Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, October 6, 2008

About the Pro Bono Newsletter

The Public Service Newsletter is a weekly publication of the Office of Public Service Programs at UNC School of Law. This newsletter contains up-to-date information regarding public service job opportunities, pro bono opportunities, as well as information on public service events and news at Carolina Law and in the local community.

If you are not currently receiving this newsletter and would like to subscribe, please email Allison Standard at

Events at UNC Law

Carolina Public Interest Law Organization (C-PILO) Meeting
Tues. 10/7, 12-1pm, Room 4085
The meeting will cover summer public interest grants and more ways to get involved with C-PILO. Pizza will be served.
For questions, email Jess Vance at

Pro Bono Panel: Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System
Tues. 10/7, 4:30-6pm, 5042
The Pro Bono Program presents a panel on mental illness and the criminal justice system. Topics discussed will include the ethics of prosecuting and defending those with mental illness and the death penalty.
Interested in pro bono? Interested in criminal law? Interested in mental health and disability law? Interested in learning how to effectively represent a client with mental illness? If so, you should attend!

CSO's Career Night - An Opportunity to Meet Attorneys from Various Practice Areas
Tues. 10/7, 5:30-7pm, Upper and Lower Rotunda
More than 60 attorneys from different practice areas will be available to discuss their experiences and answer your questions.
Food will be served. Dress is business casual. Open to all students.

Public Interest Employers Attending Career Night Are:
Adrienne Allison - Disability Rights North Carolina
Jennifer Bills - Disability Rights North Carolina
Drupti Chauhan - NC Legislature - Legislative Research Division
Gerry Cohen - NC Legislature - Director, Legislative Drafting Division
Caroline Elliot - Wake County Public Defender
Wendy Greene - NC State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees
Marie Hopper - Legal Aid of NC, Pittsboro, NC
Mark Kleinschmidt - Fair Trial Initiative
Lisa Miles - Center for Death Penalty Litigation
Katy Parker - ACLU NC
LaToya Powell - NC DOJ - Assistant Attorney General
Marty Rosenbluth - Southern Coalition for Social Justice
Karen Sindelar - Durham City Attorney's Office
Nikkia Squires - NC State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees
Boz Zellinger - Wake County District Attorney's Office

Join the Public Interest Working Group
Tues. 10/14, 12pm, Room 4082
Are you interested in public interest events at the law school? Do you want to make your voice heard and be an advocate for public interest programming? With the support of Dean Novinsky and the Office of Public Service Programs and SBA, we are forming a Public Interest Working Group which will help develop and coordinate public interest programming throughout the year. This group will meet once or twice a month to brainstorm ideas and help Dean Novinsky organize and plan public interest activities (from social events to enrichment activities). This group will also act as an umbrella group to help coordinate the planning of events by public interest oriented student organizations.
We will be holding an informational meeting on Tuesday, October 14th at noon in room 4082. If you have any questions prior to this meeting, or if you would like to participate but will be unable to attend, please contact Cory Haller (

Public Service News

Financial Crisis Crippling Legal Aid for Poor

Save the Date!

"Advancing the Consensus: 60 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
October 16-18, 2008, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, GA

The conference will explore the Universal Declaration in light of 60 years worth of successes and difficulties as well as looking forward to the next 60 years of the Human Rights Movement. In particular, this conference will focus on three areas where the UDHR and the Human Rights framework are being challenged in our contemporary world: globalization, environmentalism, and religion. The conference will feature, among many other great speakers, Nobel Laureates Jimmy Carter and Shirin Ebadi as well as University of Warwick Professor of Globalization and Development, Upendra Baxi.

Information is available at, and registration should open shortly. Email Stacy Tolos at with any questions.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Help make every vote count by ensuring equal access to the polls on Election Day!

The Project:
Disability Rights North Carolina ("DRNC") is NC's protection and advocacy system for persons with disabilities, a statewide legal services organization. One of the priorities of DRNC is to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to register and exercise their right to vote. In order to do so, the polls must be physically accessible for persons with disabilities.

What You Can Do:
On Election Day, DRNC will be surveying polling sites in several counties throughout the state for accessibility and THEY COULD USE YOUR HELP. If you would like to be doing something hands-on at the polls on Election Day, then this is the pro bono project for you! Volunteers will be expected to attend a training on October 14 at Noon in Room 3049. Staff of DRNC will explain the project and show you how to conduct an accessibility survey. Volunteers will then need to commit to go out on Election Day to survey sites. We hope to have students go out in teams of two. The number of sites assigned will depend upon each team's availability. Please note that this will require travel outside of Orange County. Mileage will reimbursed. All time will count for pro bono hours, including travel time. Students will then return their surveys and equipment to Alexis Chappell, 2L.

