The 2022 Florida Pro Bono Law School Challenge, run by The Florida Bar Foundation, will begin on Jan. 31, 2022. The statewide competition, now in its fourth year, connects Florida law students with lawyers to partner on pro bono cases from legal aid organizations. Students and lawyers can visit www.FloridaLawSchoolChallenge.org to pick a case. Florida’s law schools will compete to see which can take the most cases through March 25, 2022.
This year, the Foundation has made several changes to the Challenge based on feedback from lawyers, law students and schools, and legal aid programs. Students will have early access to the site beginning Jan. 19, two weeks before lawyers, so that lawyers will have a larger number of student-selected cases to choose from on the first day of the competition. In addition, legal aid programs will be able to tag cases as #ChallengeReady, #remote and #virtual to help students and lawyers pick pro bono opportunities that fit their needs.
A core part of the Foundation’s mission is to promote public service among lawyers by making it an integral part of the law school experience. More than 800 pro bono cases have been taken through the Challenge. Last year, 309 cases were taken, and Stetson University College of Law won the top honor.
“The Challenge has resulted in better relationships with law schools, an increase in the number of pro bono cases taken, and promotion of public interest work while fostering connections between law students and lawyers,” Hon. Suzanne Van Wyk, the Foundation’s president-elect, said. “Even through a pandemic, we’ve seen a lot of success. This is a worthy program.”