Where Equal Justice Begins: Mandatory Pro Bono in American Legal Education

22 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2006

See all articles by Richard F. Storrow

Richard F. Storrow

City University of New York School of Law

Patti Gearhart Turner

Texas Wesleyan University

Abstract

Attorneys have a long history of voluntarily providing legal services free of charge to the indigent. Such service is a tenet of the Anglo-American tradition of lawyer professional responsibility. Mandatory pro bono, by contrast, has been reviled by many in the legal profession as a contradiction in terms and, even worse, as tantamount to involuntary servitude. Mandatory pro bono programs in American law schools, however, are on the rise, in part because they advance the aspirational and pedagogical goals of law schools in many ways. In this Essay, we reflect on the role of mandatory pro bono in American legal education, relate how mandatory pro bono at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law evolved from an idea to a reality in less than one year and analyze the data emerging from the two years since the program was implemented. In the course of our examination of how the spirit of pro bono became part of the educational mission and culture of Texas Wesleyan, we call upon other American law schools to adopt pro bono graduation requirements.

Keywords: Legal education, pro bono service

Suggested Citation

Storrow, Richard F. and Turner, Patti Gearhart, Where Equal Justice Begins: Mandatory Pro Bono in American Legal Education. University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 72, p. 493, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=880095

Richard F. Storrow (Contact Author)

City University of New York School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101-4356
United States
(718) 340-4538 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.cuny.edu/faculty/directory/storrow.html

Patti Gearhart Turner

Texas Wesleyan University ( email )

1201 Wesleyan St
Fort Worth, TX 76105
United States

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