Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, November 1, 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.

Summer Funding Opportunities

The Early Decision Process for 2Ls seeking summer funding for 2011 summer jobs is now open. In order to apply, you must submit an application, resume (without GPA information), essay and an offer letter from the employer. While this process is competitive, we encourage students who are committed to public service and already have an offer for a public interest internship to apply. The deadline to apply is November 12, and applicants will be informed of the decision around December 3.

All information about the process and application can be found on My Carolina Law: Please direct all questions to Dean Novinsky,

Events at UNC Law

3L Public Interest Job Search Group
Monday, November 15, 12:00 p.m., 4082

Join Career Services and the Office of Public Services Programs for a unique opportunity for all 3Ls seeking public interest employment after graduation. The 3L Public Interest Job Search Group will give support to students throughout their job search process by providing continuous feedback and guidance and fostering a community of support among peers. Learn more about the job search group. If you wish to participate, please fill out the following survey and plan to attend the meeting on November 15.

Logistics Meeting for Winter Break Projects - please note the change in date!
Monday, November 15, 12:00 p.m., 5046

If you plan to sign up for a Winter Break Project, you should attend the logistics meeting to find out about the projects being offered this year and how the process for signing up will work on Tuesday!

Sign-ups for Winter Break Projects - please note the change in date!
Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 a.m., Rotunda

Interested in working on a pro bono project over winter break, even if you'll be out of state? Sign-ups for Winter Break Projects will be held on Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 a.m. in the Rotunda. More information will be available soon! To get on the listserv for Winter Break Project information, email

Save the Date!

"The Unfinished Work": Advancing New Strategies in the Struggle for Civil Rights
November 1-2, Friday Center for Continuing Education

Join the UNC Center for Civil Rights, its co-conveners and nation's most talented attorneys, advocates and scholars for a national conference dedicated to the life and career of civil rights pioneer, Julius L. Chambers. This two-day conference will unite practitioners, researchers, policymakers, community activists and students to examine the most promising strategies for pursuing equity and eliminating discrimination in public education, housing, democratic representation, employment and criminal justice. Issues in these areas remain at the forefront of today's civil rights struggle and while new trends in engagement, organizing and advocacy have shifted the ways we challenge racial and socioeconomic segregation and discrimination, the inequalities that these age-old problems create remain largely the same. The solutions to these debilitating issues are not simple, but they are possible to construct.

Join us as we analyze these issues and offer a range of innovative and strategic approaches for: applying the law, pursuing policy change, mobilizing well-informed grassroots activists, and encouraging the scholarly pursuit of public interest-oriented research.

Visualizing Human Rights Anti-Conference
November 6, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., FedEx Global Education Center

In an unconventional forum, Visualizing Human Rights brings together painters, photographers, writers, poets, filmmakers, and printmakers to put a human face on human rights in an effort to reach beyond traditional academic approaches. The day will start with an intimate interview of John Conroy (author of Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People: The Dynamics of Torture) by Dick Gordon (host of WUNC and APM's "The Story") followed by interactive studios and discussion salons. Join the Center for Global Initiatives and WUNC's Dick Gordon for the third annual Visualizing Human Rights Anti-Conference. Click here for free tickets.

LUNAFEST: Film Festival by, for, and about Women
November 11, 6:30 p.m., Varsity Theatre

Join Team Luna Chix for a film festival of short films by, for and about women in support of the Breast Cancer Fund and UNC Hospitals Breast Cancer Clinic. Tickets are $25 per person or $40 per couple and can be purchased at the Varsity Theatre or from

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Are you interested in participating in pro bono over Winter Break? The Pro Bono Program is planning opportunities for Carolina Law students to engage in meaningful pro bono activities during the time off from school. See below for more information!

Winter Break Projects

Each year, attorneys and organizations submit pro bono projects for students to complete over Winter Break which range in time commitment and interest area. The logistics meeting for Winter Break Projects will be held on Monday, November 15 at 12:00 p.m. in 5046. Sign-ups will be held on Tuesday, November 16 in the morning. Email to be added to the informational listserv related to Winter Break Projects.

Current Projects

  • Access of State Courts, NC Justice Center - Raleigh, NC
  • Division of Marital Property, Law Office of James T. Bryan - Chapel Hill, NC
  • Forensic Resource Counsel Internship, Indigent Defense Services - Durham, NC

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

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Summer Opportunities

  • ABA Commission on Immigration - Washington, DC
  • Judicial Intern, ABA Section on Litigation - various locations
  • ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disabilities Law - various locations
  • ABA Children and the Law Center - Washington, DC
  • Diversity Clerkship Program, ABA Business Law Center - various locations
  • American Civil Liberties Union - New York, NY
  • Federal Defenders, Middle District of Alabama - Montgomery, Alabama
  • ABA Division for Public Service - Washington, DC
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama - Montgomery, Alabama

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Intern, Fair Trial Initiative - Durham, NC - applications for 2Ls are due on November 4!
  • Intern, UNC Center for Civil Rights - Carrboro, NC - applications due on November 12!

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

Public Service Resources

Resource Spotlight: Government Employment Resources

For those seeking government employment for the summer or post-graduation, a variety of online resources are available to guide your exploration.

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.

Public Service News

Consensus emerging that law school model 'is not sustainable'
A group of legal educators and leaders meeting at the FutureEd conference hosted by Harvard and New York Law School agree that the focus of law school education must change to be more relevant in light of the changing legal industry. Ideas included making education more internationally focused, relying more heavily on technology, incorporating business and leadership skills, and making law degrees more affordable. Read the full article from the National Law Journal.

New York Times Editorial calls for increased funding for legal services locally and nationally
Traditionally, funding for civil legal services has come from the interest on the escrow accounts that private lawyers hold for clients. As this funding has all but disappeared, and state support has dropped, the availability of legal services has been insufficient to meet the need. Courts, judges and leaders have started a campaign for greater funding. Read the editorial in the New York Times.

Boston group helps homeowners fight foreclosures
A Boston non-profit is helping homeowners stay in their homes, and law students have participated in the fight by going door to door to tell those who are in danger of losing their homes about their legal rights. See the segment from PBS NewsHour.

DA stands by criticism levied against public defenders
After discussing funding differences between the local prosecutor's office and the public defender's office in Colorado, District Attorney Martin Beeson told the Aspen Daily News, "Public defenders are not defenders of the public. They are not serving the public good. They are taxpayer-funded attorneys for criminals." Now, despite criticism, Beeson is standing by his statements. Read more on the article in the Aspen Dailiy News and continuing controversy.

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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