Public service is a core value of the legal profession, and lawyers are expected to give back generously to their communities and to promote access to justice. The Citizen Lawyer Program works to instill this value in Iowa Law students, and provides opportunities for students to volunteer with a wide range of organizations, both law-related and non-law-related.
CLP's Pro Bono Projects are structured, law-related volunteer positions with governmental and non-profit organizations. Students apply for available positions in the first weeks of each semester through 12Twenty. Students assigned to projects are supervised by attorneys within the organization and typically commit to volunteer 30-50 hours per semester.
Students are also encouraged to engage in community service opportunities beyond the legal field. CLP promotes and facilitates volunteer opportunities for students, both individually throughout the year and through organized service events.
Reporting Service Hours
All Iowa Law students are encouraged to record all hours spent in public service while they are enrolled at Iowa Law via 12Twenty. Students can refer to the following tutorials for step-by-step instruction on reporting hours:
- Creating a CLP Pro Bono Project Entry & Logging Hours (once assigned to a Pro Bono Project by CLP)
- Creating Community Service Hours Entry & Logging Hours (all community hours except for CLP Pro Bono Projects)
- Creating Institutional Service Hours Entry & Logging Hours
Service hours must be voluntary, uncompensated, and not compelled (ie, not required for a course or a student organization). Hours are divided into two general categories. Community Hours are those that directly benefit recognized community organizations or non-profits, including pro bono projects organized by the Citizen Lawyer Program. Institutional Hours are those that benefit the law school, university, or a student group. Service hours are not limited to activities organized through the law school or locally-based; students can record their volunteer work with non-profits, faith communities, and political organizations regardless of location.
Hours completed during the winter break may be reported toward a student's spring semester total for purposes of Pro Bono Society membership, as well as toward their career total for purposes of the Boyd Service Award. Hours completed during the summer may be reported toward a studnet's career total for purposes of Boyd Service Award, but do not count toward Pro Bono Society membership for any particular semester.