Michael G. Ermer Pro Bono Program

UCI Law's Michael G. Ermer Pro Bono Program embodies the Law School’s commitment to public service and experiential learning. Open to all UCI Law students, the program provides students an opportunity to offer legal services to underserved communities under the guidance and supervision of licensed attorneys and faculty members. Since its inception in 2009, UCI Law students have collectively contributed over 150,000 hours of pro bono work. More than 90 percent of students actively participate in pro bono work at some point during their time at UCI Law with over 100 pro bono projects available each semester providing crucial assistance to underserved individuals.  

ProBonoSigns-1350.pngUCI Law has one of the most robust pro bono programs in the country. The last time it published its “Public Service Honor Roll,” National Jurist Magazine ranked UCI Law third in the country among all law schools in community service hours per student. UCI Law Director of Pro Bono and Externship Programs Anna Davis was recognized by the Public Law Center as a 2015 Attorney of the Year for her efforts spearheading the award-winning program which has garnered numerous accolades, including a Pro Bono Service Award from the Legal Services Corporation, a President's Pro Bono Service Award from the State Bar of California, and the Advocates’ Award from the Western Center on Law & Poverty.

The Michael G. Ermer Pro Bono program complements a range of other ways that faculty, staff and students engage and partner with the local legal community. UCI Law’s experiential learning and outreach opportunities include UCI Law’s community programs, its extensive core and elective clinics and its externship program. Substantial additional support in partnership with the Southern California legal community is found through the work of our interdisciplinary research centers, initiatives and student organizations. The pro bono program has also served as a stepping stone for UCI Law graduates, who have successfully transitioned into post-graduate paid positions as a direct result of their leadership roles in student pro bono projects. 


1Ls doing pro bono work with Inner City Law Center

Project List

The Pro Bono Program provides opportunities each semester and during school breaks for students to engage in pre-approved pro bono projects, indicated in the Project List. Additionally, students are encouraged to create their own projects, which must be approved.
A Spring Break Pro Bono Trip to Mississippi, Students posing with a sign that says "Mississippi Center for Justice, Lawyers Rebuilding Lives"

Alternative Breaks

The Pro Bono Program provides unique opportunities for students to volunteer during each academic break. These projects allow students to have a more intensive pro bono experience.

UCI Law students during a pro bono award ceremony in 2023


Each year, students who reach the recommended number of pro bono hours for the year (20 hours for 1Ls, and 50 hours each for 2Ls and 3Ls) are honored, along with outstanding pro bono partners, at the Pro Bono and Student Life Awards event.

Tips on Professionalism

All students participating in pro bono projects must read the Tips on Professionalism, and abide by the Pro Bono Code.