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About the PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award

Read a little about the latest PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award

Purpose

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.

Eligibility

The Pro Bono Publico Award is available to any second- or third-year law student at a PSJD Subscriber School. Each Subcriber School may submit up to two nominees by Friday, September 10th, 2021 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. The award finalists will be announced just before National Pro Bono Week (October 24th – 30th, 2021). The recipient and any merit distinction finalists will be announced during NALP's Annual Education Conference, at the end of April 2021. The recipient will also be honored at the recipient’s school with a commemorative plaque and 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.

Nomination Deadline & 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.

Nomination packets must include:

  • A completed award nomination form,
  • the nominee's résumé, and
  • a statement detailing the work the nominee has done and the impact of that work on the nominee’s community (maximum length: two pages). In preparing the statement, nominators are encouraged to include insight or quotations from people involved in the nominee’s work or members of the community that work has impacted.

We also ask that nominators include in their packets the Subscriber School’s logo with accompanying permission-to-use language and 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.

Nomination packets should be assembled into a single PDF file. Nominations must be received by Friday, September 10th, 2021 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. (See end of Nomination Form for submission instructions.)

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.