SPOKANE, Wash. – Contributing to the community is a big part of a Gonzaga University School of Law education. In the past 12 months, Gonzaga law students have logged 17,304 hours of volunteer public service work (for which they received no academic credit). Nearly 11,000 of those hours were spent providing law-related services.
In addition to this volunteer work, Gonzaga law students also spend an average of 62,000 hours per year providing legal services to the community for academic credit in their externship and Legal Clinic assignments.
Amanda Hensen, who will graduate during the law commencement May 10, earned the Pro Bono Distinction Platinum Award for contributing 1,030 hours of public service work in the last two years, the most of any graduating student.
“Recognizing law student public service and pro bono efforts through the Pro Bono Distinction is a key motivator for students to build volunteerism into their legal careers early on,” said Catherine Brown, director of Gonzaga Law’s Center for Law in Public Service. “The time and effort these students devote to volunteer service work is an inspiration and truly has a positive impact in the community.”
Begun in 2012, the Pro Bono Distinction program recognizes law students for the volunteer public service work they complete. First-year law students may record any public service work, while second- and third-year law students are limited to recording hours providing law-related services under the supervision of an attorney. The 2013-2014 Pro Bono Distinction encompasses all hours recorded from April 2013 to March 2014.
To graduate, Gonzaga law students must complete 30 hours of public service without pay or academic credit.
The 17,304 hours recorded this year include work at the National Crime Victim Law Institute, the Washington State Bar Association Moderate Means Program, the Northwest Justice Project, the YWCA of Spokane, the YWCA of Tacoma-Pierce County, the Spokane County Prosecutor and Public Defender offices, Gonzaga Law School’s Street Law program, and the Spokane Community Warehouse – among others.
For more information, please contact Andrea Parrish at (509) 313-3771 or via email [firstname.lastname@example.org].