Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, October 17, 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

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.

Child Action Guardian ad Litem Meet and Greet

Tuesday, October 25, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Boardoom

Child Action is hosting a meet and greet for all Guardians ad Litem serving in any county to meet other GALs in the law school community. Refreshments will be served.

First Amendment Law Review Annual Symposium: "Discrimination by and against Religion, and the First Amendment"

Friday, October 28, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wilson Library, Pleasants Family Room

Please join the First Amendment Law Review for this year's annual symposium.

UNC Law Students attend FREE, non-UNC Students pay $10, and general admission is $30. North Carolina attorneys can receive up to 5 hours of CLE credit for attending. Attendees do not have to attend the entire event - come when you can and enjoy the discussions from our keynote speakers and panelists.

Featuring Key Note Speakers:

  • Dr. Martin E. Marty, The Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago and winner of the National Book Award.
  • Melissa Rogers, Director of the Wake Forest School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs and former Chair of President Barack Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

And panelists:

  • Frederick Gedicks, Brigham Young University Law School
  • Wendy Kaminer, lawyer and social critic, author of Cowardice, Conformity and the ACLU
  • Christopher Lund, Professor at Wayne State University Law School
  • Katherine Lewis Parker, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina
  • Nelson Tebbe, Professor at the Brooklyn Law School
  • Eric Treene, Special Counsel for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division
  • Asma Uddin, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

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.

1L Career Symposium

Tuesday, November 1, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. AND Thursday, November 3, 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

All first-year students must attend the First-Year Career Symposium. The CSO knows that finding employment is of paramount importance to students, and we're going to cover the nuts and bolts of not just your 1L job search, but the strategies behind your 2L and permanent job searches and how it all fits together. We will introduce you to the CSO job search manual and to Symplicity, our online career system, which you will use for on-campus interviews, off-campus interview programs, access to job listings and more. We look forward to getting to know you and working together.

2Ls Only: Public Interest Grant Information Session

Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5052

The School of Law will be awarding a limited number of public interest summer grants to 2Ls in the fall. Come hear about this early funding opportunity for 2Ls. Applications will be available on November 2 and will be due on December 2, 2011.

Please note: 2Ls will be eligible to apply for public interest summer grants in the spring of 2012 as well.

Please see Dorsey Bachenheimer or Sylvia Novinsky with any questions.

1L Workshop: Drafting Your Legal Resume and Cover Letter

Thursday, November 8, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085 AND Wednesday, November 16, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5048

Come learn what legal employers expect to see in a resume and how to write a cover letter that will persuade an employer to grant you an interview! (This program will be repeated on Wednesday, November 16.) Please contact Lindsay Knell in the CSO for more information.

Other Public Interest Events

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

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) General Interest Meeting

Tuesday, November 1, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 a.m., 5046

Come find out more about this organization and pro bono project! VITA seeks to provide free income tax assistance to low and middle-income taxpayers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina. Leaders will discuss how you can get involved. All volunteers must attend a training session and pass a certification test. Income preparation sessions will be throughout February and March.

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

Wednesday, November 16, 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).

There will be an information session with Professor Eric Muller hosted by the Jewish Law Association on Tuesday, October 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. in 4080 to discuss the program.

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

Student Loan Report

Questions about your student loans? Unsure about the recent changes to subsidized loan programs? Getting a headache thinking about your repayment options? Heather Jarvis publishes the Student Loan Report - newsletter, website and blog - which provides news about student loans, live webinars, and resources for student borrowers.

Resources you can use:

  • The next webinar on Public Service Loan Forgiveness will be held on Tuesday, November 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can register online.
  • Fact sheets on Income-Based Repayment and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
  • List of law school repayment assistance programs, state repayment assistance programs, and John R. Justice loan repayment assistance program
  • and more...

October is National Pro Bono Month!

Celebrate National Pro Bono signing up for a Pro Bono Project! The celebration is an effort to meet the ever-growing needs of this country's most vulnerable citizens by encouraging and supporting local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services, and by showcasing the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve. Find more information about the National Pro Bono Celebration sponsored by the American Bar Association by visiting

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

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