“Learn and Serve” – The Next Pro Bono Frontier
Fall is law school application season. While researching and evaluating the distinguishing features of various schools, the availability of significant pro bono opportunities is an increasingly important factor in prospective law students’ decisionmaking.
Law schools, law firms, and public interest organizations have made tremendous progress in their efforts to involve law students in providing meaningful and invaluable pro bono service. Many of these efforts are court or litigation-oriented. We were excited to learn recently of a different and unique opportunity: “Doing good by doing deals.” In cooperation with Morgan, Lewis & Bockius*†, students at The University of Michigan Law School provided pro bono legal services to Habitat for Humanity’s Micro Build Fund, which lends money to microfinance institutions around the world. The microfinance groups then lends small amounts to low-income families to build homes and improve existing ones. Participating students performed legal research, reviewed loan agreements, drafted documents, and assisted with the closings of two rounds of funding.
How could your law firm help law students learn to use their wide spectrum of legal skills, including business and transactional expertise, to make the world a better place?
* denotes a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project