Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, October 31, 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

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.

Food Justice: From Seed to Table, the Right to Healthy Food

Tuesday, November 1, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5042

The Conference on Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity (CRCGE) presents a panel discussion on Food Justice, an emerging movement that fights for communities' right to produce, distribute, access, and eat food that is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers and animals involved. The CRCGE is a student organization that produces an annual conference bringing together academics, practitioners, and students to explore and discuss contemporary legal, political, and social issues through point of view of Social and Economic Justice. This panel is not only an opportunity to preview this year's Conference topic, "Waking Up from the American Dream: The Sober Reality of Class in America," but it is also an introduction to the CRCGE and an exciting new movement. This event will be catered by Vimala's Curry Blossom Cafe.

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.

What Does it Mean to be a Public Defender?

Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4004

Sponsored by the Career Services Office and the Public Service Program, this panel will discussion will include faculty members and recent Carolina Law alums who are public defenders. Come learn more about careers in criminal defense!

The State of Education in NC: Addressing the Constitutional Implications

Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085

The panel will address some salient issues in Education in North Carolina. Guests include:

  • Dean Boger, moderating
  • Matthew Ellinwood, North Carolina Justice Center, Policy Advocate Education Law Project
  • Dr. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation, Education Studies Director
  • Neal Ramee, Tharrington Smith, Education Lawyer
  • Darrell Allison, Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina, President
  • Mark Dorosin, Center for Civil Rights, Senior Managing Attorney

1L Workshop: Drafting Your Legal Resume and Cover Letter

Tuesday, 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

US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals Oral Arguments

Thursday, November 3, 1:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Duke Law School, Durham, NC

The US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals will be hearing oral arguments at Duke Law School. The arguments will begin at 1:45 and last approximately 1 1/4 hours. To accommodate a larger audience, we are simulcasting the event in our Star Commons.

The case is U.S. v SrA. Anderson. The appellant was convicted of drug use, false official statements, obstructing an administrative proceeding, and oral sodomy. The issues are (1) whether his guilty plea to the consensual oral sodomy charge violated his due process rights, and (2) whether his sentence was inappropriately severe.

A Radical Notion of Democracy: Law, Race, and Albion Tourgée, 1865-1905

Friday, November 4, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., State Library Building and State Capital Building, Raleigh, NC

Registration is open for "A Radical Notion of Democracy: Law, Race and Albion Tourgée," a public law and humanities symposium to be held in downtown Raleigh on Nov. 4. The symposium will focus on the life and career of this important nineteenth-century figure, a former Union soldier who settled in Greensboro after the Civil War.

A lawyer, judge, novelist and activist, Tourgée worked for racial equality in the state for thirteen years. His legacy lives on in the provisions of the state Constitution guaranteeing free public education, as well as other reforms. He later achieved national fame for representing Homer Plessy in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the U.S. Supreme Court case that established separate-but-equal facilities as the foundation of de jure segregation.

The program, to be held in the State Library Building, features keynote lectures by Tourgée biographer Mark Elliott of UNC-Greensboro and historian Blair Kelley of North Carolina State University, as well as two panels featuring other distinguished scholars of law and history, including Michael Kent Curtis, Brook Thomas and Alfred Brophy. The event will conclude in the State Capitol Building with a dramatic reenactment of scenes from the Constitutional Convention of 1868, including a performance by Paul Paliyenko as Tourgée. Cameo roles will be played by North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby and former justice Robert Orr.

The Center for the Study of the American South is organizing the symposium, with major support from the UNC School of Law, the Office of Archives and History/N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, Elon University School of Law and the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law. Five hours of CLE credit are available.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register online by Wednesday to ensure participation, although it may still be possible to attend following the registration deadline. Email Sally Greene with questions.

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.

Career Corner

Post-Graduation Employment Opportunities

Don't forget to check Symplicity daily for updated postings to the Job Bank!

Featured Posting: Legal Fellow and Legislative Fellow Positions, Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, NY

Founded in 1992 and located in New York City, the Center for Reproductive Rights is a non-profit organization that promotes women's equality worldwide by securing reproductive rights in constitutional and international human rights law. Nineteen years after its founding, the Center remains the only reproductive rights organization that combines U.S. and international legal advocacy. In the U.S. the Center's preeminent litigation team has helped millions of women and their families by securing Medicaid funding for abortions; striking abortion bans and other access restrictions; and protecting teens' access to confidential reproductive healthcare services and information.

