UNC School of Law students in the Pro Bono Program traveled
during their spring break to the North Carolina coast and to Georgia to provide
free legal assistance to underserved communities.
“Our students are supervised by and have the opportunity to
learn from experienced attorneys,” says Allison Standard '09, director of pro bono
initiatives at Carolina Law. “Students on these trips have a chance to do real,
hands-on legal work with real clients.”
In Wilmington, North Carolina, a group of 10 students
partnered with the New Hanover County District Attorney’s office, the N.C.
Justice Center’s Second Chance Mobility Project and the N.C. Pro Bono Resource
Center to help clients working to restore their driver’s licenses. Most of the
17 cases involved clients who had failed to appear in court or were unable to
pay fines for minor traffic offenses.
Will Hayman 1L
“Suspended licenses limit someone’s ability to maintain
employment or manage childcare,” said first-year law student Will Hayman. After
reviewing records, interviewing clients and drafting motions for relief, Hayman
presented two cases to the assistant district attorney, and secured consent
orders for both clients.
“I feel really good about it,” says Hayman. “I feel I did my
job and I feel like it’s going to make a huge impact on their lives.”
Sixteen of the 17 clients were able to get relief because of
Two hours south of Savannah, eight Carolina Law students
spent the work week with the Southern Poverty Law Center's Southeast Immigrant
Freedom Initiative in Folkston, Georgia, to help detainees seeking bond and
Students partnered with attorneys to work with more than 30
individuals seeking asylum from countries from across the world. Each student
managed one parole request case and completed screening interviews and case
acceptance meetings for detainees seeking representation.
After work one evening, students had dinner with Carolina
Law alumni living in the area.
Rana Odeh 2L
“Being able to connect with
alumni in an intimate setting and far removed from school was really
refreshing and meaningful,” said second-year law student Rana Odeh. “Hearing
about life on the other side of law school left me comforted and energized to
work hard, graduate, and lead a successful career to continue the
Carolina Law legacy our alumni have created.”
In addition, 32 students
worked remotely on pro bono projects that included research, file review and drafting
pleadings for legal services organizations, government agencies and private
firms. The completion of these projects meant another exciting milestone for
the program that has already
reached a big one this year: for the first time in the program’s 20-year
history, all 219 third-year law students, or 100 percent of the graduating
class, have participated in a pro bono project.
“Our goal is to instill a lifelong commitment to public service
in our graduates,” says Standard. “Whether our alumni are working as public
defenders, in a private firm or as in-house counsel, taking time to offer their
legal expertise to those in need is an invaluable way to give back to our
-March 23, 2018