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Pro Bono Requirements

All JD students graduating in 2018 and 2019 must complete a minimum of 40 hours of pro-bono work in order to graduate.   

To qualify, students’ work must be unpaid, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, at a placement or project providing or enabling direct delivery of supervised legal services without expectation of compensation from the client other than reimbursement of expenses.   

 To meet this requirement, the pro-bono work must be provided to

  • Persons of limited means as defined by Business & Professions Code section 6213(d) in California, or by the interest on lawyers trust account program in another United States jurisdiction;
  • Charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means; or
  • Individuals, groups or organizations seeking to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties or public rights, or charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes, where the payment of standard legal fees would significantly deplete the organization’s economic resources or would be otherwise inappropriate.
  • Communities through local, state, or federal governmental offices or agencies, including courts, prosecutors, or other public service law offices.

Completion of any clinic at the School of Law, except the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, will satisfy the pro bono requirement, and completion of externships that meet these qualifications will satisfy the pro bono requirement.   


  • Students must download and complete the Pro Bono Requirements form or request an Esign form. 
  • Students must submit the completed form to the Clinical Program Office at clinicallaw@pepperdine.edu.
  • Prof. Hamilton, Director of Pro Bono, will approve and certify the placement and compliance.
  • The Clinical Program Manager will forward the  approved form to Student Services to record on student transcripts.

Students may contact Prof. Hamilton at sophia.hamilton@pepperdine.edu with any questions.