2022 AALS Law Student Pro Bono Hours Survey Report 

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) for the fifth year measured law schools’ contribution to the delivery of much-needed legal services through pro bono efforts, legal clinics, and other law-related public service projects by law students. The survey was not conducted in 2020 or 2021 due to complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In November 2022, 80 law schools reported that 16,891 law students in the class of 2022 contributed more than 2,702,124 hours in legal services as part of their legal education, an average of about 160 hours per student. Independent Sector, a nonprofit organization coalition, estimates the value of volunteer time to be $29.95 an hour. Using this number, the total value of the students’ time at these schools is estimated to be in excess of $80,928,000. The schools represent approximately 45 percent of the students in American Bar Association accredited law schools in the class of 2022. 

In the same survey, 69 schools reported that 45,295 law students in all class years (first-year through the third-year) during the academic year 2021-22 contributed 3,070,308 hours in legal services, an average of approximately 68 hours per student. Using the Independent Sector value of volunteer time, the value of these services is estimated to be in excess of 91,955,000. 

Many schools indicated that some hours go uncounted or are difficult to track so actual contributions were probably higher. The project also did not include hours contributed by students in law school master degree programs such as an LL.M program. 

Law students contributed hours through a variety of efforts, including externships at legal aid and community organizations, law school clinics, and law student organization led projects. These hands-on or experiential learning opportunities enabled students to apply classroom teachings to legal problems under the supervision of lawyers and professors. Students received practical experience in law and communities received critical legal services. 

Law students contributed hours to hundreds of efforts serving thousands of clients, including the following projects and clinics: 

The following schools contributed information for the survey: 

*Class of 2022 numbers include all three years of law school in a J.D. program.