Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, January 25, 2016

About the Pro Bono Newsletter

The mission of the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program is to increase the provision of high quality, low-cost legal services to North Carolina residents in need by empowering lawyers to accept more pro bono cases and creating a life-long commitment to pro bono work among UNC Law students. This newsletter supports our mission by providing current students with a comprehensive list of ways to get involved in Pro Bono work while still a student at UNC Law, as well as offering context for the good work our students do through news and information.

Attorney-Sponsored Projects

To secure a spot on an Attorney-Sponsored Project, you must sign up at the Pro Bono Bulletin Board near the student mailboxes. For other questions please contact Molly Gross, Attorney Projects Coordinator, at uncprobonoprojects@gmail.com.

Bronx Intimate Partner Violence Survivor Needs Assessment

The Bronx Domestic Violence Roundtable is a collaboration of non-profit providers and local elected officials that seeks to address the needs of survivors of Intimate Partner Violence in the Bronx. In May 2015, Legal Services NYC – Bronx, in collaboration with the Bronx DV Roundtable, launched the Bronx Intimate Partner Violence Needs Assessment, a comprehensive online survey of the legal and social services needs of survivors in the Bronx community. Legal Services NYC – Bronx translated the survey into Spanish and French and posted the surveys on Survey Monkey, with the assistance of New York City Council Member Ritchie Torres. As of October 2015, the survey yielded 140 responses. Students will analyze the survey responses received, conduct further interviews with local community members, and generate a report, in collaboration with the Bronx Domestic Violence Roundtable, on what political, economic, and social resources would be required to address the needs expressed in the survey. More information about the Bronx Domestic Roundtable can be found here: http://www.bxtimes.com/stories/2014/43/43-domestic-2014-10-24-bx_2014_43.html

Legal Resources Development

Students will be building on work of previous Pro Bono volunteers in compiling and organizing resources for the NC Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program (NC LEAP) and/or the NC Veterans Pro Bono Network. The resource information should be organized by category and formatted for future incorporation on a resources website. Students may be asked to assist with coordinating attorney review and revisions of all content.

Southeast Asian Citizenship Fair

The Southeast Asian Coalition will be holding a citizenship fair on Sunday, February 21, 2016, from 9AM to 1PM. The fair will take place at Asian Corner Mall in Charlotte, NC. Members of the Southeast Asian community will come to apply for their citizenship. Volunteers will be needed to assist clients in completing citizenship applications (N-400) and fee waivers (I-912). All volunteers must attend a training prior to the fair. An online training will be offered to UNC students who will not be able to attend a training in Charlotte prior to the fair.

Legal Research for Whistleblower

Legal research on regulations and case law with regard to Sabanes-Oxley whistleblower case.

Document Review for Public School Education Case

This case involves actions and decisions by a school board in Rockland County, NY, resulting in the diversion of public funds to support private, religious-based schools. The project requires the review of documents to determine if they are relevant to the case and/or helpful to the Plaintiffs’ position.

Student Group-Sponsored Projects

If you would like your project to appear below, please contact Allie Weller, Group Projects Coordinator, at aweller3@live.unc.edu.

Lawyer on the Line

This project in partnership with Legal Aid of North Carolina. This opportunity allows second semester 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls, an opportunity to work one-on one with alumni attorneys on housing and employment law cases. Students who participate will improve their interviewing, research, and legal analysis skills by assisting clients with matters that only take a few hours a week! 1Ls have the opportunity to exclusively work on landlord tenant cases. For more information contact Maiysa Mesbah (mesbah@live.unc.edu) or Ward Collins (wmcollin@live.unc.edu).

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Volunteer Training January 31st at 10am in Room 5042

Clinics held Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Saturdays in February and March.

Contact Christian Molander-Barraza at cbarraza@live.unc.edufor more information.

Pro Bono Program Initiatives

Pro Bono Week

January 25th-29th

Please refer to the schedule below and join the Pro Bono Program in celebrating the amazing accomplishments of UNC Law Pro Bono participants. 

