1 What is the Public Service Requirement and what are the goals of the requirement?

2 What are the options to satisfy the Public Service Requirement?

3 When can a student satisfy the Public Service Requirement?

4 What must a student who intends to satisfy the Public Service Requirement do?

5 When will my Public Service Requirement show up as complete?

6 Do I need to register for the Volunteer Legal Experience or Pro Bono Research project?

7 Can I satisfy the Public Service Requirement through a paid externship if I do fifty (50) hours of unpaid work?

8 I am doing unpaid work for a private firm. If I am working pro bono, will that satisfy the Public Service Requirement?

9 What if I am receiving credit for my Legal Externship? Does that still satisfy the requirement?

10 What is the difference between a Legal Externship and Volunteer Legal Experience?

11 Can you find a way for me to satisfy the PSR?

12 What if I can’t complete 50 hours of volunteer work?

13 Can I do unpaid work for more than one qualifying organization in satisfaction of the PSR?

14 What if did work for an appropriate organization a few months ago? Can I count those hours towards the requirement?

15 Additional Questions? See the Public Service Requirement homepage »

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1 What is the Public Service Requirement and what are the goals of the requirement?

See the Public Service Requirement homepage.

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2 What are the options to satisfy the Public Service Requirement?

See the How to Satisfy the Public Service Requirement

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3 When can a student satisfy the Public Service Requirement?

Generally, you must complete 28 academic credit hours prior to satisfying the requirement. But if you have completed one academic year (day or evening), even if you have not completed 28 academic credit hours, you may satisfy the PSR via a Volunteer Legal Experience.

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4 What must a student who intends to satisfy the Public Service Requirement do?

Decide how you wish to complete the requirement – i.e. through a Student Law Office Clinic, Legal Externship, Volunteer Legal Experience, or Pre-Approved Law School Course. Please review Ways to Satisfy the Public Service Requirement for a complete list of approved ways to satisfy the PSR.

  • For every option but a Volunteer Legal Experience, at the end of each semester, after grades have been submitted, the Public Interest Coordinator will confirm names of students who have passed the qualifying courses and programs. The Coordinator will then update the public interest database and Banner to reflect fulfillment of the PSR. Students who would like to confirm that their PSR satisfaction has been marked in Banner should check their Academic Progress Report; PSR satisfaction will not appear on a student’s academic transcript.

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5 When will my Public Service Requirement show up as complete?

The Public Interest Coordinator marks PSR completion in Banner approximately three times a year, after grades have been received each semester. A grade must be available for the specific course or program the student has completed in order for the Public Service Requirement to be reported.

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6 Do I need to register for the Volunteer Legal Experience or Pro Bono Research project?

No, this is no longer required. Please follow these steps for both.

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7 Can I satisfy the Public Service Requirement through a paid internship if I do fifty (50) hours of unpaid work?

Possibly, but please speak with the Public Interest Coordinator or the Director of Public Interest beforehand to ensure that the work you are doing qualifies for the PSR, and to discuss how best to distinguish the unpaid work from your compensated duties.

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8 I am doing unpaid work for a private firm. If I am working pro bono, will that satisfy the Public Service Requirement?

Just because you are unpaid does not mean that the work is pro bono. While you can satisfy the Public Service Requirement by volunteering at a private law firm, you must do at least fifty (50) hours of uncompensated work that the firm has undertaken on a pro bono basis. Please find an opportunity with a private lawyer via the Pro Bono Research Project Database, or contact the Director of Public Interest with questions about whether a particular project constitutes pro bono work.

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9 What if I am receiving credit for my Legal Externship? Does that still satisfy the requirement?

Many externships with the Legal Externship Office satisfy the Public Service Requirement. You may satisfy the Public Service Requirement with a qualifying externship for which you received credit.

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10 What is the difference between a Legal Externship and Volunteer Legal Experience?

Legal Externships are for-credit fieldwork under the supervision of an attorney licensed for at least five years that is overseen by the Legal Externship Office. Students must register for at least two credits (a minimum of 100 hours). Successful completion of a Legal Externship with a government, judicial, and non-profit entity, or private firm, provided 50 hours at the firm are pro bono, will satisfy your Public Service Requirement.

A Volunteer Legal Experience is for zero credits. This is beneficial for students who are not planning to satisfy the Public Service Requirement through other available opportunities and just want to do 50 hours of work.

The primary differences between the two programs are that the Volunteer Legal Experience is not for credit, the commitment is shorter, and there is a more flexible period for completion (you can do it at any point in a semester and can overlap up to two semesters).

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11 Can you find a way for me to satisfy the PSR?

It is the student’s job to find his or her own way to satisfy the PSR. However, the Director of Externships & Public Interest Initiatives works to develop and advertise opportunities to the student body, and is also always willing to meet with you to discuss your options. You can find potential placements via the Pro Bono Research Project Database and the Legal Externship Database.

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12 What if I can’t complete 50 hours of volunteer work?

All students must complete 50 hours of law-related, supervised, uncompensated public service work in order to graduate from Denver Law. There are many ways to do this as described here. The Public Interest Office can also assist.

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13 Can I do unpaid work for more than one qualifying organization in satisfaction of the PSR?

Yes, you can, but we usually recommend limiting to two placements maximum. This is more likely to happen if you are doing a Volunteer Legal Experience via the Pro Bono Research Project. If you are considering this approach, please contact the Public Interest Office to discuss.

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14 What if did work for an appropriate organization a few months ago? Can I count those hours towards the requirement?

Yes. If you are satisfying the PSR through a Volunteer Legal Experience, you no longer need to register. Both the Supervisor Certification and Evaluation Form, and the Student Certification and Evaluation Form must be in by the last day of classes on the semester you will graduate. We recommend not waiting that late!

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15 Additional Questions?

If you have additional questions, please email publicinterest@law.du.edu.

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