The 2023 Florida Pro Bono Law School Challenge, run by The Florida Bar Foundation, will begin on Feb. 6, 2023. The statewide competition, now in its fifth year, connects Florida law students with lawyers to partner on pro bono cases from legal aid organizations. After reviewing feedback from students, lawyers and legal aid organizations, the Foundation has made several changes to the program, including transitioning to a year-round model.
“We hope these changes will allow for more flexibility and opportunities for both lawyers and students,” Hon. Suzanne Van Wyk, the Foundation’s president, says. “Additionally, we hope to alleviate the pressure put on legal aid providers to coordinate a large number of new volunteers with cases in a short amount of time.”
Cases will now be available on the platform throughout the year rather than just 8 weeks each spring. Additionally, cases will display a star to signify that the legal aid provider hosting the case is actively monitoring their cases and responding to matches. Lastly, out-of-state law students will now be able to take cases. Students and lawyers can visit www.FloridaLawSchoolChallenge.org to pick a case.
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. Almost 1,000 pro bono cases have been taken through the Challenge. Last year, the University of Miami School of Law won the top honor. Law schools will continue to be awarded for high participation annually at The Florida Bar Convention each June.