Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, October 21, 2013

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. Join our Facebook page Follow us on Twitter

Events at UNC Law

Lunch with Racial Justice Act Litigators

Monday, October 21, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 5046

The Death Penalty Project is hosting a lunchtime panel on North Carolina's historic Racial Justice Act. The panel will include Mr. Jay Ferguson, Mr. Darryl Hunt, and Ms. Tarrah Callahan. Mr. Ferguson successfully litigated the initial case under the Racial Justice Act on behalf of Marcus Robinson. He will be arguing in support of the Racial Justice Act in front of the North Carolina Supreme Court this November. Darryl Hunt is a North Carolina exoneree and the Executive Director of the Darryl Hunt Project. The panel will be followed by a brief Question & Answer session moderated by Ms. Tarrah Callahan, Executive Director of North Carolina for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Pizza will be provided.

Pro Bono Faculty Panel

Tuesday, October 22, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 5048

Join the Pro Bono Program, as we host a panel comprised of faculty members, including Dean Boger and Professors Hornstein and Weissman, to highlight what a lifelong commitment to pro bono looks like, and how that commitment manifests itself in high-profile pro bono cases.

Mooting of NC ACLU Court of Appeals Argument

Wednesday, October 23, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 4081

Chris Brook, NC ACLU Legal Director, will practice his argument for the "Choose Life" license plate hearing at the US Court of Appeals on October 30th. Professors Gene Nichol, Bill Marshall and Mark Dorosin will serve as the mock 4th Circuit panel. All professors, students and staff are invited and encouraged to offer feedback.

Veterans Military Advocacy Student Organization (VMASO)

Thursday, October 24, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 5046

A general interest meeting for those interested in assisting Veterans and their families. We will discuss potential pro bono opportunities as well as goals for the organization. Pizza will be provided.

VITA General Interest Meeting

Thursday, October 24, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 5052

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance group will provide information for the tax season pro bono project, as well as new information and events regarding expanding the group into a larger tax law association. If you cannot make this meeting, please e-mail Gabby Johnson to be put on the listserv. You can also take a look at the VITA website for more information.

Justice or Injustice: Corruption, Media, and the Trial of the Cuban Five

Thursday, October 24, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 4085

Please come hear William Norris, former Assistant U.S. Attorney and current a member of the Cuban Five Legal Team, and Jane Kirtley, Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Pizza will be served, and there will also be a 6:00 p.m. event at the Fed Ex Global Education Center with additional speakers (see event posting below).

2Ls: Early Decision Summer Grant Information Session

Tuesday, October 29, Noon - 12:45 p.m., Room 5042

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. Contact Dean Novinsky, Adrienne Allison, or Samara Reynolds with questions.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Upcoming Government Deadlines

Below is a sampling of upcoming deadlines for federal government honors programs (3Ls) and summer 2014 internship programs (2Ls). Information about each program can be found on individual department websites, as well as in the Government Honors and Internship Handbook online. If you have questions, need application assistance, or would like to be added to the govcareers email list for relevant announcements, please contact Samara Reynolds, Government Career Counselor in the CDO.

3L Honors Programs & Full-Time Positions

  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): Rolling, by October 31
  • Army JAG: November 1

2L Summer Internships

  • Army JAG: November 1
  • Department of State General Student Internship: November 1
  • National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA): November 1
  • Rolling Summer Internship Deadlines: Department of Education, EPA Regional offices, U.S. Coastguard, U.S. Copyright Office, EEOC Office of Federal Operations, FCC (various bureaus), Federal Election Commission, IRS, National Labor Relations Board, U.S. Office of Government Ethics, Small Business Administration, USAID, and MORE!

Other Public Interest Events

The Case of the Cuban Five: Justice or Injustice?

