Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, October 10, 2011

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

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in NC and the Federal Courts

Monday, October 10, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., 5046

Please join the Poverty Center for a timely discussion of two facets of the Affordable Care Act. Professor Bill Marshall will discuss challenges to the act's constitutionality and Pam Silberman, president and CEO of the NC Institute of Medicine, will examine the act's impact on NC, especially for its poorer residents. Light refreshments will be provided.

Colorlines: Race and Incarceration in North Carolina

Tuesday, October 11, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., 5046

The Black Law Student Association (BLSA) presents, Colorlines: Race and Incarceration in North Carolina. James E. Williams, Public Defender for District 15-B (Orange, Chatham) will speak about the high rate of incarceration among African Americans and his project to address the issue. The program is open to the community and we encourage all to come and participate. Food will be provided.

CSO's Career Night

Wednessday, October 12, 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Upper & Lower Rotunda

Mark your calendars for this annual information-gathering event that allows students to move from table to table to speak with practicing attorneys, many of whom are Carolina Law alumni. Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn first-hand about everything from health law to employment law, litigation to intellectual property, as well as about working as a judicial law clerk and working in various size law firms, corporations and in the public sector. Food will be served. Dress is business casual. All students are invited to attend, and 1Ls are particularly encouraged to come

Champions of Change: White House and Justice Department Celebration of Public Service Contributions

Thursday, October 13, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Boardroom 5003

Join students and law schools across the country in a live streaming-video conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder about what can be done to increase access to justice. This online video conversation or "watch party" will also feature public service champions who are being honored by the White House. The event aims to encourage law students to think of new ways to use their degrees to help secure basic rights for all Americans. Students may submit questions to Attorney General Holder and/or the public service champions via email during the event. Law schools across the nation will participate in the conversation, to be held on Thursday, October 13, from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Please join us for this opportunity to engage with the White House on closing the justice gap.

Getting Ready for the Equal Justice Works Career Fair

Tuesday, October 18, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., Rumpus Room

For students who are attending the Equal Justice Works Career Fair in DC, get prepared by brushing up on your networking skills! Students will be able to practice table talk skills.

Race and the Law: Reinventing the Fair Housing Act

Monday, October 31, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5042

Sponsored by the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the Black Law Student's Association, this panel discussion will discuss methods of using the Fair Housing Act to remedy historic segregation.

Other Public Interest Events

NC NAACP CLE: Education, Expectations, and Incarceration: A Look at How Resegregation, High-Stakes Testing, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline Marginalize our Children

Wednesday, October 12, 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., High Point, NC

The NC NAACP will host the Fifth Annual Romallus O. Murphy CLE in High Point, NC this fall. Four hours of CLE have been requested from the North Carolina State Bar. Registration and lunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the CLE will last from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call NC NAACP at 1.866.NC.NAACP or visit their website at

The Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law (APIEL) Conference

October 20-23, University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, TN

Registration is now open for the 2nd annual Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law (APIEL) conference at the University of Tennessee College of Law. APIEL welcomes law and policy students, attorneys, community activists, scientists, and policy experts for a weekend of workshops and panels focused on exchanging information and fostering collaboration on the most critical environmental justice issues of our time.

Topics include: the basics of mountaintop removal and strip mining; citizen enforcement of Tennessee water law; future of coal in the Tennessee Valley; "Lands Unsuitable for Mining": citizen victories; mountaintop removal mining and public health; creating mineral tax trust funds for economic diversification; activist-attorney relations; "know your rights" as activists and as the attorneys who represent them.

