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Boyd Service Award

The Boyd Service Award is given to students who show a commitment to community service. It is named for Professor and President Emeritus Willard "Sandy" Boyd.  The Boyd Service Award is presented to law students at the completion of their studies, during graduation.   Recipients receive a seal on their diploma and wear cords during the graduation ceremony.   Receiving the Boyd Service Award is the only way to wear cords at graduation.

Mission Statement

To recognize law students who provide volunteer services to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in furtherance of those organizations' missions to improve the community.

The level of distinction is based on the number of volunteer hours completed during a student's entire law school career, with the guidelines as follows:

  • Honors:  100 hours total (at least 50 of community service)
  • High Honors:  150 hours  total (at least 75 of community service)
  • Highest Honors:  200 hours  (at least 100 of community service)

General Rules

Students graduating during the spring semester usually must record their service work for the month of April before the third Saturday preceding the start of finals.  The Pro Bono Society Executive Board will confirm the final deadline each year.

The Pro Bono Society Executive Board, in making determinations on appeals, will consider factors including, but not limited to, the timeliness of the appeal and whether good cause is shown for the delay.

  1. Only hours accrued while enrolled as a full-time law student at the University of Iowa are considered.
    • Service during summer/winter breaks included only for students enrolled full-time.
  2. The hours will be counted and recorded on a monthly basis.  Students must record their completed service work before the 7th of the month following the month in which it was performed for it to be considered.  Hours are recorded in the online Boyd Service Award system.  Hours submitted after the 7th of the following month will not be counted.  Students wishing to appeal whether hours qualify for the Boyd Service Award shall submit a written statement of the reason for the delay as well as the hours completed to the Pro Bono Society Executive Board for review.
  3. The different Honor Levels are awarded based upon students' total number of accrued hours over the course of their law school careers.   Thus, students can accumulate hours regularly or all in one semester.
  4. All service hours are divided into two groups: community hours and institutional hours.
    • Definition of Community Hours: Community hours are those hours which directly benefit recognized community organizations or non-profit, such as hospitals, Red Cross, ICPL, Crisis Center, DVC, Community Service Groups (Lions, Rotary, Eagles), etc. Students may perform community hours either at the law school or in the community, subject to the following restrictions:
      • Attendance at regular group meetings are excluded;
      • All service must be voluntary, uncompensated, and not compelled;
      • This section of service also includes political activity, but self-campaigning is excluded entirely;
      • Law school-sponsored events that directly benefit community organizations are included.
    • Definition of Institutional Hours: Institutional hours are those hours that directly benefit the law school, the general University, or a student group. Organizations in this category include ISBA, EJF, ACS, ILS, ELS, BALSA, AALSA, NALSA, Christian Legal Society, Students for Choice, etc. The following restrictions apply:
      • Student organization and regular group meetings are excluded, although activities beyond such meetings, such as event planning, are included;
      • Attendance at social events is excluded.
    • Examples:
      • Community Hours
        • Selling condoms at the law school to benefit a community organization.
        • Participating in NOLA
        • Staffing a table to benefit the animal shelter.
      • Institutional Hours
        • Holding a bake sale to raise funds for group operations or a social event.
        • Staffing a table to sell used books, advertise Mr. Iowa Law, or hold elections.
        • Designing a poster for an upcoming speaker or social event.
        • Selling candy-grams to raise funds for a student group.
      • Procedure for Entering Hours
      • Click on or copy/paste the following link:
      • Log in using your hawkid and password
      • Enter hours electronically, specifying: (1) date of service, (2) the name of the organization served, and (3) a description of service
      • Total hours accumulated will appear on the screen. Be sure to logout when you are finished.