Under New York’s Pro Bono Scholars Program (Program), a law student may take the bar exam during the last year of law school if the student devotes their final semester to performing pro bono services through an externship program, law school clinic, legal services provider, law firm or corporation.
A student must apply for, and be accepted into, the Program. An approved student spends 12 weeks working full time in a pro bono placement while simultaneously completing their academic studies.
An approved student is permitted to take the February New York bar exam (before graduation). By being a part of the Program, a student may become a licensed attorney very quickly after law school graduation.
New York’s Pro Bono Scholars Program is a trailblazer. It demonstrates the state’s commitment to service while satisfying significant pro bono need of New York’s most vulnerable residents.