Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Pro Bono Society recognized 38 law students as its Spring 2022 Members. Current students and recent graduates were named to the honors society list for dedicating their time toward serving others and developing skills and values that are important to a life of public service. 

Membership, which is earned on a semester basis, emphasizes the importance of public service and volunteerism, while also serving as a vehicle assist law students seeking to earn the Boyd Service Award, which recognizes service over a student’s career.

Last May, several graduating students were recognized with Boyd Service Honors, a top service award for students who perform 100 hours or more of community service during their time in law school. Brian Farrell, associate professor of instruction and director of the Citizen Lawyer Program was proud to report, “Thirteen of our 2022 graduates received Boyd Service Honors. The Class of 2022 reported 3,109 hours of service during their law school careers.”  

1L Justin Rempe pictured with Justice McDermott of the Iowa Supreme Court.
1L Justin Rempe pictured with Justice McDermott of the Iowa Supreme Court. 

The Pro Bono Society was established by the Iowa Student Bar Association and is administered by the Citizen Lawyer Program. It honors students who have reported at 15 hours of service, with at least 7.5 being community hours, and have attended at least one Lawyers and Leaders program organized by the Citizen Lawyer Program in a previous semester.

First-year law student and undergraduate Human Rights Certificate alum, Justin Rempe, has been volunteering with the Iowa Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission. 

“I am a 1L volunteering with the Iowa Supreme Court's Access to Justice Commission. Our team has spent the past couple of weeks reviewing articles in the new Iowa People's Library website. The digital library will act as an egalitarian legal resource available to all Iowans. Additionally, I had the opportunity to participate in a commission meeting at the Iowa Supreme Court building in Des Moines. Justice McDermott was generous enough to give us a tour as well!”

Isabelle Breitfelder is a second-year law student who began volunteering with the State Public Defender in Davenport last year.  

“As an aspiring public defender, I am grateful that the Citizen Lawyer Program provided me with a pro bono project at the Iowa State Public Defender’s Davenport Office at the start of my 1L year. Now, as a 2L, I continue to volunteer at the office reviewing witness statements, interviews, and other evidence in preparation for trial. It is rewarding to engage in the community while also gaining experience for my career after law school.” 

Classroom setting in BLB with ISBA president on Zoom for the Pro Bono recognition event
ISBA president Henry Hamilton III addresses Pro Bono Society recipents.

The Citizen Lawyer Program provides administrative support for the Pro Bono Society and Boyd Service Award to promote volunteerism and offer opportunities for pro bono work, community service, and programs on legal issues, skills, and values.

The spring 2022 members were recognized at an Pro Bono recognition event Wednesday, October 26 at the Boyd Law Building, featuring remarks from Iowa State Bar Association president Henry Hamilton III and Iowa Student Bar Association co-presidents Sami Savala and Hugh Zehr. For the full list of students recognized visit: Spring 2022 Members.