The Dorothy Day Award for Pro Bono Service acknowledges students who have volunteered at the inception of their careers to take on the added responsibility of pro bono service by providing direct representation to the poor or disenfranchised.

Pro bono service to the poor is a central aspect of Villanova Law’s mission as a Catholic and Augustinian institution. Pro bono service is defined as unpaid, not-for-credit legal work for the poor or disenfranchised, performed at a public interest/non-profit agency or with a private attorney working on a pro bono case.

The award is named for Dorothy Day (1895-1980), a Catholic journalist and peace and justice activist who co-founded the Catholic Worker and established Houses of Hospitality to help feed, clothe and comfort the poor.

To be eligible for the award, Villanova Law students must complete a minimum of 60 hours of pro bono service during their three years of law school (not including summers). Award winners are acknowledged during Commencement festivities of their graduating year.

If you are a current student looking for information on volunteer opportunities and how to apply for the Dorothy Day Award, please visit the current students section


About Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day, 1895-1980, was a Catholic American journalist and social activist who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. She became known for her social justice campaigns in defense of the poor, forsaken, hungry and homeless. She espoused nonviolence, and hospitality for the impoverished and downtrodden. Her commitment to social justice spanned most of the 20th century.