Pro Bono Program Alumni Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Newsletter: Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome to the Pro Bono Alumni Newsletter!

Hello all,

I am Danielle Gonderinger, the new Pro Bono Program Alumni Coordinator at Carolina Law. I have stepped in to fill the shoes of Ms. Hilary Blackwood, who some of you may remember from as the Pro Bono Alumni Coordinator from last year. I hope that with this newsletter I can create a simple and convenient way for you to keep updated on the UNC Pro Bono community, as well as inform you about ways that you can get involved. If you have any questions about the Program in general, or are wondering how you can get involved, please email the program at I look forward to telling you about the many exciting things going on this year.



Winter break projects - we need your help!

The Pro Bono Program invites you to submit a pro bono project for a student to complete during our upcoming Winter Break. Carolina Law students participate in pro bono work to hone their writing skills, develop relationships with attorneys, assist the community, and receive feedback on their work.

The goal of Winter Break projects are to connect organizations like yours with students, in order to provide you with assistance for your pro bono work. Students will complete the work any time between December 16, 2011 and January 9, 2012.

Just last winter, we placed over 100 Carolina Law students with pro bono projects around the country. Those students completed over 1,500 hours of pro bono work. Please help us make this year’s projects just as successful.

The benefit of this program is that you can tailor the project you submit to meet the needs of your organization. You may vary the time requirements from a few hours to an entire week, require that they be completed on location or remotely by e-mail, and request one or more students. Our students have access to WestLaw and LexisNexis, and can utilize those at no cost to your organization.

Attorneys working on pro bono cases, legal services lawyers, and lawyers in non-profit and government organizations are eligible to participate.

To Submit a Project:

  1. Winter Break Projects: To submit a project that will be completed between December 16, 2011 and January 9, 2012, go to the Pro Bono Program website and check "Winter/Spring Break" under "Project Posting." Please submit your project no later than Friday, October 28th.
  2. Academic Year Projects: If you would like to submit a project that must be completed before winter break, please use the link above but check "Academic Year" under "Project Posting."

Food truck rodeo rounds up local vendors to raise money for special trips

By Adam Parker, Special Trips Coordinator

On September 8th, the UNC Pro Bono Program hosted a "Food Truck Rodeo" at the School of Law, featuring four local food trucks to raise money for the fall, spring, and winter break trips. The trucks that attended were Blue Sky Dining (, Pie Pushers (, Daisycakes (, and Captain Pancho's Tacos ( Each truck donated a portion of their proceeds to the Pro Bono Program and some even replaced their "tip jars" with "donation jars" to the UNC Law Pro Bono Program.

Students, faculty, and staff from UNC Law and the broader UNC community came in droves to the event, driving nearly all of the vendors to run out of supplies by the end of the event. All sorts of fare was available, including tacos, Cuban sandwiches, goat cheese pizza, cupcakes, and a number of other options.

"That was, without a doubt, the best fundraiser we've had at the law school since I've been here. It was fun, well run, the food was excellent, and the vendors were really professional and nice. Plus, you were supporting local business while fund-raising. I absolutely loved it."

Students were also able to learn more about the Pro Bono Program at the event, log their pro bono hours, and purchase some great pro bono merchandise at the same time. Based on the success of the Food Truck Rodeo, the Pro Bono Program will likely have a similar event in the spring (but perhaps with even more food trucks to meet the demand!). A special thanks to all of our food truck participants, UNC Law Facilities Director Shelby Mann (for allowing us to use the lot and clearing things with public safety), and all of the folks who came out to support the Pro Bono Program and grab something to eat at the same time!

Dean Sylvia Novinsky embraces a new role along with the new school year

By Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs

I hope your fall is off to a good start filled with Tar Heel football (or the team of your choice), a warm Carolina Law sweatshirt and good friends. My fall is off to a bang--I have changed roles a bit and want to let you know of our happenings.

As Assistant Dean for Public Services Programs, I will now focus all of my time in Student Services with Assistant Dean for Student Services, John Kasprzak, and Dorsey Bachenheimer, Student Services Coordinator. This move is one that will continue to provide support for our multitude of student organizations, many of which have a public service mission, as well as increasing our leadership development activities and services to students. I will continue to work directly with our Pro Bono Program which is more active than ever, and we hope to involve you, our alumni, in our work more directly. We ask that you consider using your skills to help folks whose legal needs are unmet. We are seeking supervising attorneys and partners for a variety of pro bono projects. You will hear more of that in this newsletter and others to follow.

On the career services side, UNC School of Law will be hiring an additional full-time career counselor, with an emphasis on public interest career opportunities, replacing my role in CSO, and adding additional career counseling capacity. That search is under way, and if you are interested please check the University employment site:

Editor's Note: Along with her new role, Dean Novinsky has moved from her office in the Career Services Office on the 4th floor of Van Hecke Wettach Hall. She can now be found in the Student Services suite on the 5th floor of the law school.

Fall break wills trip serves students and community

Each year, law students anticipate fall break like an oasis in the desert. Whether it is a chance for terrified first-year students to begin their outlines, a chance for second-years to take a breather from interviews and the hectic pace of 2L year, or a chance for third years to enjoy one of the last few academic breaks of their law school careers, fall break is a much anticipated respite.

For a twenty-two Carlina Law students, however, Fall Break is an opportunity to give back to the community and put their legal skills to the test. Each year, a group of students from the Pro Bono program travel to various counties in central North Carolina to write wills and other documents for low-income clients, who otherwise may not have such an opportunity.

This year, the trip will take place on October 21 and 22. The students are headed to Chatam and Moore counties, and will work with Legal Aid of Pittsboro and the UNC Center for Civil Rights to complete approximately 100 wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney and living wills for 40 grateful clients.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the program last year. As an uncertain 1L, who had completed a mere two months of property class, I saw the impact of my education and newly-acquired skills in my client’s faces. They were relieved to be able to provide for their children and grandchildren, or to be able to plan with certainty how they wanted their end-of-life care to be provided. It was a truly incredible experience, and I wish the best of luck to those travelling this year.

Note: The Fall Break Wills Trip is still looking for attorney volunteers to supervise the students. Please contact if you are interested in participating on October 21, October 22, or both days.

In This Issue

  • Welcome to the Alumni Newsletter for 2011-2012
  • Winter Break Projects - we need your help!
  • Food truck rodeo rounds up local vendors to raise money for special trips
  • Dean Sylvia Novinsky embraces a new role along with the new school year
  • Fall break wills trip serves students and community

Upcoming Events

To get involved with an upcoming event, please email us.

Law Alumni Weekend
Thursday, October 13-Sunday, October 16
Come find the pro bono table at the BBQ before the game on Saturday! We will be selling Pro Bono t-shirts.

Fall Break Wills Trip
Friday, October 21-Saturday, October 22
We are currently looking for volunteer attorneys to supervise the students. Please see the story below.

Winter Break Project Submissions from Attorneys
We are accepting submissions for projects from attorneys for students to complete over winter break until October 31. Please email for more information or if you have a project you would like to share.

Winter Break Project Sign-ups for students
Thursday, November 17 at 7:00 a.m.

Our annual report is now avaliable at

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