The Florida Bar Foundation announced the winners of the 2022 Florida Pro Bono Law School Challenge in April. The University of Miami School of Law won the MVP Pro Bono Award for matching the most students with its own alumni. For the second year in a row, Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law won for most student engagement, and Ave Maria School of Law won for the most alumni engagement.
“Through the Law School Challenge, 177 pro bono cases were handled by lawyer and student teams throughout the state,” said Connie Bookman, the Foundation’s president. “We are encouraged by the volunteer efforts put forth by law students from each of our state’s 11 schools and impressed by the willingness of lawyers to mentor and give of their time and talent to needy clients.”
This is the fourth year that the Challenge has run. Using an online platform at FloridaLawSchoolChallenge.org to match students with lawyer mentors, Florida’s law schools compete to see which can take the most pro bono cases.
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. By connecting students with lawyers to partner on pro bono cases from legal aid organizations, the Foundation increases access to justice and promotes pro bono work.
This year, law students had early access to the site, two weeks before lawyers, so that lawyers had a larger number of student-selected cases to choose from on the first day of the competition. Almost 1,000 cases have been taken through the Challenge since 2019.
Though the Challenge has ended, lawyers interested in taking a pro bono case can visit www.FloridaProBonoMatters.org to view available cases.