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 Public Interest Practicum or Pro Bono Research Project on Banner?

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 the Legal Externship and Public Interest Practicum?

11 Can you find a practicum for me?

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

In general, a student may satisfy the PSR once he or she has completed 30 academic credit hours. However, a student who has completed one academic year (either day or evening) may satisfy the PSR through enrollment in a Public Interest Practicum for zero credit even if he or she has not completed 30 academic credit hours. For a quick reference, please review How to Satisfy the Public Service Requirement Students are strongly encouraged to satisfy the Public Service Requirement before their final semester in law school.

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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, Public Interest Practicum, Pro Bono Research Project, 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.

There are two ways to satisfy the Public Service Requirement:

  • Public Interest Practicum (PIP)/Pro Bono Research Project Satisfaction
    Students who wish to satisfy the PSR by completing a Public Interest Practicum should add themselves to the PIP waitlist on Banner and submit the online Intent Form. Upon submitting the Intent Form, the student will receive an email explaining what paperwork is required for enrollment. Once the appropriate paperwork is submitted, the student’s name will be removed from the waitlist, and the student will be enrolled in a Public Interest Practicum. Note: Completing and submitting the online Intent Form will NOT automatically register a student for the Public Interest Practicum.
  • Non-PIP Satisfaction A student may satisfy the PSR through successful completion of another course or program (Legal Externship, Student Law Office Clinic, or Pre-Approved Law School Course). At the end of each semester, after grades have been submitted, the Public Interest Coordinator will confirm names of students who have passed other 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.

    If a student is completing the PSR with a private company/firm externship that is not associated with the Pro Bono Research Project, then he or she should confer with the Public Interest Office to ensure that the externship meets the parameters of the Public Service Requirement. If it does, the student must ensure that his or her supervisor submits the Student Acceptance Form.

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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 Public Interest Practicum or Pro Bono Research Project on Banner?

Yes. A student wishing to enroll in a Public Interest Practicum or Pro Bono Research Project should add himself or herself to the Public Interest Practicum (PIP) or Pro Bono Research Project waitlist on Banner and complete the online Intent Form. Upon submitting all necessary paperwork, the student will be removed from the waitlist and enrolled.

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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 the Legal Externship and Public Interest Practicum?

A Legal Externship is a for-credit externship (minimum 2 credits) that is overseen by the Legal Externship Office. Successful completion of a Legal Externship with a government, judicial, or non-profit entity will satisfy your Public Service Requirement. Private firm/entity Legal Externships may qualify for the PSR (See FAQ #8).

The Public Interest Practicum may be taken for zero or one credit and is overseen by the Public Interest Coordinator. Students who wish to receive one academic credit must complete three online seminars in addition to all other required paperwork. The Public Interest Practicum is beneficial for students who are not planning to satisfy the Public Service Requirement through other opportunities.

The primary differences between the two programs are the number of available credits and the corresponding requirements. In addition, the Public Interest Practicum offers a more flexible period for registration and completion.

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11 Can you find a practicum for me?

It is the student’s job to find his or her own practicum. While the Director of Public Interest works to develop and advertise practicum opportunities to the student body, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to find a supervisor and a practicum opportunity. 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 practicum work?

In order to pass the Public Interest Practicum for zero or one academic credit, students must complete at least 50 hours of practicum work. There is no exception to this rule. Students who do not complete a minimum of fifty hours cannot pass the practicum and will not satisfy the Public Service Requirement.

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

Yes, you can. This may happen if you are doing the Pro Bono Research Project. If you are considering this approach, please contact the Public Interest Coordinator 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?

You are only allowed to log your hours once you’ve been registered for your PiP. You cannot count any work you’ve done prior to being registered for the 50-hour requirement. To register, you need to fill out the Intent Form AND then complete the appropriate paperwork, which will be sent to you in an email after you fill out the intent form.

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15 Additional Questions?

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

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