Public Interest Law Center

Pro Bono Research Projects over Winter and Spring Break

The Winter and Spring Break Pro Bono Research Projects are a great opportunity to complete pro bono work for admission to the New York State Bar, as well as for students to gain experience conducting international law research and drafting a research report.  We are excited to collaborate with domestic and international non-profit and intergovernmental organizations to offer legal research projects for teams of students to undertake intensively during the winter break (January 6-10, 2020) or spring break (March 16-20, 2020).

The following projects were offered in 2018-19:

  • European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) - Universal Jurisdiction v. Special Mission Immunity in International Criminal Cases (Spring)
  • Human Rights in China - International Advocacy at the United Nations (Winter)
  • Solidarity Center - International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) Network
  • UN Women - Strengthening Accountability to Commitments to Women Peace and Security through Universal Periodic Review (Winter)
  • VOLYA Institute - Mercenaries and States’ Responsibility in the Armed Conflict in Ukraine (Winter)

Each team will be given instructions on the research sought by the organization, and will work intensively over the allocated week to prepare a report. Participating students must commit to seeing the report through to completion, which is likely to involve more than 50 hours of work total, including beyond the intensive week. However, the aim is for the project to be completed within a relatively short timeframe.

To participate in the program, you must do the following:
• Review this document, which outlines the project on offer;
• RSVP here by no later than Sunday, October 14;
• Attend a mandatory welcome reception on Thursday, October 18 in VH 210 from 6:00pm-8:00pm, at which you will hear more from the organizations about their projects, meet the project supervisors and the other LLM students and sign up for projects;
• Be available the Friday before the intensive week for the library session;
• Work full-time over the intensive week with your group, plus do any additional work required to bring the project to completion; and
• Deliver an informal group presentation to the other LLM teams in the Spring semester, outlining your team’s research findings.


At this stage, there is no formal application process, other than signing up at the reception on October 18. However, as there is only room for eight students in each team, if some groups are over-subscribed we may implement an application process.

There will be a welcome reception introducing this year’s participating organizations and projects on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 6pm and an email inviting students to the reception will go out in the beginning of the fall semester.