Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, November 10, 2014

About the Pro Bono Newsletter

The mission of the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program is to increase the provision of high quality, low-cost legal services to North Carolina residents in need by empowering lawyers to accept more pro bono cases and creating a life-long commitment to pro bono work among UNC Law students. This newsletter supports our mission by providing current students with a comprehensive list of ways to get involved in Pro Bono work while still a student at UNC Law, as well as offering context for the good work our students do through news and information. Look for the Pro Bono Newsletter in your inbox every Monday at noon!

Attorney-Sponsored Projects

To secure a spot on an Attorney-Sponsored Project, you must sign up at the Pro Bono Bulletin Board near the student mailboxes. For other questions please contact Samuel Williams, Attorney Projects Coordinator, at

NC Coal Ash Document Review

Southern Environmental Law Center

SELC is currently engaged in active litigation in a number of cases regarding Duke Energy's coal ash waste ponds in North Carolina. We have a large set of documents that need to be reviewed and categorized as part of the discovery process in these coal ash cases. Volunteers will receive training to use our Concordance document review software, and will work closely with attorneys involved in these cases. Volunteers will need to provide a list of references, preferably including references from the UNC School of Law. All work related to this project must be done on-site, and SELC will provide all materials needed.

Hours: 10 per Student
Due Date: December 17

Spanish/English Translation for Domestic Violence Victims

Legal Aid of North Carolina

There is a current need for a bilingual translator to volunteer to conduct interviews and facilitate communications between the staff and attorneys and their clients. Hours are flexible and based on your schedule. Possible activities: translating client interviews, attending court to translate to client (not for official court purposes), translating documents and orders when issued.

Hours: 2 per week

UNC Pro Bono Divorce Clinic

Legal Aid of North Carolina

Once again, UNC Law Public Service Programs and Legal Aid of North Carolina are partnering to hold a Pro Bono Divorce Project this Spring. Students will have the opportunity to interview and represent low-income clients in simple divorces. Students will interview clients, draft pleadings, and 2L and 3L students will conduct divorce hearings under attorney supervision.

For due dates and hours requirements, please see the posting on the Pro Bono bulletin board.

Student Group-Sponsored Projects

If you would like your project to appear below, please contact Nicole Daniels, Group Projects Coordinator, at

ELP's Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Project

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and Earth Justice recently filed a complaint against the NC Department of Natural Resources (DENR). DENR re-permitted the state’s industrial hog farms without adequately addressing hog waste disposal. The majority of hog CAFOs in North Carolina are located in poor communities of color and the complaint alleges that the state’s re-permitting of the hog CAFOs discriminates against and disproportionately affects these communities in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The complaint was supported by declarations from people in the community describing what life is like living next to a hog CAFO. Additional declarations will be needed. Professor Savasta-Kennedy has volunteered to find a date to take students out to one of the communities to interview the residents.

Contact: Professor Savasta-Kennedy (

Domestic Violence Action Project: Research Projects for Domestic Violence Attorney at Legal Aid of NC

We are looking for 1 to 4 1Ls or 2Ls to research jurisdictional issues related to domestic violence proceedings. Each research topic should take about 4 to 6 hours. We are also looking for 1 to 6 3Ls who have taken evidence to research questions pertaining to objections in domestic violence proceedings. Each research topic for evidentiary questions should take between 2 and 3 hours.

Contact: Caline Hou ( and Lindsey Brown (

News and Special Events

Winter Break Project Sign-ups are here!

Pull up your Google calendar or Mead day planner and reserve the early morning hours of November 13. Winter Break Project sign-ups will start at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13. There will be projects from a wide variety of areas of law, and with private, nonprofit, and government attorneys. Since the projects are first-come, first-serve you may want to plan on camping out early to ensure you get your top pick. Winter Break Trip participants will be selling breakfast (including coffee!) to fundraise for their trip and to help keep you fed and caffeinated through the morning.

Contact: Hillary Dawe (

Winter Break Project Mentors Needed

Not sure you have time for a full project? The Pro Bono Board is recruiting 2Ls and 3Ls to serve as mentors for students completing a Winter Break Project. Mentors will be able to earn Pro Bono hours as student facilitators (max of 10 hours). The purpose of the mentorship program is to help students feel less isolated while completing a Pro Bono project, with mentors acting as a resource for Winter Break Projects participants. Each mentor will work with 1-5 mentees. Mentors' main responsibility will be to communicate with mentees via e-mail. Ideally, mentors will be assigned to mentees completing a project in an area of law with which the mentor has experience. At least 30 mentors are needed. This is a great way to earn Pro Bono hours, help other students have positive Pro Bono experiences, and meet other students. Below is the link to a google form that will allow you to identify areas of law in which you are interested as well as confirm your availability to communicate via email over winter break. Please submit your name and information by Friday at midnight.

Contact: Hillary Dawe (

To add items or provide feedback, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs, or Jared Smith, Research Assistant for Public Service Programs.

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