FAQs: HOPE Pro Bono Challenge & HOPE Community Service Challenge

HOPE Pro Bono Challenge

Log your HOPE Hours
What is the HOPE Pro Bono Challenge?

Students who complete at least 75 hours of legal-related pro bono service while in law school will be recognized at the annual Public Interest Recognition Ceremony and will receive a certificate, a graduation honor cord and a transcript notation. 

What counts as Pro Bono hours?
Pro Bono service is:

  1. Legal or law-related work for a non-profit organization, government agency, or judge;
  2. Uncompensated by academic credit or funds;
  3. Under the supervision of a licensed attorney or a member of the law school faculty; and
  4. Designed to directly or indirectly address the legal needs of underrepresented groups or organizations.
  5. Volunteer work with a law firm does not qualify.

HOPE Community Service Challenge

Community Service Hours
What is the HOPE Community Service Challenge?

Students who complete at least 25 hours of non-legal community service each year of law school will be awarded a certificate at the annual Public Interest Recognition Ceremony. 

What counts as Community Service hours?
To receive community service hours, students must perform volunteer work that is in conjunction with a community service agency/charitable organzation, student organization project that serves the community, or law school program that serves outside groups. Internal law school activities, such as serving as an ambassador, do not qualfiy.


General FAQs

How do I log my hours?
Click on either of the logos above or click here. Although there is a minimum requirement for each Challenge, we encourage you to log all of your hours!

Why should I log my hours?
Logging your hours benefits you AND the law school since we are often asked to report our total contribution of service hours to organizations such as The American Bar Association, The Florida Bar, The Association of American Law Schools, and Equal Justice Works. And in the case of the Pro Bono Challenge, your hours will be reflected on your transcript.

When can I log my hours?
Students can log hours into the system all-year round, beginning on the first day of orientation with four hours of Community Service for HOPE Day of Service. We encourage you to log your hours on a regular basis or at the conclusion of your internship or pro bono/community service project.

However, you must log all hours by March 15th in order to be recognized at that year’s Public Interest Recognition Ceremony in April. In order to receive the graduation honor in May, hours must usually be logged by mid-April. For any problems or help updating hours, please contact Sharon Booth at sbooth@law.miami.edu.

Can I log hours above and beyond those required for Clinics, Externships, Litigation Skills, and Fellowships?
Yes, students can earn pro bono credit for any hours that exceed the requirements of a Clinic, Externship, Litigation Skills placement, or Fellowship. Just register and log your hours at the link provided.

Can I earn recognition for both the Pro Bono and Community Service Challenges?Yes! Students who meet the Challenges will be recognized at the Public Interest Recognition Ceremony during the year in which they complete the required hours. Top earners in each class will receive awards, presented at the ceremony. In addition, students who meet the Pro Bono Challenge will also be recognized at the time of their graduation with an honor cord, designation in the graduation program, and a transcript notation.

When will my transcript show the 75 hours earned?
At the end of the academic year, the registrar will be notified of graduating students who reach the 75-hour Pro Bono Challenge. The Pro Bono Challenge designation will appear on the transcript, along with the total number of hours, when it is finalized after graduation. If you are a December graduate, and have met the Pro Bono Challenge, please contact the HOPE office at umhope@law.miami.edu, before the end of classes, in November, so we may certify your hours to the Registrar.


Other Public Interest Awards

Each Spring, at the Annual Recognition Ceremony, HOPE honors students with public interest awards. The award for Exemplary Service to the Poor is given to a student or students who have engaged in meaningful service to the community through an existing organization. The Innovative Service in the Public Interest award recognizes innovation in the creation of a new program or in the meaningful expansion of an existing program. Nominations are accepted from faculty and students.