Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, January 23, 2012

About the Pro Bono Newsletter

The Office of Public Service Programs is here to serve students who are pursuing a career in public interest law and provide opportunities for all students to engage in the School of Law's tradition of public service. Look out for the Public Service Newsletter each Monday for information about public service career opportunities, events, resources, news, and more. View past newsletters.

Events at UNC Law

Public Interest Retreat at UNC Law!

February 3, UNC School of Law Rotunda

Come meet and connect with fellow law students who are committed to or are exploring public interest work! This year's retreat will offer opportunities to explore several areas of public interest law in topical break-out sessions with professors and practicing attorneys in the areas public defender & DA work, consumer law, civil rights and environmental law. We will also offer a keynote speaker to get you inspired and a presentation on money management and options for loan repayment programs. Register online now! Questions? Please contact either Meghan Melloy or Shonaka Ellison. Afterwards, join fellow students for snacks (provided) and happy hour at 7 p.m. at Bailey's (1722 North Fordham Boulevard)!

2012 UNC Conference on Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity

February 25, UNC School of Law Rotunda

Please save the date for the upcoming conference on Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity at the UNC Law School. This year's conference is entitled "Waking Up From the American Dream: The Sober Reality of Class in America." The Conference will be on Saturday, February 25 and registration is open. More information and registration materials are available on the conference website.

Attention 2Ls: Info. meeting for 2012-2013 Clinic and Externship programs!

There will be an information meeting at Noon on Monday, February 13 in room 5042 to begin the lottery registration process for the 2012-2013 Clinic and Externship Programs. Students who wish to enroll in a Clinic or Externship for the 2012-2013 academic year MUST attend this important meeting. The lottery registration will close on Monday, February 20th at 4 p.m. Please address any lottery registration questions to the Clinic Business Manager, Melissa Cobb. Information about the online registration/preference selection process may be found online.

Summer Job Info Fair for 1Ls

January 24, Noon - 1:00 p.m., Upper & Lower Rotunda

The Career Services Office and Office of Public Service Programs invite all 1Ls to the Summer Job Info Fair for First-Year Students (including free pizza!). If you are wondering what you can do your first summer, this is the program for you! Come and talk with upperclass students about their own 1L summer job experiences, with tables including: Business and Industry; Federal Government; Judges; Large, Medium and Small Firms; Legal Aid/Legal Services; Nonprofit Organizations; Public Defenders; District Attorneys; Research Assistants; and State Government. Pizza and drinks will be provided for all 1Ls (please note that tickets will be required for pizza; tickets will be stuffed into each 1L mail slot on Monday, January 23).

Other Public Interest Events

What about the Children? Symposium on Children of Incarcerated Parents

February 14, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday Center, Chapel Hill

The Symposium on Children of Incarcerated Parents promises to be an invaluable learning and sharing experience for anyone concerned about the effects on children whose parents are incarcerated, and how we as a community can best serve them. More information, an agenda of events, and registration information are available online.

18th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference

February 17-18, 2012, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT

The RebLaw conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community advocates from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change. This year's keynote speaker will be Gerald Lopez, UCLA law professor and author of "Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano's Vision of Progressive Law Practice." Registration and more details about the conference are available online. You can also find regular updates on RebLaw's Facebook page.

Minority Health Law Conference

February 24, Friday Center, Chapel Hill

The 33rd Annual Minority Health Law Conference will be held on Feb. 24 at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. This year’s topic is "Translational Research -- The Road from Efficacy to Equity". The UNC Minority Health Conference is the largest and longest-running student-led health conference in the country. You can find more information and register for the Minority Health Conference on their website.

Stanford Law Symposium

January 28, Stanford Law School, CA

Each year the Levin Center at Stanford Law School hosts a symposium on a substantive topic that brings together academics, practitioners, and law students to reflect on a public interest issue. On January 28th 2012, the Levin Center, along with Stanford Law & Policy Review, will be hosting REDRAWING THE MAPS: REDISTRICTING, RACE, AND REPRESENTATION IN THE NEXT DECADE. Travel stipends might be available for UNC Law students by filling out the Student Activity Fee Request Form. Find more information and RSVP online.

Institute for Justice Conference

June 22-24, Washington, DC

The Institute for Justice engages in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government-like the right to earn and honest living, private property rights, the right to free speech and educational choice. The Institute for Justice is now accepting applications for 2012 Law Student Conference. IJ's annual law student conference is open to first and second year law students will be held June 22 to June 24, 2012 at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. More information and the application are available online.

