More than 50 attendees, including students, faculty, and community organization partners, celebrated The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law’s Second Annual Pro Bono Reception on April 11.
The event honored the 125 students who have so far participated in the law school’s wide-ranging pro bono program. The number continues to grow.
“You inform families of their right to shelter and educate consumers about good credit practices. You assist low-income workers seeking unpaid wages, observe hearings to ensure that survivors of violence and torture are fully heard and donate your legal skills to victims of disaster,” wrote Dean Veryl Miles in a congratulatory letter to the students. “I could list dozens of examples but the point remains the same: you give of yourselves, the most precious gift of all.”
Dozens of organizations also participate in the program, offering legal supervision and the opportunity for students to get hands-on experience.
The law school’s pro bono program has enjoyed a busy year and hosted a number of on-campus activities in recognition of National Pro Bono Week last fall:
- An alumni panel and discussion about the benefits of pro bono work
- Participation in “Go Casual for Justice,” a DC Bar Foundation initiative to support LRAP for DC attorneys
- Engagement in a “Know Your Rights" consumer credit program coordinated by Hogan Lovells US LLP
The program also organized a meeting of the pro bono directors from six DC-area law schools to explore ways to collaborate more effectively and share best practice ideas.
Catholic University law school students have collectively performed more than 7,000 hours of pro bono work over the past three years, providing law-related activities on behalf of the underrepresented. The number does not include community service hours, pro bono work by faculty and staff members, or work for credit in the law school’s legal clinic.
“There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm here to do meaningful legal work for those in need,” said Jen Tschirch, pro bono coordinator for the Columbus School of Law.