The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is capping its pro bono month celebrations with a call for attorneys to support young lawyers interested in working in the public interest.
The law school is ending its month-long pro bono celebration with a Pro Bono Week fundraiser drive where practicing lawyers can donate the value of one billable hour to the school in order to provide stipends for law students participating in the school’s public interest externships. The goal of the fundraiser is to continue growing the externships in both participation and money in order to fight the “public interest drift” that happens in law schools.
The American Bar Association’s 10th Annual Pro Bono Week, running through Oct. 27, is a national effort to get legal organizations to recognize the pro bono contributions of lawyers as well as to recruit additional volunteers to legal causes. At DU, the week is an opportunity to continue to “elevate” the call to public interest work, said Alexi Freeman, a faculty member and director of externships and public interest initiatives at DU law.
Freeman said the fundraising drive is a chance to encourage students with a passion for public interest work to find ways to do it. “I think a lot of students come to law school with the idea of contributing to the public good. They historically have impediments to those dreams and passions,” she said. “We want to help students see how you can contribute in different ways and in different settings.”