Thursday, October 24, 6:00-9:00 p.m., FedEx Global Education Center (main campus)

On September 8, 2006, the Miami Herald ran a front-page story reporting that ten local journalists had accepted money from Radio/TV Martí , a U.S. government-run broadcaster based in Miami. The story set off a firestorm of recriminations within journalistic circles and became a key exhibit in the habeas corpus petition filed by five men convicted in 2001 of conspiring to act as unregistered agents of the Cuban government. Aided by documents recently acquired through Freedom of Information Act requests (and soon to be augmented by a successful FOIA lawsuit filed against the U.S. State Department), the men, popularly known as the "Cuban Five," assert that the government's payments to dozens of Miami-area journalists, which totaled millions of dollars, inflamed anti-Cuba sentiment and denied them a fair and impartial trial.

On October 24, 2013, the Center for Media Law and Policy will join with UNC's Institute for the Study of the Americas to host a panel discussion about the case, the ethical issues such payments raise for journalists and the implications for independent media everywhere. Panelists include:

  • Danny Glover, actor, producer and humanitarian
  • Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota
  • Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
  • William Norris, trial and appellate attorney for the Cuban Five
  • Louis A. Pérez, Jr., J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History and Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas
  • Deborah Weissman, Reef Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law at the UNC School of Law

The event will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the FedEx Global Education Center's Nelson Mandela Auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Presentation by Disability Rights Advocate Haben Girma

Friday, November 1, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Great Hall, Student Union (main campus)

Haben Girma, the first deafblind student at Harvard Law School is on her way to becoming a disability rights lawyer. She empowers students with disabilities to become better self-advocates, and teaches families and educators to set high expectations.

Haben now serves as a Skadden Fellowship Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm based in Berkeley, California. At DRA, she works to increase the accessibility of digital instructional materials at colleges and universities. Haben strongly believes that education leads to positive change. Through her many speeches and workshops, Haben educates the public about essential civil rights issues.

Please come join us for an informative and inspirational presentation. Haben will share her personal experiences as a former student with a disability, and discuss the obligations of students and schools under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information or if you require accommodations, contact:

2013 Deil S. Wright Lecture: "Insights from a Cabinet Secretary on Leadership and Transformation Change"

Thursday, November 7, 3:00 p.m., School of Government

The Honorable Ray LaHood, Former US Secretary of Transportation

Ray LaHood served as the US Secretary of Transportation from 2009 through 2013, leading an agency with more than 55,000 employees and a $70 billion budget that oversees air, maritime, and surface transportation.

LaHood oversaw the Department of Transportation's implementation of the Recovery Act, the most significant public works program since the New Deal. He launched an aggressive national campaign to end the practice of distracted driving, and he has helped to protect consumers when they fly by banning lengthy tarmac delays and requiring more transparent airfare pricing.

For more information about the lecture, visit the School of Government website or contact Jean Coble at 919.962.0426.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Projects are posted on the Pro Bono Board near the mailboxes. Students can sign up for projects on the Pro Bono Board or email

Child Action Mock Trial

Saturday, November 2, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., School of Law

Child Action and the NC Child Welfare Education Collaborative at the UNC School of Social Work are hosting a mock trial on November 2 at Carolina Law. "A Child's Day in Court" aims to give social work and law students experience in courtroom procedure, specifically during child welfare proceedings. During the mock trial, law students will represent either the Department of Social Services or the parents, and social work students will act as DSS social workers.

We need up to 20 law students to serve as attorneys during the mock trial. Students will receive their cases 1-2 weeks before the trial and will attend a brief training on advocacy in abuse and neglect hearings on a date TBD. Trials will occur between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on November 2. At trial, students will be "coached" by practicing attorneys with experience in child welfare cases. Lunch will be provided, and all participants are encouraged to stay for a lunchtime discussion about recent developments in the law and practice of child welfare proceedings. Students who have taken or are currently enrolled in Evidence and/or Trial Advocacy are preferred, but the courses are not required.

Students can log pro bono hours for their time spent preparing for and participating in the mock trial. This is a great project for anyone interested in child welfare, family law, or in trial practice more generally. Contact Kati Ruark with questions or to sign up. Please note that one of the cases involves allegations of sexual abuse; please indicate in your email if you would prefer not to participate in that hearing.

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

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