Students Provide Thousands of Pro Bono Hours to Underserved Communities

Akemi Nakagawa, Montana Legal Services Association Justice for Montanans Member, speaks to Christopher Morigeau and Forrest Crowl during the 2019 Pro Bono Fair (the 2020 Pro Bono Fair was held virtually)

Raising awareness of access to justice concerns and supporting pro bono service reflects a shared community value and is an institutional priority. Blewett School of Law graduates recognize the character, values and professionalism necessary to serve society as lawyers, including the importance of pro bono work, service and access to justice for underserved communities. To support this learning outcome, the law school maintains a voluntary Pro Bono Program.

Over the course of their three years of law school, the Class of 2020 provided 2,032.66 hours of pro bono service.

More than 2,300 pro bono hours have been provided by the Class of 2021 (as of September 2020).

More than 900 pro bono hours have been provided by the Class of 2021 (as of September 2020).

Along with the United States District Court for the District of Montana, Montana Legal Services Association and the State Bar of Montana, the Pro Bono Program co-sponsored the 2020 POWER Act two-day CLE to encourage pro bono services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. There were around 210 participants on day one, and around 185 attended the second day.

The Third Annual Pro Bono Fair went virtual this year. Students had the opportunity to review videos providing information on pro bono opportunities. From this event, there were 226 student sign-ups for 16 different opportunities.

Students provided pro bono hours with the following organizations:

  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • ASUM Legal Services
  • Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC)
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
  • Crowley Fleck PLLP- Order of Protection Project
  • Environmental Law Organizations
  • Innocence Projects
  • Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic
  • Missoula Housing Authority
  • Montana Department of Public
  • Health & Human Services - Legal Services Developer
  • Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA)
  • Montana Office of the State Public Defender
  • Native American Rights Fund (NARF)
  • Self Help Law Center
  • Veterans Advocacy Clinic