Motivations for Law Student Pro Bono: Lessons Learned from the Tuscaloosa Tornado
62 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2012 Last revised: 3 Sep 2014
Date Written: July 10, 2012
After a tornado devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27, 2011, law students at the University of Alabama organized and engaged in substantial legal and non-legal service. Narratives from these students in the midst of their volunteer efforts reveal detailed accounts of their experiences and motivations for their service. In a time in which national law student pro bono rates remain low and law students continue to lose interest in social justice issues during their time in law school, these student narratives offer insight into why law students chose to volunteer through the lens of students who rose to the occasion following a natural disaster in their backyard. This article identifies themes in law student motivations for pro bono and suggests ways in which law schools can implement programmatic, curricular, and cultural changes to increase rates of law student pro bono.
Keywords: law student, pro bono, public interest, disaster, clinic
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