The Center is currently searching for two fellows: Legal Fellow and Legislative Fellow.

Legal Fellow
Department: United States Legal Program (USLP)

Responsibilities: U.S. Legal Fellows play an integral role in the department's work, which includes trial court and appellate litigation; human rights advocacy; legislative and other advocacy projects; drafting of public education materials; public speaking; and legal analyses of state legislation. Some travel is required.

Qualifications: Juris Doctor degree. Applicants should be self-motivated, capable of complex legal analytical work and have an ability to write clearly and effectively. Knowledge of, or commitment to, reproductive rights or other civil rights and justice issues is desirable.

These are two-year fellowships. The positions are full-time, beginning in the Fall of 2012 (an earlier start date may be possible if desired by the fellow), and based in New York City.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience; excellent benefits.

Note: Applicants must indicate "Legal Fellow, United States Legal Program, Code 123, Applicant last name" as the subject of emailed applications. Cover letter and resume should be sent as attachments. If applicants are applying for more than one position at the Center for Reproductive Rights, they must submit an application for each position separately. For more information, go to:

Legislative Fellow
Department: United States Legal Program

Responsibilities: The Center seeks a Legislative Fellow to work in its U.S. State Program. The Fellow's responsibilities will include tracking and analyzing reproductive rights legislation in all fifty states; assisting in providing technical assistance to local advocates; conducting legal research; and preparing analyses of state legislation. S/he may also be involved in drafting legislation and developing proactive legislative strategies; writing fact sheets and materials on state legislative trends; speaking about reproductive rights; and working with the State Program's Legislative Counsel on additional legislative and policy projects. Some travel may be required. This is a two year position, to start in fall 2012.

Qualifications: Applicants must have a Juris Doctor degree. Applicants should be self-motivated; able to work well under pressure and meet quick deadlines; capable of complex legal analytical work; able to write clearly and effectively and able to work well in coalition. Some legislative experience preferred. Knowledge of reproductive rights and justice; women's rights; civil rights or social justice issues is desirable.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits program.

Note: Applicants must indicate "Legislative Fellow, United States Legal Program, Code 124, Applicant last name" as the subject of emailed applications. Cover letter and resume should be sent as attachments. If applicants are applying for more than one position at the Center for Reproductive Rights, they must submit an application for each position separately. For more information go to:

How to Apply: The deadline for both applications is November 3, 2011 (applications received after that date may be reviewed at the discretion of CRR). Please send a cover letter, resume, at least one legal writing sample and the names of at least two references to

Summer Opportunities

Don't forget to check Symplicity daily for updated postings to the Job Bank!

Featured Posting: Paid Diversity Program Law Clerks, Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC

In partnership with Pfizer Inc, Beveridge & Diamond PC, and the American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, ELI seeks applications from law students for two Diversity Program Law Clerk positions for the summer of 2012. The program's goal is to encourage additional participation by minority students and students from disadvantaged households in environmental law, policy, and management.

Law clerks work on projects involving both domestic and international environmental law. Subject areas include, among others, wetlands and watershed policy, sustainable land use, biodiversity, environmental enforcement, long-term management of hazardous waste sites, public participation, and international environmental policy. Law clerks conduct legal and policy research, conduct interviews, attend and report on events, and prepare written materials and scholarly work for publication. Part of a law clerk's experience includes opportunities to attend ELI seminars on emerging issues in environmental law.

Law clerks may also assist with the editing and production of ELI's publications, the Environmental Law Reporter (ELR), the National Wetlands Newsletter (NWN), and The Environmental Forum (TEF), as well as various books. Law clerks support editors of these periodicals by conducting research, bluebooking, monitoring and writing summaries of current events, and engaging in various tasks and special projects on an as-needed basis. Clerkship positions are full-time, 40 hour per week commitments for a minimum of 10 weeks.

Qualifications: (1) superior research and writing skills; (2) strong academic performance; and (3) strong communication skills. Only students currently enrolled in law school are eligible to apply.

Salary: Diversity law clerks will be paid $5,000 for the summer.

Application Instructions: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume (including law school and undergraduate GPAs), list of references, a writing sample, and a law school transcript if available. The cover letters should address the candidate's personal goals and interests, as well as their experience and interest in environmental law and policy. They should also state how candidates will contribute to the diversity of the environmental law, management, and policy field. Application materials should be submitted to: Applications must be submitted by November 15th, 2011 to ensure consideration.

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.

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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