Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, November 7, 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.

Save the Date!

UNC Law 2012 Public Interest Retreat

Please save the date for UNC Law's 2012 Public Interest Retreat to be held on February 3 at the Law School starting at 3:00 p.m., followed by Happy Hour at Bailey's in Chapel Hill. A more detailed agenda will be available next semester, but you can look forward to networking opportunities with public interest alums, topical breakout sessions with local practitioners and professors, a session on affording life as a public interest attorney, and an inspiring keynote address. Registration information will be available soon. Questions? Want to help? Email Meghan Melloy or Shonaka Ellison.

Events at UNC Law

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.

Consumer & Commercial Law Society Mexican Food Sale!

Tuesday, November 8, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Rotunda

The Consumer & Commercial Law Society (CCLS) will be serving plates including a taco (beef, chicken, or black beans), rice and beans, along with toppings, courtesy of Bandido's Mexican Cafe. Each plate will cost $5 CASH. Come early and bring a friend! Please bring bills of smaller denominations ($5s and $10s) if possible. All proceeds will go to CCLS and will help to organize bigger and better events in the future. See our Facebook event page.

1L Workshop: Navigating Symplicity & Researching Employers

Wednesday, November 9, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085

Holly Bryan and Kala Glenn-Pruitt of the CSO will present an important introduction to Symplicity, Carolina Law’s online career management system. This system is used for much of your job search activity, including bidding for On-Campus Interviews and Job Bank postings. Shanda Lewis, UNC’s Lexis representative, will discuss how you can use LexisNexis to research employers.

Training especially helpful for 1Ls, but others who would like a refresher are welcome to attend.

Juvenile Justice Discussion

Wednesday, November 9, 7:00 p.m., 5042

As the nation draws deeper into a recession, state legislators have engaged in budget cuts and there is a movement to make state programs more cost effective and an efficient use of scarce budgetary resources. In North Carolina, state legislators have drastically cut the budget for Indigent Defense and for the Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that is responsible for the management of the Juvenile Justice court personnel and youth development centers.

The Institute of African American research and the UNC School of Law Juvenile Justice Clinic are hosting a discussion of policy makers, activists, scholars, judges, and lawyers to discuss the issues confronting the juvenile justice system and those who work in it and on behalf of children in the State of North Carolina to discuss the following issues. Juveniles of color are disproportionately represented at every stage of juvenile court proceedings from arrest to incarceration at youth development centers. What is this theory of disproportionate minority contact? What can be done to combat this increasing issue in North Carolina? What is the purpose of the juvenile detention centers? If they are not working, is there a better model that we as North Carolinians can adopt? What are some of the experiences of incarcerated juveniles? What are the collateral consequences on the families of incarcerated children? Finally, should North Carolina increase the age of criminal adulthood from 16 to 18 and what effects will this have on the State budget and the justice system?

Legal Careers in Higher Education Panel

Thursday, November 10, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085

Have you ever thought about working in a university setting? Join us on November 10th to hear 5 speakers who are using their legal education to do just that. Panel hosted by the Education Law & Policy Society and the Career Services Office. Lunch will be served.

  • Kelly Podger Smith - Higher Education Administration
  • Professor John Coyle - Teaching and Research
  • David Harrison - UNC General Administration Legal Affairs
  • Fletcher Fairey - UNC CH Office of University Counsel
  • Shante Martin - NC Community College Legal Counsel

Practicing Poverty Law in NC: 3 Million Clients & Growing

Friday, November 11, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5052

The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity presents an afternoon of NC poverty law experts, from a range of practices and interest areas. How do lawyers advocate for poor people? How has the practice of poverty law changed as a result of the shifts in funding or technology? What are the rewards and frustrations for attorneys working in this challenging yet critical field? Come hear the answers to these and other poverty law questions!

Speakers include:

  • Jim Barrett, Pisgah Legal Services
  • Carol Brooke, NC Justice Center
  • Anita Earls, Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Pamela Glean, NCCU School of Law, Virtual Broadband Justice Project
  • George Hausen, Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • Deborah Weissman, UNC School of Law Immigration/Human Rights Policy clinic
  • James E. Williams, Jr., Public Defender for Orange and Chatham Counties
  • Debbie Goldstein, Center for Responsible Lending

The conference will be followed by a light reception. This event is free, and no registration is required. For more information, go to the Center's website.

Death Penalty Projects Presents Bryan Stevenson

Monday, November 14, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5042

Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law, is coming to speak about capital punishment and the US criminal justice system.

Consumer & Commercial Law Society Talk with Eric Stein

Thursday, November 17, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5046

Consumer & Commercial Law Society is hosting a talk with Eric Stein. Mr. Stein was a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection at the U.S. Treasury department from 2009-10, and he played a key role in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He will be discussing his experiences working on the Dodd-Frank Act, the creation of the CFPB and its future, the current state of consumer financial protection, and career paths in this field. Food will be provided.

