Labor Department Rules on Unpaid Interns Doing Pro Bono

According to a letter from the Labor Department, law students may work as unpaid interns on pro bono matters at law firms, provided certain conditions are met. The letter is a response to immediate past ABA President Laurel Bellows who sought assurances that the agency would interpret the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow such internships. “This clarification will assist law students seeking to gain legal experience and increase their volunteerism,” current ABA President James Silkenat said in a statement released on Monday. “It also will ensure law firms can continue to help the many people in need of legal assistance through pro bono efforts.”