6th Annual Historic Thousands on Jones St.

February 11, Raleigh NC

The HKonJ Coalition has achieved major civil rights victories since it began in 2007. Led by the NC NAACP, this coalition unites over 90 groups in support of broad civil rights in North Carolina. The coalition is planning their annual march for Justice on Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m., in Raleigh. For more information and details about the march, please see their website.

Robert M. Cover Public Interest Law Retreat

March 2-4, Sargent Center, Peterborough, NH

This retreat brings together public interest law students and practitioners for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun. This retreat was envisioned by Robert Cover, a Yale Law School Professor and social activist, in order to bring law students together with legal professionals and academics to build networks, discuss the status of public interest law, and learn more about what a public interest legal career is like. The registration deadline is February 16, and is expected to sell out quickly. Find more information about the retreat and register online.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Legal Aid Society of New York is accepting applications!

Legal Aid Society of NY is accepting applications for summer internships, fellowship positions, and post-graduate employment. Please see their website for more information. Applications must be sent to, unless otherwise directed, and be addressed to Mr. Ricardo Granderson. The deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • January 31, 2012 is the deadline for Criminal applicants; applications for Civil and Juvenile Rights will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Interns must apply during the specific seasons: Summer (October 15-March 15), Fall (July 15-September 15), Spring (October 15 - January 15): all intern applicants must apply through .
  • Fellowship applications for the 2013 Fall Class must be submitted by July 1, 2012 and applications should be submitted to

Summer Internship with the NC Dept. of Justice

The DOJ handles issues that affect every aspect of state government and the lives of countless North Carolinians. Serving as a summer intern gives students an opportunity to work alongside some of the state’s very best attorneys to see first-hand the challenges our lawyers and citizens face. More information on the DOJ internship program can be found online. Applications must be received by February 3 at 5 p.m.

Southern Education Leadership Initiative

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) is seeking graduate students applicants. Internships are eight weeks during the summer, and interns receive a stipend of $4,500 plus travel expenses. Interns are placed with nonprofits and foundations throughout the region focused on providing advocacy, grant-making, policy analysis, research, community organizing, and direct service in education. More information about the program and the application process is available online.

Summer Law Clerkships

Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc. is seeking law clerks for the Summer of 2012 in its nine offices to assist attorneys in all phases of client representation and program work. This well-established legal services program is in its 40th year of serving low-income clients and client groups in a 37-county area, which includes offices are in Barbourville, Columbia, Harlan, Hazard, Jackson, Pikeville, Prestonsburg, Richmond, and Somerset. Interested applicants should apply via email or mail to Lorie Elam, Deputy Director, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Ky., Inc., 120 North Front Avenue, Prestonsburg, KY 41653. Applicants should send resume, writing sample, and list of references along with a statement regarding the applicant's ability to provide funding for himself/herself.

Spring On-Campus Interviews

Many public interest employers have already signed up to interview students on campus this spring for open summer internship positions. Below are a few of the participating organizations - log in to Symplicity for the full OCI schedule with deadlines and employers.

  • Center for Death Penalty Litigation - Durham, NC
  • Southern Coalition for Social Justice - Durham, NC
  • Center for Death Penalty Litigation - Durham, NC
  • District Attorney, District 15A, Alamance County - Graham, NC
  • NC Coastal Land Trust - Wilmington, NC
  • Charlotte City Attorney's Office - Charlotte, NC
  • Disability Rights NC - Raleigh, NC
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont - Charlotte, NC
  • Social Security Administration - Philadelphia, PA
  • ...and more!

Deadlines for On-Campus Interviews

2012 Spring OCI – Feb 6-10

  • Thursday, January 19: Bidding closes
  • Saturday, January 28: Students will be able to see their selection status
  • January 31-February 1: Students will be able to schedule their interview times
  • February 6-10: Interviews will be held at the law school

2012 Spring OCI – Feb 13-17

  • Friday, January 20: Bidding opens
  • Thursday, January 26: Bidding closes
  • Saturday, February 4: Students will be able to see their selection status
  • February 7-8: Students will be able to schedule their interview times
  • February 13 – 17: Interviews will be held at the law school

Important deadlines for all five spring OCI sessions are listed in the 2012 Career Services Timeline.

