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!
Pro Bono Program Alumni Coordinator
Featuring Our Alumni
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
in law school: Professor Elizabeth Gibson's Civil
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.
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.
Pro Bono Winter Break Trip Participants 2015
Vinita Tandon (1L) and Clint Hannah (2L) prepare documents
Hannah Smoot (1L, 1L Class Coordinator) and Joseph Kim (2L) use technology to assist Pro Bono clients
Jamie Rudd and Madison Waller (2Ls, Special Trips Coordinators) and Julie Klipp Nicholson (UNC Law alum; attorney at Pisgah Legal Aid)
Save the Date!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . Donations are tax-deductible and we
strongly encourage your support! Auction tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at
Law CPILO Board
Students enjoying the 2013 CPILO Auction
Items for sale at the 2012 CPILO Auction