Buffalo Public Interest Law Journal

First Page


Document Type



In Copyright


After a tornado devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on April 27, 2011, law students at the University of Alabama organized and engaged in substantial legal and nonlegal service. Narratives from these students in the midst of their volunteer efforts reveal detailed accounts of their experiences and motivations for their service. In a time in which national law student pro bono rates remain low and law students continue to lose interest in social justice issues during their time in law school, these student narratives offer insight into why law students chose to volunteer through the lens of students who rose to the occasion following a natural disaster in their backyard. This Article identifies themes in law student motivations for pro bono and suggests ways in which law schools can implement programmatic, curricular, and cultural changes in law schools to increase rates of law student pro bono.