St. Mary’s University School of Law received a $10,400 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to encourage pro bono legal work through new remote fellowships.
In fall 2018, St. Mary’s introduced a pro bono graduation requirement for J.D. students that resulted in students seeking new opportunities for pro bono service. The new remote fellowship program will enable more students to participate and fulfill the requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“We are thankful for the Texas Bar Foundation’s meaningful investment in our students’ public interest work,” said Gregory Zlotnick, director of St. Mary’s University School of Law Pro Bono Programs, in a news release. “In a moment when Texans across the state face economic hardship, this funding will allow law students to support the tireless efforts of legal services organizations to expand access to justice to their clients, no matter their ZIP code.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, law student engagement in public service in the 2019-2020 academic year rose above the law school’s average. Law students recorded more than 9,880 pro bono and community service hours, an increase of more than 5% from the previous year.