Public Interest

Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society

Temple University Beasley School of Law has long fostered an environment where the values of public service work are supported and cultivated.  The Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society was created to acknowledge students whose exceptional dedication to public service gives them the energy to go beyond the rigors of their academic curriculum.  In realizing Temple’s tradition of public service, the Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society recognizes our students whose public service efforts exceed the expectation of a part-time job or a clinical class.  These efforts include providing legal services to underserved communities and addressing important public issues without receiving pay or academic credit. 

Temple Law School recognizes that a public service component to a legal education serves many important purposes.  First, it introduces law students to public service as one of the traditional hallmarks of the legal profession.  Second, students’ public service helps to narrow the gap in legal services to the underserved by providing a pool of pre-professional workers whose efforts make legal services more widely available.  Third, law students receive valuable exposure to clients and actual legal problems that prepares many of them for full time public interest careers or other pro bono opportunities during their legal careers.

There are three levels of recognition:  Member, Associate, and Fellow.  Each level of recognition requires a certain combination of public service units* and/or a certain number of pro bono hours.**

  • Member:  One public service unit PLUS twenty (20) hours of pro bono work OR fifty (50) hours of pro bono work
  • Associate:  Two public service units PLUS twenty (20) hours of pro bono work OR seventy-five hours of pro bono work
  • Fellow:  Three public service units PLUS twenty (20) hours of pro bono work OR one hundred (100) hours of pro bono work

*Public Service Units:  a public service unit consists of one of the following:

  • One semester of clinical work from approved clinical list;
  • One semester (80 hours) of paid work, including work-study, at an approved placement; OR one summer of work at an approved placement.

**Pro Bono Hours:  Pro bono work is defined as work done at an approved placement where the student does not receive monetary compensation, work-study, or academic credit.

If you are interested in gaining membership to the Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society, submit the reporting form (available here) to Lisa Hurlbutt at lisa.hurlbutt@temple.edu at the completion of each semester of service.  You must contact Ms. Hurlbutt prior to any placement to ensure that your work will qualify for the Society.

For more information on the Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society, please contact Lisa Hurlbutt, Director of Public Interest Programs, at 215-204-3705.