August Pro Bono Update
Classes are back in session at UNC Law, and the Pro Bono Program is getting back into full swing!
We would, first of all, like to welcome Allison Standard as the new Director of Pro Bono Initiatives! Allison has been a Post-Conviction Attorney at NC Prisoner Legal Services since graduating from UNC Law in 2009. She was a member of the Pro Bono Board at UNC, and has worked closely with students interns since graduating. Read on for a message from Allison herself!
We are also proud to say that the class of 2019 was introduced to the Pro Bono Program before classes even started! Nineteen students (appropriately enough) gave an hour of their Friday night at the end of Orientation to work with Legal Aid of North Carolina, the North Carolina Justice Center, and North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
If you would like to know more 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 Alumni Outreach Coordinator
A Message from the Director of Pro Bono Initiatives
Hello Alumni and Friends!
As a UNC School of Law alumnus and champion of the Pro Bono Program, I am excited to take the helm as the new Director of Pro Bono Initiatives. This year's student Pro Bono Board is committed to maintaining the high quality of the program, providing legal services to those with unmet legal needs, and helping students build skills for practice as the Pro Bono Program undergoes a transition. This year promises to be a busy one with plenty of opportunities for attorney involvement, and we hope that you will consider joining us as an attorney volunteer for one of our projects. If you would like to get more involved or have ideas for a future project, please feel free to reach out to me.
Director of Pro Bono Initiatives
Featuring Our Alumni
Name and year of graduation from UNC Law: Joan Shreffler Dinsmore, 2006
Place of employment: McGuireWoods LLP, Raleigh
Area of practice: Product & Consumer Litigation
Favorite class/professor in law school: Federal Jurisdiction with Professor Elizabeth Gibson
Pro Bono experience in law school: Unfortunately, not much. I worked all three years of law school, so I did not have much time for anything except my job and studying.
What inspired or prompted you to start doing Pro Bono work? My first pro bono case fell into my lap by accident in 2007. I heard about the sister of a secretary at my former firm who was being treated horribly by the owner of the San Diego restaurant where she worked: she was being made to work for tips only (in violation of the law), he changed her name in the system so the checks she printed for customers included things like “Thanks from your lazy server,” and was forced to do personal errands for the owner. I waitressed for years in high school, college, and law school, and I knew how hard the job can be even in the best of circumstances. In her situation, it was made worse by her total lack of bargaining power. She was in her 40s with little education, and had a daughter to raise. In San Diego, jobs at the “better” restaurants went to young college students, so this woman was stuck. I felt like I had to take on the case, even knowing nothing about labor law in California. After several years of hard-fought litigation, I obtained a settlement that allowed the client to go to school. She got a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and now works as a counselor in Austin, Texas. I still keep up with her.
Highlights from the Month!
The Pro Bono Board with Allison Standard, the new Director of Pro Bono Initiatives