Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, October 4, 2010

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.

Faculty Spotlight

Professors at UNC who are engaged in public interest work and scholarship are a great resource for public interest students. Check out these biographies compiled by the Center for Civil Rights on two new faculty members and one visiting professor with interests in the area of civil rights!

  • Kareem U. Crayton joins the faculty as Associate Professor with a background in voting rights. Professor Crayton's scholarship examines ongoing scholarly and public controversies about race, ranging from voter polarization and electoral campaigning to legislative caucus behavior and partisan competition, and including topics such as felon disenfranchisement laws and the emerging dimensions of American racial politics in the era of the Obama Presidency. He has previously taught at the University of Southern California and Vanderbilt Law Schools. Professor Crayton is teaching courses on Election Law and Comparative Constitutional Law this fall and will facilitate the voting rights panel at the upcoming conference hosted by the UNC Center for Civil Rights.
  • Catherine Y. Kim joins the faculty as Associate Professor with a background in civil and immigrant rights. Professor Kim has written extensively on the relationship between American law and the school-to-prison pipeline, an emerging trend that pushes large numbers of at-risk youth-particularly children of color-out of classrooms and into the juvenile justice system. Before joining the UNC Law faculty, Professor Kim was a staff attorney with the National Legal Department of the ACLU Foundation in New York where her practice focused on juvenile justice issues. Professor Kim is teaching Civil Procedure this fall, and will teach Civil Rights Law in the spring.
  • Derek W. Black is a visiting professor for the 2010-2011 school year. He is an Associate Professor at Howard University School of Law and the Director and founder of its Education Rights Center. Professor Black's scholarship focuses on educational inequalities and systemic racial discrimination. Prior to teaching, he was a staff attorney at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He has served as pro bono counsel in numerous civil rights cases and was a member of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Professor Black is teaching Torts this fall, and will teach Constitutional Law in the spring. He has already begun working with the Center on education issues and will participate in a discussion on economic justice at the Center's upcoming conference.

Events at UNC Law

3L Public Interest Job Search
Thursday, October 7, 12 p.m., 4082

Join Dean Novinsky for a session devoted to third-year students searching for a career in public interest. The discussion will include information about what you should be doing now for your post-graduation job search. From basics to helpful tips, come hear about available job search resources and more.

Career Night
Wednesday, October 13, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m., Rotunda

Don't miss this great networking opportunity! Career Night is not just for 1Ls. This year's Career Night will feature over 60 attorneys, mostly Carolina Law alumni, in the Upper and Lower Rotunda for the express purpose of talking with you about what they do, and answering questions about their work, their career paths, and their practice areas. Many attorneys who did not participate last year, or have not previously participated, will be here this year.

Some of the practice areas that will be represented are family law, criminal prosecution and defense, judicial clerkships, immigration law, health law, estate planning, disability law, litigation, patent law and trademarks, employment law, and corporate law. Practice settings include firms of all sizes from solo practices to large firms, corporations, and the public sector, including government.

Public Interest Peer Mentor Program: Chili Dinner!
Sunday, October 17, 6 p.m.

Public interest mentors and mentees: Mark your calendars for the annual Chili Dinner! Please join us for a relaxed evening with fellow public interest peers and some delicious home cooking!

Save the Date!

Communities in Dark Times: A Lecture by Dr. Camilla Stivers
Tuesday, October 5, 4 p.m., UNC School of Government

Dr. Camilla Stivers, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, will present "Communities in Dark Times" at the School of Government, Knapp-Sanders Building. Dr. Stivers is the author of Governance in Dark Times: Practical Philosophy for Public Service, which received the Brownlow Award from the National Academy of Public Administration. This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Carolina MPA program's Carolina Society for Future Leaders.

4th Annual Fair Trial Initiative Celebration
Thursday, October 14, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Carolina Club, UNC Campus

You are invited to join the Fair Trial Initiative for a celebration in honor of Jack Warmack, J. Kirk Osborn Award honoree, and Elaine Gordon, Mary Ann Tally Award honoree. Tickets are $50 each, and $20 for students. Visit for more information and to secure your ticket. Email with questions.

Public Service Resources

Resources for Debt Relief

With the recent news about the long overdue release of funds from the John R. Justice Act allocated to help lawyers serving as public defenders and prosecutors, the issue of debt relief for public interest lawyers with debt from their legal education is at the forefront. For students interested in learning more about the resources available for debt relief, check out the following:

Tips for Turning Your Summer Federal Internship into a Post-Graduation Position

While it may be difficult to get your foot in the door for federal government employment, a summer or school-year internship can be the first step. See this article from the Washington Post about leveraging federal internships into postgraduate positions.

Check out the Public Interest Job Search Guide!

The Public Interest Job Search Guide provides practical advice on how to conduct your job or summer internship search, a suggested timeline for all students, a list of resources, and information about public interest law organizations. This resource will be updated soon. Access this resource.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Federal Government Deadlines Approaching!

For students interested in federal government employment post-graduation or over the summer, deadlines are quickly approaching! See the Government Honors and Internship Handbook in the CSO for information about agency positions and deadlines and contact Holly Bryan with your questions.

Summer Opportunities

  • ACLU of Colorado - Denver, CO
  • Equal Rights Advocates - San Francisco, CA

Check Symplicity regularly for both summer and post-graduation opportunities.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

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 Lauren Felter at

DEADLINE: Applications for the Fall Break Pro Bono Trip are due TODAY at 11:59 p.m. To participate, you must be available to attend both days of the trip on October 23 and 24 (during fall break) and both days of training on October 12 and 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visit the blog to learn more about student's experiences in the past. To apply, fill out the application.

  • Community Mapping and Surveys, UNC Center for Civil Rights - Carrboro, NC
  • Inter-District School Assignment, UNC Center for Civil Rights - Carrboro, NC
  • Project Homeless Connect, Hargraves Center - Chapel Hill, NC

Public Service News

Improving Wake County's Suspension Policy

Equal Justice Works Fellow Jason Langberg wrote an op-ed on ways to improve Wake County's suspension policy. Recently the Wake County Board of Education voted to change its definition of long-term suspension and give the superintendent authority to reduce the length of mandatory long-term suspensions for individual students when mitigating factors exist. Read the full article.

Other Public Interest Opportunities

Law Student Writing Competition

As part of their conference "The Unfinished Work": Advancing New Strategies in the Struggle for Civil Rights in honor of Professor Julius L. Chambers, the UNC Center for Civil Rights invites all law students across North Carolina to compete in an innovative publishing project. Submissions should build on Professor Julius L. Chambers' body of work by discussing a current social justice struggle relevant to North Carolina. Papers may address any combination of legal issues relevant to the modern civil rights movement, including K-12 and higher education; housing and community development; criminal and racial justice; employment; voting rights; and/or economic justice.

Papers should be original, unpublished works between 6-10 single spaced pages. The work should begin with a title page and must contain the title of the submission, the student's name, year, school and contact information including street address, phone number(s), and email address. To ensure a blind and impartial evaluation of all papers, writers should include personally identifying information (such as the writer's name or school) only on the submission's title page.Submissions are due via email to Adrienne Davis ( by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 15, 2010. For assistance in shaping a paper topic, students may contact the Center for Civil Rights' Community Development Fellow Peter Gilbert ( or Education Fellow Benita N. Jones (

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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