Public Interest Center staff can assist you in finding public interest opportunities, will track any hours you accrue, and will honor such work at its annual Public Interest Awards ceremony in the spring. Those who complete at least 50 hours of volunteer service during their time at Chicago-Kent receive a Certificate of Service; and those who complete at least 250 hours receive the Dean’s Distinguished Public Service Award.
To be eligible to receive either of these awards, you must take the following three steps:
You can find opportunities in Symplicity, Chicago-Kent’s extensive database of job, internship, and pro bono opportunities. Under job search filter by Pro Bono Opportunities. PIC staff can also assist you in your search.
Volunteer hours and activities must meet the criteria below in order to count towards these awards:
- You cannot be receiving any financial compensation or school credit.
- You cannot be engaged in for-profit, private sector activities.
- You cannot be engaged in partisan, political campaign activities.
- Hours at different public service organizations and government agencies may be combined. For example,
- Hours volunteered at public defender and prosecutor offices are eligible.
- Hours volunteered in the Gulf Coast for hurricane relief efforts are eligible.
- Training time required for volunteering may be included in your hours.
- Hours accrue during the time you are a law student (between your first day of orientation as a first-year law student and your date of graduation, dates inclusive).
- Generally, time spent on Chicago-Kent student organization activities, for example, preparing for speaker events or bake sales, does NOT qualify. However, volunteering with outside organizations in conjunction with a student organization does qualify, for example, volunteering at the Daley Center Self-Help Web Desk, soup kitchen as a KJF project, or legal observing through NLG.
If you are uncertain whether your particular volunteer work qualifies, please email us for clarification.
- Submit your volunteer hours
You can track your hours in Symplicity under the Pro Bono and Community Service Tab.
- Go to the Pro Bono and Community Service Tab.
- Hit “Add New” if it is your first time logging hours for the semester or with a particular organization, and fill in the organization information. If the organization is not currently in Symplicity, enter the information in the new section and email us. Add in the information to the best of your ability, including the job description and supervisor contact information.
- Be sure to certify the contact information.
- For both new and ongoing tracking, under the name of the organization, hit “Track Hours.” Fill in the time, date and duties.