If you want to be admitted to the New York bar, as of January 2015 you will need to have completed 50 hours of pro bono work, generally ‘in the service of low-income or disadvantaged individuals who cannot afford counsel’, for tax-exempt organisations or for courts, governments or legislative bodies. Activities in foreign countries will qualify but will require additional documentation. A summer job with a law prof won’t, except to the extent it’s spent working on the prof’s own pro bono projects. Volunteering on a political campaign doesn’t count, but performing qualifying pro bono work while employed at a firm will (unless you get additional compensation for doing it). Community service that doesn’t involve providing legal services won’t cut it.
[Link available here].