Projects with the UNC Center for Civil Rights:

Sign up at the bulletin board next to the student mailboxes!

1. UNC Center for Civil Rights seeks a student to coordinate its Election Protection efforts to provide non-partisan assistance and monitoring on election day. The Center, in partnership with local and national organizations such as the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, will host a hotline for NC voters to call to report violations of their voting rights. Coordination will involve volunteer recruitment, training, and publicity.
Contact: Mark Dorosin
Time Commitment: 15 to 20 hours through election board
Location of Work: Student's choice
Requirements: Open to all students

2. UNC Center for Civil Rights Community Inclusion and Economic Development Program
Contact (for all projects below): Mark Dorosin

1. Investigate whether a city correctly analyzed a community's urban density requirements for the purposes of involuntary annexation.
Time Commitment: 20 hours, due Monday, Oct. 21 (after fall break)
Requirements: 2L or 3L

2. Develop a presentation for community meeting on neighborhood preservation options for low-income community on urban fringe of rapidly developing affluent city
Time Commitment: 20 hours, due Monday, Oct. 21
Requirements: 2L or 3L

3. Help finalize community-based criteria for small business loan fund and community education materials
Time Commitment: 15-20 hours, due Monday Oct. 21
Requirements: Open to all students

4. Research and prepare materials to be submitted to NC Legislature's Joint Annexation Study Commission
Time Commitment: 5-10 hours/wk, semester-long
Requirements: 2L or 3L with legislative experience preferred

5. Draft Interrogatories and discovery requests for each defendant, prepare exhibits, aid in discovery, and interview potential witnesses in a wrongful eviction/Housing Discrimination Case
Time Commitment: 20-30 hours, due Oct. 31
Requirements: 2L or 3L

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Paid Summer Internships with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest:
NYLPI, an organization focused on racial justice and disability rights, has announced the rollout of its new and improved social justice summer internship program for 2009. Committed to securing a diverse class of highly accomplished, progressive, community-minded law students to advance the goal of our organization, NYLPI will guarantee a summer stipend of $7,000 for rising 3Ls. Applications are due by 10/15. For more information, visit

Clifton W. Everett, Sr. Community Lawyer Fellowship (2009-10)
Legal Aid of North Carolina (LANC) is seeking applications for the Clifton W. Everett, Sr. Community Lawyer Fellowships for 2009-10. The fellowships will be placed in LANC's Advocates for Children's Services office (located in Durham, NC) and LANC's Farmworker Unit office (located in Raleigh, NC). The Everett Fellowships are entry-level, one-year, staff attorney positions.

Each Everett Fellow will be responsible for handling a general caseload in the traditional areas of poverty law practice and focusing on clients who live in rural areas. Types of cases could involve housing, employment, consumer, domestic and public benefit issues.

The positions are open until filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply by November 3, 2008. For more info, click here.

Public Service Fellowship Award Program from the ABA Section of Taxation
The Public Service Fellowships are open to recent J.D. and LL.M. graduates and judicial clerks who commit to working in tax-related public interest, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations for two years. Applicants must select and arrange employment with those organizations prior to applying for the Fellowship, and must confirm that their work will involve taxation or the administration of tax law. Up to two Fellowships will be awarded each year, and the Section will fund the salary, benefits and law school debt service (when applicable) for each award recipient. The Section is now accepting applications for the 2009 Fellowships, with a deadline of October 15, 2008.
Detailed information and a downloadable application is available at

Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program in D.C.
The Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program offers fellowships for public interest lawyers from across the United States who are committed to advancing women's rights throughout their careers. During the fellowship year, participants gain invaluable experience by working on women's issues in Washington, D.C. with a public interest organization or governmental agency and by participating in educational and professional development opportunities provided by WLPPFP. The deadline for applications for the 2009-2010 Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program is October 31, 2008.
For more information and an application, visit

Public Service Resources

NYU Public Defender Handbook
NYU Law has created a new Public Defender Handbook for students looking for public defender internships and post-graduate jobs. You can download the Handbook from PSLawNet at

The Handbook has two main sections: 1) FAQ's about the hiring process for internships and permanent jobs, with very specific examples of simulations and hypothetical questions; 2) a listing and brief description (e.g., application process, training provided, etc.) of the major public defender offices that regularly hire post-graduate attorneys.

Equal Justice Works Blog
To read about news and thoughts regarding public interest law, check out the Equal Justice Works Blog at

To add items or provide feedback, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs, or Allison Standard, RA, Public Service Programs.

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