The APIEL conference hopes to create a common ground for community organizers, lawyers and researchers to communicate, educate each other and have fun. For students, APIEL is a chance to network with leading lawyers, professionals, and community activists whose are fighting for environmental justice and economic transition in central Appalachia. A complete list of workshops and panels will soon be available at

The attendance fee for the conference is $65 for Thursday through Sunday, which includes pizza on Thursday night. All other meals, transportation and lodging are the responsibility of the participant. Participants who are only attending part of the conference may pay by the day. Please note that need-based conference registration scholarships can be applied for through your registration form, and they will be granted on a first-come-first-serve basis to those who qualify. Visit for more information.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Current Pro Bono Projects

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

Individual Projects:

  • Interviewing, Research, and Document Review Assistance, Glenn, Mills, Fisher, & Mahoney P.A. - Durham, NC
  • Research School District Merger Case Studies in NC, UNC Center for Civil Rights - Carrboro, NC
  • National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Research AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women - Washington D.C.

Upcoming Pro Bono Events

Winter Break Pro Bono Trip & Projects Interest Meeting

Thursday, November 3, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085

Come out to this Interest Meeting to learn about all opportunities for participation in Pro Bono work over Winter Break including the Winter Break Trip and Winter Break Projects. Information will be available about the process for signing up and applicable deadlines.

Winter Break Pro Bono Project Sign-ups

Thursday, November 17, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., Rotunda

Sign up for a Pro Bono Winter Break Project! Sign-ups will begin at 7:00 a.m. - arrive early to get a good spot in line so you can get the project you want! The list of project descriptions and time and geographic requirements will be circulated to students before the sign-up.

Other Public Interest Opportunities

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

FASPE ("Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics") for Law Students is an intensive two-week, all-expenses-paid educational fellowship program that examines the moral responsibilities and professional duties of legal practitioners, lawyers and judges in extreme as well as more routine situations. The Law Fellows study historical, philosophical, theological, and cultural texts related to Nazism and the Holocaust, building the context for the discussion of contemporary ethical issues, while visiting Holocaust-related interpretive and historical sites in New York, Berlin, Auschwitz, and Krakow. The goal of FASPE is to provide students with new insights that will help them tackle problems of moral reasoning in their future careers. Students of all religious faiths – or of none – are encouraged to apply. Selection for the fellowship is very competitive; high academic distinction and a clear vision of how the fellowship will be relevant for and beneficial to the applicant are essential. UNC professor Eric Muller is one of the fellowship program’s faculty members.

Tentative dates of the fellowship are May 21 - June 1, 2012. Current 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls may submit applications, and UNC plans to endorse up to three candidates, selected by a panel of law school faculty and administrators.

How to Apply

After reviewing the information on the FASPE website (, interested students wishing to receive UNC’s endorsement need to write a short essay that explains why you are applying. Include what you can offer to FASPE, as well as what you hope to gain from it. Make sure to describe any previous experience you may have had with ethical issues or the study of ethics. Please also consider how your previous experiences might affect your fellowship and how you expect to use the experience of the program in your future profession. (750 words or less).

A copy of your essay and a resume need to be submitted electronically to Lindsay Knell in the CSO by October 31.

Center for Reproductive Rights-Columbia Law School Fellowship

The CRR-CLS Fellowship is a two-year, post-graduate fellowship that is designed to prepare recent law school graduates for legal academic careers. Fellows are affiliated with Columbia Law School and the Center for Reproductive Rights and they participate in the intellectual life of both institutions.

Future academics who are interested in women's rights, gender equality and/or human rights would be a great fit. Applicants do not need prior experience in reproductive rights nor do they need to be graduates of Columbia Law School to be eligible for this program. The deadline for the fellowship application is Monday, October 31. More information and an application can be found at the Center for Reproductive Rights' website.

Public Service Resources

Job Search Timeline

Unlike students searching for jobs in the private sector, the timeline for public interest jobs is often delayed and less concrete. Today is October 10 - what should you be doing now to begin your public interest job search, whether for a summer or post-graduation position? Whether you can actually apply for and secure a public interest position now or not, you can be doing something to further your search. For a suggested timeline for each class year, go to the Public Interest Job Search Guide, Appendix B, page 33.

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

Forward This E-Mail to a Friend