Other Public Interest Events

Middle East Film Series: Shirin Ebadi: A Simple Lawyer

Monday, November 7, 2011, 7:30 p.m., FedEx Global Education Center, Nelson Mandela Auditorium (Main Campus, UNC-Chapel Hill)

This documentary profiles Iranian attorney Shirin Ebadi who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts for democracy and human rights, in particular the struggle for the rights of women and children. Appointed the first female president of the Tehran City Court in 1975, Ebadi lost her position following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, when women were forbidden to serve as judges. The film features an in-depth interview with Edabi conducted in her office, speeches at numerous international conferences, and a visit to the children's center she founded.

Film Screening: Rape on the Reservation

Thursday, November 17, 5:30 p.m., Greenlaw 101 (Main Campus, UNC-Chapel Hill)

One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime. Correspondent Mariana Van Zeller travels to Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota where sexual assault and violence against women has escalated to murder. What happened to 19-year-old Marquita, and how can the reservation's understaffed police force keep it from happening again? This screening will be followed by a discussion.

Solo/Small Firm Conference

Friday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., NC Bar Center, 8000 Weston Parkway, Cary, NC

The Solo/Small Firm Conference is dedicated to helping solo practitioners and small firms build their business and improve their practice. This is a great networking events and students get a special rate of $25. Find more information and register online.

What about the Children? Symposium on Children of Incarcerated Parents

February 14, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday Center, Chapel Hill, NC

Save the date for the Symposium on Children of Incarcerated Parents! More information will be available soon, but Continuing Education Units will be available. Call 919.843.2670 or email for more information.

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

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: Immigrant Justice Program Attorney, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont

Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, a non-profit provider of civil legal assistance to low-income persons in the Charlotte area and Western North Carolina, seeks candidates for Staff Attorney (temporary, one-year position) assigned to the Immigrant Justice Program with primary concentration in domestic violence, other family law and landlord tenant cases.

LSSP is committed to aggressive advocacy on behalf of low-income people in many areas of law and in all forums in which their rights and interests are determined. LSSP attorneys give legal advice, represent individual low-income clients in state and federal courts and administrative agencies, provide community legal education, participate in community events, assist other agencies serving low-income people and engage in class action litigation and in legislative, administrative and other systemic advocacy projects and activities. LSSP is funded by grants from federal, state and local government agencies, United Way of Central Carolinas, private foundations, individual contributions and client fees but receives no Legal Services Corporation funds. More information about LSSP is at:

Qualifications: NC Bar license; demonstrated commitment to low-income people; strong communication and analytical ability; strong interest in both individual and systemic advocacy, self-motivated, creative and dependable. Sufficient proficiency in Spanish to conduct client interviews without interpreter is required.

Salary: $41,000+ depending on experience; generous leave and benefits.

To Apply: Send detailed letter explaining your qualifications for and your interest in the specific position and in this organization, bar status, and experience with low-income people accompanied by a resume; writing sample; the names and telephone numbers of three references; and any other relevant information to: Kenneth Schorr, Executive Director, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, by email to or by mail to 1431 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC, 28204, email is preferred.

Summer Opportunities

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

Featured Posting: Summer 2012 Law Clerk, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Washington, DC

The Bureau anticipates hiring 10 1Ls and 2Ls for its 10-week, paid (2Ls) and unpaid (1Ls) Summer Law Clerk Program. In 2010, 10 were hired out of hundreds of applications. Interns work with attorneys and investigators in all 7 practice divisions conducting investigations, assisting with ongoing litigation, interviewing witnesses, performing legal research, and drafting legal memoranda. They also participate in motions and deposition practice training, and "hot topics" mini workshops. Outstanding summer law clerks may receive offers of full-time employment with after graduation.

The Bureau protects against unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices, and enforces consumer protection laws enacted by Congress and trade regulations issued by the Commission. Its actions include individual company and industry-wide investigations, administrative and federal court litigation, rule-making proceedings, and consumer education. The Bureau is divided into 7 divisions: Advertising Practices, Consumer and Business Education, Enforcement, Financial Practices, Marketing Practices, Planning and Information, and Privacy and Identity Protection.

Qualifications: The Bureau hires highly motivated students interested in litigation, investigation, and public policy in the areas of consumer protection, fraud, and privacy. Selections are based upon interview, enthusiasm for regulatory/consumer protection issues, previous work experience, grades, and writing sample.

Application Instructions: Submit cover letter, resume, writing sample (max. 15 pgs), law school transcript (1Ls provide date first semester grades not available in cover letter if transcript not available), by Wed., Feb. 1, 2012 (1L). Offers are typically extended within 1 month of interview. The application period for 2Ls has already ended. For more information:

Submit by Email ONLY:

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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