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About the PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award

Read a little about the latest PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award


To recognize the significant contributions that law students who perform pro bono work make to underserved populations, the public interest community, and legal education. The award aims to achieve this purpose by honoring a law student whose extraordinary commitment to law-related public service work contributes to the overall growth of pro bono culture within their law school and their broader community.


The Pro Bono Publico Award is available to any second- or third-year law student at a PSJD Subscriber School. Each Subscriber School may submit up to two nominees by Friday, October 27th, 2023 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. The award finalists will be announced at the end of the fall semester, 2023. The recipient and any merit distinction finalists will be announced during NALP's Annual Education Conference, at the end of April 2024. The recipient will also be honored with a monetary award of $2,000.

Award Criteria

Selection is based on (1) the extracurricular commitment nominees have made to law-related public service projects or organizations; (2) the quality of work they performed; and (3) the impact of their work on their community, their fellow students, and their school. Actual pro bono work will be the award committee’s primary consideration.

Nominating Process

Contenders for the award are typically nominated by mentors, teachers, or career advisors, but the award committee does consider nominations submitted directly by students themselves.

When you prepare to complete a PBP Award nomination form, be ready to include the following materials:

  • the nominee's resume [required],

  • a statement of no more than two pages detailing the work the nominee has done and the impact of that work on the nominee’s community [required], and

  • promotional materials [optional]:

    • a logo for the nominee’s law school, with accompanying permission-to-use language, as well as

    • a photo of the nominee

      These materials will be used by NALP only for promoting the Pro Bono Publico Award and publicizing the achievements of nominees selected as finalists, Merit Distinction Finalists, and award winners.

Selection Process

After the Pro Bono Publico Award Committee conducts an initial review of all nomination packets, it will announce its Award Finalists. Finalists will be asked to submit some additional information:

  • Two letters of recommendation from those involved in the work or project; and

  • any additional material the nominee chooses to include (maximum length: ten pages). Past finalists have included materials such as

    • a personal statement from the nominee,

    • statements from interested parties describing their experience with the nominee’s work, or

    • media articles, blog posts, or other coverage of the nominee’s work or its impact on the community.