Tuesday, January 26th

“Pro Bono Is…” 

11am-1pm in the Lower Rotunda

Come out and grab a sweet treat from the Pro Bono Board all week in the Rotunda. There is also an opportunity to describe what Pro Bono means to you!

Wednesday, January 27th

Thanks a Latte!

8am-10am in the Lower Rotunda

Grab a coffee from the Pro Bono Board and allow us to say “thank you” for your Pro Bono service this year!

 “Pro Bono Is…” 

11am-1pm in the Lower Rotunda

Come out and grab a sweet treat from the Pro Bono Board all week in the Rotunda. There is also an opportunity to describe what Pro Bono means to you!

Thursday, January 28th

PB&J (Pro Bono and Justice) 

11am-1pm in the Lower Rotunda

Stop by the “Pro Bono Is…” table in the Rotunda for a PB&J sandwich.

Witt Professionalism Dinner

6:30pm-8:30pm at the Carolina Club

RSVP to your email invitation and join prominent judges, attorneys, and faculty members for dinner and a conversation about Pro Bono ethical issues in practice.

Friday, January 29th

“Pro Bono Is…” 

11am-1pm in the Lower Rotunda

Come out and grab a sweet treat from the Pro Bono Board all week in the Rotunda. There is also an opportunity to describe what Pro Bono means to you!

News and Special Events

Mobile Expunction Project

The UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program and the North Carolina Justice Center are partnering to host a Mobile Expunction Project which will provide legal advice and limited legal services to low-income individuals referred by community partners. The Mobile Expunction Project will provide these services to 60-80 low-income individuals in three distinct cycles during the 2016 spring semester. During the course of the project, students will have the opportunity to assist with financial screenings, review criminal records, write case summaries, draft client letters and prepare petitions of relief for individuals who qualify for expunctions. Students will also have the chance to interact with clients, peers and attorneys and gain valuable skills while helping meet a significant legal need in North Carolina.

Contact Madison Waller, madisonwaller@unc.edu, if you are interested in participating. Training for the Project is on Tuesday, January 26th from 4-7 p.m.

Spring Break Pro Bono Opportunities:

The Spring Break Pro Bono Opportunities Interest Meeting will be held Thursday, February 4, 2016, at 12pm in Room 4085. Spring break is a great time to volunteer, get great legal experience, help people in need, and get Pro Bono hours! Come learn about the Spring Break Trip as well as Spring Break projects at this meeting. If you have questions please contact Hillary Li (hillaryl@live.unc.edu), Spring Break Projects Coordinator, or Vinita Tandon (vinita17@live.unc.edu) and Will Norrell (norrell@live.unc.edu), Special Trips Coordinators.

Pro Bono Spring Food Truck Rodeo

February 10th, 11:00am-1:30pm in the CDO Parking Lot

This year’s Food Truck Rodeo will feature Captain Ponchos, Will and Pops, Chirba Chirba, and Dusty Donuts. A percentage of the proceeds will assist in Spring Break Trip fundraising.

Practically Transitioned

Not only has the 3L class reached 90% of Pro Bono participation, it has also contributed more than 16,000 hours of free legal service to our community. It is time to celebrate the class of 2016’s good work! In honor of these achievements, 3Ls are invited to Practically Transitioned: A Pro Bono Networking Social. This event will be held on Tuesday, February 9th from 7pm-9pm at the Ackland Art Museum. Hosted by Dean Brinkley, it will offer 3Ls the chance to network with practicing alumni from firms and legal service providers and hear about how Pro Bono work plays a part in their careers. Wine, beer, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served; business attire is requested. This event is sponsored by the UNC School of Law and the UNC Law Pro Bono Program.

Please RSVP to Practically Transitioned at http://goo.gl/forms/w96TNl1pWn by Wednesday, January 27, to let us know if you are able to attend. All 3L students are invited, so please RSVP soon — space is limited!

Keep Logging Those Hours!

• Class of 2016: 16,243.5 hours logged and 90.6% participation. 

• Class of 2017: 7,125 hours logged and 75.6% participation. 

• Class of 2018: 1,927 hours logged and 36% participation. 


To add items or provide feedback, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs, or Jamie Rudd, 3L Class Coordinator.

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