The Boyd Service Award is a graduation recognition earned by students who show a commitment to community service. It is named for Professor and President Emeritus Willard "Sandy" Boyd. The Boyd Service Award is awarded to law students at the completion of their studies in recognition of service throughout their law school careers. Recipients receive a certificate and wear cords during the graduation ceremony. Receiving the Boyd Service Award is the only way to wear cords at graduation.
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)
The requirements for the Boyd Service Award and reporting of service hours are governed by the Pro Bono Society Constitution.
Boyd Service Hours must be recorded in Symplicity within one month of the date of service, or by the last day of final exams each semester, whichever comes first.
Students graduating during the spring semester usually must record their service work for the month of April three weeks before the start of finals. The Pro Bono Society Executive Board will confirm the final reporting deadline each year. Shortly thereafter, the Board will calculate and post a list identifying the names of those students who have reported the requisite hours for each level of Boyd Service recognition. An appeals process permits students to challenge Board determinations regarding hours and career totals.
All service hours are divided into two groups: community hours and institutional hours. At least half of the minimum number of required service hours completed must be community hours. Community Hours are those hours which directly benefit recognized community organizations or non-profits, including pro bono projects coordinated by Citizen Lawyer Program. Students may perform community hours, subject to the following restrictions:
- all service must be voluntary, uncompensated, and not compelled.
- this section of service includes political activity, but self-campaigning is excluded.
- this section includes law school-sponsored events that directly benefit recognized community organizations or non-profits (excluding "tabling").
Institutional Hours are those hours which directly benefit the law school, the University, or a student group.
All service hours are recorded via Symplicity.
Instructions on how to property report hours in Symplicity can be found here.