Pro Bono Program Alumni Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Newsletter: Monday, January 5, 2015

December Pro Bono Update

Winter Break is the time that students enjoy a much-needed relaxing vacation. However, many UNC Law students chose to volunteer their time to Pro Bono, either participating in Winter Break Pro Bono Projects or going on the Winter Break Pro Bono Trip to Cherokee and Asheville, NC. There were 60 Winter Break Pro Bono Projects available, submitted from non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private firms. Projects included everything from examining the legalities of an equitable food system to analyzing immigration claims between Mexico and the U.S.

As we look forward to the New Year, it is the perfect time to get involved Pro Bono. Please visit the Alumni Pro Bono Opportunity Portal, created by the UNC Pro Bono Program to connect alumni with different ways to meet unmet legal needs. Practicing attorneys are able to search for existing Pro Bono Projects in need of attorney volunteers. Legal service providers are also encouraged to submit Pro Bono projects in need of attorney volunteers.

If you would like any additional information about the program or the photographs you see here, please feel free to visit our website. Thank you for your continued interest in the Pro Bono Program!


Amanda Colley
Pro Bono Program Alumni Coordinator

Featuring Our Alumni

Angela Liu Name and Year of Graduation from UNC Law: Angela Liu, Class of 2009

Place of Employment: Dechert LLP - Chicago

Area of Practice: White Collar and Securities Litigation

Favorite class/professor in law school: Professor Elizabeth Gibson's Civil Procedure Class.

Pro Bono Experience in Law School: Honestly, my experience was pretty minimal because I was too afraid of messing up and naïve enough to think I was actually busy. I remember asking myself, who am I to be offering legal services? If I knew what I know now, I would have rolled up my sleeves and dived right in like so many of my classmates.

What inspired or prompted you to start doing pro bono work? Initially, the importance of pro bono work was consistently hit home during my years at Carolina in my classes and through the general ethos of the university and the law school. What has always drawn me to Carolina is that it's a university that truly serves the people. The real catalyst for me though in my legal work was my law firm's unsurpassed commitment to pro bono work. At Dechert, each of the firm's attorneys – from the head of the firm to the first year associates – is required to bill a required minimum amount of pro bono hours every year. That is a powerful message to receive as an associate. I am so grateful that the firm and its partners have supported me in diving into my pro bono matters by committing significant resources and giving me time to pursue pro bono matters.

What does your current pro bono practice look like? My pro bono practice currently consists of voting rights cases, including being one of the attorneys on the team that challenged the voter ID law in Wisconsin. I was also involved in the Northern District of Illinois' Settlement Assistance Program in securing an $85,000 settlement in a discrimination suit on behalf of a pro bono client who alleged discrimination claims. Because of my commitment to pro bono work, the firm recently awarded me its pro bono award and graciously made a significant contribution to the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

Read more.

Winter Break Trip to Cherokee & Asheville, NC

From December 15-17, a group of Carolina Law students traveled to Cherokee and Asheville, NC to staff a General Civil Clinic and a General Divorce Clinic.

In Cherokee on December 15, the students attended a training and visited a cultural museum. The next morning, the students observed domestic violence court presided by Judge Kirk Saunooke, a Carolina law alum. Chief Justice Bill Boyum also addressed the students during court and allowed them to ask questions and gave some background on the Cherokee court. That afternoon, the students worked with Larry Nestler, and other attorneys from Sylva Legal Aid to provide general legal assistance to 24 clients. Students assisted in various matters including expunctions, custody cases, divorce cases, grandparents' rights cases, and adoption cases.

On December 17 in Asheville, students and Pisgah Legal Aid held a pro se divorce clinic. Before heading back to Chapel Hill, students had the opportunity to network with Carolina Law alums in the area over lunch at Twisted Laurel.

Read more.

Winter Break Trip 2015
Pro Bono Winter Break Trip Participants 2015
Winter Break Participants
Vinita Tandon (1L) and Clint Hannah (2L) prepare documents
Winter Break 2015 participants
Hannah Smoot (1L, 1L Class Coordinator) and Joseph Kim (2L) use technology to assist Pro Bono clients
Winter Break Participants
Jamie Rudd and Madison Waller (2Ls, Special Trips Coordinators) and Julie Klipp Nicholson (UNC Law alum; attorney at Pisgah Legal Aid)

Save the Date!

CPILO Save the Date

Dear Alumni,

The Carolina Public Interest Law Organization (C-PILO) of UNC Law cordially invites you to attend our annual auction on January 29, 2015, at 7 p.m. in the great room at Top of the Hill on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. The proceeds fund grants for law students who are interning or externing in public interest. An annual tradition since 1997, the auction is a signature Carolina Law event where professors, alumni, and current students come together for a night of food, bidding, and fellowship. We encourage you to celebrate Carolina Law’s proud commitment to public interest and to students who work hard to better the community we live in. Last year, we raised $18,000 with spectacular auction items such as Great Smoky Mountains Getaway, Outer Banks Resort Stay, Camping expedition rental, Whitewater Rafting Adventure, and slope tickets to the Appalachian Ski Resort. This year our goal is to raise $20,000 and we have exciting auction items including gift certificates for wine tasting, white-water rafting, and performances at the American Dance Festival. We also have tickets to the Carolina Ballet and to various N.C. sporting events.

Come connect with your former professors, fellow alumni, and future UNC lawyers. There will be delicious hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, special door prizes, raffles, and giveaways for alumni. If you would like to reserve your place, please contact our vice president Annie Kouba, at . Donations are tax-deductible and we strongly encourage your support! Auction tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.


The UNC Law CPILO Board

CPILO Auction
Students enjoying the 2013 CPILO Auction
Items for sale at the 2012 CPILO Auction
Items for sale at the 2012 CPILO Auction

To learn more about the Pro Bono Program, including how you can be involved, email

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