publico in Latin translates to, "for the public good." For lawyers, this means providing legal services to people in need. Law students cannot provide direct legal services, but they can take the first step in their legal career by volunteering in one of the myriad of law-related opportunities coordinated or managed by the Pro Bono Program.

The University of South Carolina is home to the first voluntary Pro Bono Program at a U.S. law school.

We believe it's important to foster the ethic of professional obligation to provide service to the public, especially to those who cannot afford legal help. The Pro Bono Program works to connect knowledge to the real world, and for almost 30 years, South Carolina Law students have been actively involved in a variety of activities in service to the community. The range of opportunities is varied and ever changing.

Through their pro bono work students are able to explore career options and gain knowledge and skills of lasting professional benefit, all while making our state and community a better place for everyone.

Members of the Bar

Lawyers, are you interested in getting involved with our Pro Bono Program? Carolina Clerks: Pro Bono Clerks for Pro Bono Lawyers is the law school's effort to match you with volunteer law students who are ready, willing and able to assist you with your pro bono cases and projects.

For more than 15 years, the goal of the Public Interest Law Loan Forgiveness Fund has been to provide financial assistance to deserving South Carolina Law graduates who obtain employment in the field of public interest law and who need assistance in repaying their legal education loans. The deadline to submit an application is June 30. 

Student Information

Student volunteers are not licensed to provide legal advice to clients and must work under the supervision of a licensed SC attorney. In addition, all School of Law Pro Bono volunteers must read and agree to abide by an understanding of the ethical and professional obligations that may arise during their pro bono work. Current students can visit our intranet to learn more details about the Pro Bono Program.

Public Resources

Volunteers working through the School of Law Pro Bono Program are law students; they are not lawyers and as such by law are not allowed to render legal advice. Legal advice includes, but is not limited to, completing or reviewing documents, or conducting research. The Pro Bono Program cannot give you the name of a pro bono attorney. 

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