Pro Bono Program

GW Law is committed to encouraging students to volunteer their legal services. That commitment is reflected, in part, by the Pro Bono Program. In the program, students provide legal services to those who cannot afford them or who might not otherwise receive those services. Participation in the program gives students the opportunity to give back to their community by donating their time and legal expertise. Volunteering also allows students to gain practical legal experience, build their resume, and provide valuable opportunities to establish networking contacts.  

The Pro Bono program does not provide pro bono counsel to the public.


The Pro Bono Program produces annual events, including:

Public Interest & Pro Bono Pre-Orientation Program

This program allows incoming JD students to spend three days meeting one another while visiting and hearing from speakers at various public service and pro bono opportunities such as the Arlington County Detention Facility, the Correctional Treatment Facility, the Council of the District of Columbia, DC Superior Court, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Park Service (community service project), the DC Office of Administrative Hearings, the DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Takoma Wellness Center (medical marijuana dispensary), and the US Marshals Service.

DC Alternative Spring Break

DC Alternative Spring Break is a program that provides law students with opportunities to engage in hands-on, law-related volunteer work with area organizations during their spring break. It is sponsored in partnership with other DC law schools. Participating in DC Alternative Spring Break is a great way for you to serve, gain legal experience, network, and build your pro bono practice.

Pro Bono Recognition Ceremony

As a way of thanking students who participate in the Pro Bono Program, GW Law celebrates certain students each year before graduation. Any student who provides 50 hours or more of pro bono legal services while at the law school will be recognized. This includes an invitation for the student and a guest to attend the annual Pro Bono Reception (typically at a Nationals game) to receive the Dean’s certificate as well as inclusion in the Honors & Awards section of the Commencement Program.  GW Law also partners with the GW Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service to recognize students who have submitted 100+ hours with silver graduation cords and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award, which consists of a gold-silver-or-bronze lapel pin signifying the number of hours submitted up to 250+.