FAQs

When can I commence pro bono activities?

You can start doing pro bono activities after your Year 1, Term 2 examinations. PBC will email you recruitment emails for you to apply for pro bono placements. Only students who have completed the Pro Bono Guidelines before the recruitment can sign up.

How many pro bono hours do I need?

As part of the graduation requirement, students (both LLB and JD) must complete 20 hours of SILE-approved pro bono service hours.

How do I apply for a pro bono placement?

Students must apply through PBC’s recruitment email. Students must not contact any organisations directly. Any pro bono work done without going through the PBC recruitment process or one of the YPHSL student club projects with pro bono service hours will not be recognised as part of the pro bono requirement.

Can I complete the university graduation requirement for community service hours (80 hours for LLB students; not applicable for JD students) by doing solely pro bono?

Yes. Any pro bono service hours beyond the 20 hour pro bono requirement may count as community service hours.

Will all pro bono placement opportunities count towards my graduation requirement?

Only SILE-approved and PBC/student club-recruited pro bono placements are counted. Students must also register for the pro bono placement they have successfully balloted for on OnTRAC in order for a participation record to be created and for pro bono hours to be recognised.

However, students who complete the pro bono placement but receive an unsatisfactory appraisal from the supervisor will not receive pro bono service hours.

I have successfully signed up for a volunteer slot with a pro bono organisation. How do I have my hours recognised?

Students are not allowed to contact organisations directly for pro bono placements. Any pro bono work done without going through the PBC recruitment or one of the YPHSL student club projects with pro bono service hours will not be recognised. However, you can note the voluntary hours in your CV if you wish.

Why can’t I access the Google Form to apply for the pro bono placement?

Clear your cache after logging out of your personal Google Drive, and they try to access the Google Form again. Log in using your SMU student username, without the “law” domain (i.e. username [at] smu.edu.sg).

Can I withdraw from the pro bono placement after I have been successfully balloted for it?

You will be blacklisted if you decide to withdraw from the pro bono placement without a valid reason after you have successfully balloted for it. Examples of valid reasons are a medical certificate covering the placement period and the passing of a family member during the period (certificate of death must be produced).

Students who are blacklisted will not be able to ballot for pro bono placements for two months, and will not have priority in their final year of law studies against non-graduating students.

Can I do a mutual swap with my peers for the pro bono placement?

Swapping is strictly not allowed. Please ensure that you are able to attend all sessions of the pro bono placement before applying for it. Students who are unsure of their schedules should refrain from applying.

Is it possible to apply for more than one pro bono placement that occur on the same day?

Yes, but please be note that if there is a time conflict between the sessions, you will have to withdraw from one and you will be blacklisted for withdrawing. Please check the time of the sessions carefully.

Where can I check my Community Service e-Briefing quiz status?

To check your status, go to OnTRAC II (Community Service) > My Account > Personal, and scroll to the end of the page.

Can I start my pro bono placement before passing the Community Service e-Briefing quiz?

No. In order for you to start fulfilling your pro bono graduation requirement, you must pass the Community Service e-Briefing quiz first. The e-Briefing sets the tone on how you can engage with the community. It will also guide you on the pro bono and community service administrative procedures.

Why can’t I find the apply button on OnTRAC II?

Please ensure that you have completed the Community Service e-Briefing quiz and Pro Bono Guidelines on eLearn.

If your page reads otherwise or you are unable to locate the pro bono placement, you may be in the wrong portal. Please log on to OnTRAC II (Pro Bono Centre) via http://ontrac.smu.edu.sg.

If you are still having difficulties applying on OnTRAC II, please email us at probonocentre [at] smu.edu.sg for further assistance.

I have forgotten to apply on OnTRAC II before the deadline. Can I apply later and have my participation in the pro bono placement count towards my graduation requirement?

No. The OnTRAC application has a strict deadline, and it is not possible to reopen the application window. Since the pro bono placement has been successfully allocated to you, you must attend the placement without the pro bono service hours. You will be blacklisted if you do not show up or withdraw from the placement.

Is it possible to send in the timesheet for the pro bono work I did before that did not have OnTRAC application?

No, we do not backdate pro bono placements. For your participation to be counted towards your graduation requirement, you must apply on OnTRAC II before commencing any pro bono work.

If I see a vacancy on OnTRAC, is it possible to submit an application for it even if I did not fill out the Google Form?

No. Only students who have successfully applied for pro bono placements through the PBC recruitments can apply for the pro bono postings on OnTRAC II. Recruitments for pro bono opportunities often occur between 1 to 2 months before the actual pro bono placement. Please keep a look out for recruitment emails from PBC to apply for the pro bono placement.

The pro bono placement opportunity on OnTRAC II showed the number of hours. Will I be awarded that number of hours for the pro bono placement?

The number of hours on the OnTRAC II posting is only an estimate. The number of pro bono service hours awarded to you will depend on the actual hours certified on your Pro Bono Timesheet by the supervisor at the end of your pro bono placement.

Where can I check the number of pro bono hours which I have completed?

Please go to OASIS > All Apps > Participation and Grading.

How long will it take for my pro bono hours to be updated?

Your pro bono placement records will only be updated after we have received and reviewed the Pro Bono Timesheet. Please allow about a month for the hours to be reflected on OASIS.

Does the Community Service condition which limits placements to 3 organisations for Community Service apply to pro bono placements?

No, you are not restricted to 3 organisations for pro bono placements.

What documents must I submit at the end of my pro bono placement, and why do I need to submit the documents?

At the end of your pro bono placement, please submit the completed and signed Pro Bono Timesheet to the SMU Pro Bono Centre dropbox located at the Yong Pung How School of Law, Level 4, outside the General Office.

The Pro Bono Timesheet is available on OnTRAC II > Resources > Document Library.

I have just completed my pro bono placement. Where can I complete my Community Service Report?

Please go to OASIS > My Self-Service Apps > Participation and Grading to complete all reflection reports for all the CSP or Pro Bono placements that you have participated in.

You should submit the report within one month of completing the first 80 Pro Bono/Community Service hours for LLB students (not applicable to JD students).

How will I know when I can go to OASIS to submit my Community Service Report?

An auto-generated email will be sent to prompt you to submit your Community Service Report via OASIS when you have completed the first 80 hours (not applicable to JD students) of Pro Bono/Community Service. However, as it is auto-generated, it will only be sent out once, and depending on your email settings, it might be sent to your junk folder. No email prompts will be sent if you have not completed the first 80 hours.

I have completed more than one pro bono placement. Must I submit a Community Service Report for each of the pro bono placements?

Yes, please submit reflection reports for all the pro bono placements that you have participated in.