Pro Bono Student Experiences

Students do not receive academic credit or financial gain for their pro bono work, but they get much more, from the opportunity to practice and expand the legal skills learned in the classroom to making a real difference in the lives of underserved members of the community.

Favorite Pro Bono Moments

My favorite pro bono moment was translating for a migrant client in Spanish.
My favorite pro bono moment was helping the ACLU get the SD Sheriff Department's motion for summary judgment denied!
My favorite pro bono moment was assisting a client facing workplace harrassment learn about her rights. 
My favorite pro bono moment was expunging records in Mississippi with the MS Center for Justice.
My favorite pro bono moment was helping undocumented folks get their U-Visas. 
My favorite pro bono moment was drafting a pro-se motion to dismiss unconstitutional court fees in Ohio. 
My favorite pro bono moment was filing an answer to a complaint in Replevin for a client in Mississippi (eviction defense).
My favorite pro bono moment was notifying my first client on the damages they were entitled to and counseling on the best method to recover it. 
My favorite pro bono moment was working with the ACLU to defeat an MSJ on behalf of prisoners deserving better care!
My favorite pro bono moment was drafting an RFP in an Elder Justice case. 
My favorite pro bono moment was presenting about aquatic animals to the coastal commission.
My favorite pro bono moment was assisting a client with her green card application on her birthday. 

One of my favorite things about UCI Law is that it provides students with different opportunities to practice assuming the role of a lawyer through its pro bono program. Not only do students gain practical legal skills and expose themselves to different areas of law, but they get to develop a sense of themselves as advocates and their capacity to serve as such therein.
— Meigan Thompson ’17

The pro bono opportunities at UCI Law are endless. I had the privilege of being a co-chair for the Street Law Program, in which UCI law students work with volunteer attorneys to teach lessons to students at an alternative school in Santa Ana on diverse topics such as copyrights, social host liability and contracts. As the first in my family to go to college, I know first hand the impact that these types of programs have on a student’s path to higher education.
— Andrenna Hidalgo Berggren ’17

My favorite experience thus far in law school has undoubtedly been the opportunity to take part in a pro bono project with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. As a law clerk for three semesters, I first began preparing research memos and briefs, and am now able to assist by arguing pre-trial motions and handling felony preliminary hearings. I assist in representing victims of crimes and contributing to keeping our community safe, which makes me feel like I’m making a difference. 
— Divya Prabhakar ’17

I felt a sense of empowerment from putting my client in a better position to receive her benefits. I was also surprised by how much I related to my client as we prepared for the hearing. I am grateful to the Workers’ Rights Clinic and to UCI Law for opening the door to this unique learning opportunity. 
—Christopher Nielsen ’18