Colorado Law integrates public service and public interest law through the school. Public service is an integral part of a lawyer’s professional obligation and an essential ingredient in a legal career. The law school’s voluntary public service program provides law students with skills and values, such as legal research and writing, client interviewing, and legal argument development. These skills prove valuable early in legal careers and promote a lifetime commitment to law-related community service.
By signing the Colorado Law Public Service Pledge, students commit to 50 hours of law-related public service work, not for credit or other compensation, during their time at the Law School. Students who fulfill their pledge will be recognized at graduation, and their public service will be reflected on their transcripts.
- When to Sign: Sign the Pledge at the beginning of law school or at anytime thereafter. To count toward the program, public service work must be done after you sign the pledge.
- Qualifying Work: To count toward the Pledge, work must be law-related, must not be done for credit or other compensation, and must be supervised by an attorney or a Law School faculty member. Qualified activities include those that require lawyering skills (such as legal research and writing, interviewing, counseling, oral or written advocacy, or representation of individuals in court, administrative, or other hearings), public education activities (such as preparing for and delivering lectures on legal topics or writing informational brochures or web information on legal topics for under-served communities), and service to the legal profession or legal institutions. Work that does not qualify includes non-legal public service (such as work not involving lawyering skills or service to the legal profession or legal institutions).
- Approved Work: Students are welcome and encouraged to find their own public service opportunities, or seek assistance from the Public Service Adviser by e-mailing email@example.com. Work found independently, not through a pre-approved organization or project, require pre-approval to ensure your work will qualify for the pledge. The Adviser’s determination of qualifying work will be final and is not appealable. Public service opportunities can be found at nonprofit organizations, public interest law firms, local government agencies, public defenders, legal services offices, private firms with pro bono projects, and student organizations.
- Opportunities: The Adviser will list open volunteer opportunities on the Public Service Pledge Program TWEN page and periodically e-mail information to students about possible volunteer opportunities. Students are also encouraged to use the Colorado Legal Organizations Directory to brainstorm about possible opportunities.
- Deadline: Students report hours through a Work Documentation Form. For 3L May graduates, submit your hours to the Public Service Adviser by April 1 for recognition on transcripts and at graduation. For 3L December graduates, please submit your hours by November 15 for recognition. Hours accrued by 1Ls and 2Ls may be submitted at anytime and may be carried over into the next year.
- Frequently Asked Questions for Employers
As in all activities, students undertaking the Public Service Pledge are subject to the Honor Code.