Don't forget to check PSLawNet and Symplicity frequently for new job postings!

Funding Opportunities

Apply soon for the 2012 Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Fellowship!

The Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Summer Fellowship was established jointly in 2009 by the America Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL), and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIP/NLG), to commemorate the life and legal contributions of Michael Maggio. Students must submit a project proposal with an organization willing to host the student for 10 weeks and provide a $1,500 stipend. The $1,500 amount may be paid by the host organization or may be provided by the law student through other means, e.g., law school public interest funding, independent fundraising, etc. The Maggio Immigrants' Rights Fellowship will provide an additional $2,500 stipend for a total award of $4,000. Applications will be accepted through February 1, 2012 and the Fellow will be notified by March 1, 2012. Learn more about the Fellowship and download the application form.

Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow U.S. citizens to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad by serving in professional placements within foreign government ministries or institutions while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project. Fulbright Public Policy Fellowships will be offered in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand, and Tunisia. Candidates must be in receipt of a J.D. degree by the beginning of the Fellowship (Summer/Fall 2012). Applicants must also have at least two years of work experience applicable to public policy-related fields and must demonstrate proficiency in the language of the host country. Applications are due on February 1, 2012. Read the program overview and get more detailed information.

Community Engagement Fellowship

The Carolina Center for Public Service is now accepting applications for the new $2,000 Community Engagement Fellowship program. Fellows are responsible for planning and implementing their projects, but work in collaboration with community partners and faculty mentors who are familiar with their topics or geographic areas. Returning, full-time graduate students (individuals or teams) at UNC are eligible to apply with preference given to interdisciplinary teams of students. Applications are due February 6 by 11:59 p.m. and can be found online. For more information, visit the Center's website.

2012 Summer Corps Application

The Equal Justice Works Summer Corps program provides law students with the opportunity to dedicate at least 300 hours of their summer to a legal project at a qualifying nonprofit public interest organization. In 2012, 711 law students will be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps education award in the amount of $1,175 upon their successful completion of the Summer Corps program. Applications for 2012 Summer Corps will be available March 1, 2012. The deadline to apply is March 23, 2012. Please visit our website to learn more, or attend the webinar for more information on the application process.

Save the Date!

Free Webinar Series: The Summer Public Interest Job Search: Expert Tips on Cover Letters, Resumes, Interviewing, and Networking

This two-part webinar series, cosponsored by NALP and Equal Justice Works, will provide law students with insight on the key elements of the summer public-interest job application process. Attorneys with years of application review experience will highlight do's & don'ts; explain how and why public interest application materials may substantively differ from law firm materials; and explore the dynamics of personal interactions in interviews and networking situations.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Projects are posted on the Pro Bono Board near the mailboxes and are listed online at Students can sign up for projects on the Pro Bono Board or email

Pro Bono Board vacancies - apply now!

The Pro Bono Board is accepting applications for two vacant positions for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year: Public Relations Coordinator and Alumni Outreach Coordinator. All classes are encouraged to apply. This is a wonderful and unique opportunity to take a rewarding leadership role in the law school community. Students offered a position on the board will have the option of renewing their position for the 2012-2013 school year upon board approval, and may still also apply for another position on the board for the next year. If you are interested, please attend the interest meeting on Jan. 18, noon, room 4082 to further explain the application process and answer questions. Applications are due TODAY, January 23. Questions? Contact Bethan Eynon.

Career Corner

Free Debt Relief Webinars

Equal Justice Works’ Educational Debt Relief program offers free webinars to provide important information about repaying student loan debt for those preparing for a career in the public service field. These webinars cover the fundamentals of federal student loans, enrolling in and maximizing the advantages of the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) plan, qualifying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and finding and pursuing loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs).

Educational Debt Relief Program

Are you worried about repaying student debt while employed in public interest? President Obama issued an executive order in the fall announcing new programs that will reduce the burden on students repaying their federal student loans. The President also proposes changes that would allow certain borrowers to receive lower monthly payment amounts based on income. To learn more about the President's initiatives and stay up-to-date on educational debt relief news, check out our Student Loan Ranger blog at U.S. News Education.

Public Interest Law Summer Stipends May Come With Strings Attached

US News reports that some students say law schools require too much of summer public interest internship applicants. Please see this article for more information.

To add items or provide feedback, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs, or Sarah Chang, Public Service Fellow.

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