Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, February 28, 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.

Please note that the newsletter will not be published next Monday, March 7, 2011, due to spring break.

Events at UNC Law

Disability Law Career Panel
Tuesday, March 1, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085

Disability Law will host a career panel featuring Carrie G. Basas, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, UNC-Chapel Hill, Adrienne Allison, Lead Attorney, Disability Rights North Carolina, Jennifer Bills, Lead Attorney, Disability Rights North Carolina, and Nicole A. Crawford, Partner, Brooks Pierce, Greensboro, NC. Come learn about what it means to practice disability law!

Race and the Law: Theory and Practice
Tuesday, March 1, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4004

As civil rights attorneys, the Center for Civil Rights hears from both critics and allies that an emphasis only on integration is not always the communities' priority, or not the best strategic choice. Is this a step backwards to the pre-Brown period of "separate but equal," or a recognition of the need for new strategies where traditional civil rights approaches have advanced the cause as far as the law or society will accept?

Join the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the Education Law and Policy Society, and the Office of Public Service Programs as Dean John Charles (Jack) Boger, Professor Charles E. Daye, Assistant Professor Catherine Y. Kim, and Visiting Associate Professor Derek W. Black engage in the first of three honest and compelling conversations that respond to the questions of race, class and the law.

  • Is neighborhood and school integration the primary goal of civil rights law?
  • If our goal remains integration, with the current composition of the courts, does a legal focus on equity makes more sense as a legal strategy (Leandro v. Title 6)?
  • Is integration itself merely a necessary means to equity, or does the law continue to recognize integration as an affirmative value?
  • Does integration and diversity necessarily encourage assimilation of people of color and immigrant communities?
  • Does the current civil rights regime provide channels for addressing issues of discrimination within a racially diverse school (like the school to prison pipeline, lack of assistance to students in need of an IEP, or steering children of color into remedial classes), or is it limited to integrating a building?

Civil rights law and legal issues revolving around race and discrimination are both vibrant and legally challenging! Join our esteemed guests as they deconstruct the theory and practice of civil rights law!

VDAY 2011: Speaking Out Against Violence
Wednesday, March 23, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., Law School Courtyard

VDAY 2011 is a series of monologues performed by professors and students to highlight the silenced experiences of survivors of sexual, physical, and emotional violence co-sponsored through collaboration of several student organizations at the Law School. For more information about VDAY, visit www.vday.org.

UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity: A North Carolina Summit: Progress and Economic Justice in a Time of Crisis
Monday, March 28, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., George Watts Hill Alumni Center, UNC Campus

For most of the last decade, poverty rose in North Carolina - even as the economy grew. Then in 2008, with the onslaught of massive recession, the wheels came off. Poverty rates soared. More than one in six Tar Heels now live in poverty. The numbers are worse for persons of color. And, stunningly, almost a quarter of our kids are poor.

Unemployment has rocked much of the state, leading to one of the highest losses of health care coverage in the nation. In addition, the past two years have seen dramatic reductions in social services, further threatening the security, dignity and opportunity of poor and working families in North Carolina. We now face a massive state budget deficit that will likely be narrowed by fiscal decisions that place the greatest burdens on the most vulnerable. These are, in short, emergency times for poor and working people in North Carolina.

The UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity will convene a summit in Chapel Hill on March 28 to explore the dramatic challenges faced by low income North Carolinians and the crucial steps that must be taken, in the months ahead, to address them. We hope that North Carolinians from all walks of life will join us.

Speakers will include:

  • Rev. Dr. William Barber, President, NC NAACP (Keynote address)
  • Andrea Bazan, President, Triangle Community Foundation
  • Anita Brown-Graham, Director, Institute for Emerging Issues, NC State
  • Angela Bryant, Rep. District 7, NC House of Representatives
  • William A. "Sandy" Darity, Professor of African-American Studies and Economics, Duke
  • Chris Fitzsimon, Executive Director, NC Policy Watch
  • William C. "Bill" Friday, President Emeritus, UNC
  • Ferrel Guillory, Director, UNC Program on Public Life
  • Bob Hall, Executive Director, Democracy North Carolina
  • Jarvis Hall, Professor of Political Science, Director of Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change, NC Central; Chair, Political Action Committee, NC NAACP
  • George Hausen, Executive Director, Legal Aid of North Carolina
  • James H. Johnson, Jr., Director, Urban Investment Strategies Center, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC
  • Michael D. Jones, Edmund J. Safra Center, Harvard
  • Melinda Lawrence, Executive Director, NC Justice Center
  • Gene Nichol, Director, Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, UNC
  • Timothy Tyson, Adjunct Professor of American Studies, UNC; Senior Research Scholar, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke; author of Blood Done Sign My Name
  • Leslie J. Winner, Executive Director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

A full conference agenda will soon be available. Registration is $10 but hardship waivers are available. Register online.

Save the Date!

Robert M. Cover Public Interest Law Retreat
March 4-6, Sargent Center, Peterborough, NH

The Retreat brings together public interest law students and practitioners for a weekend of networking and dialogue. This retreat was envisioned by Robert Cover, a Yale Law School Professor and social activist, in order to bring law students together with legal professionals and academics to build networks, to discuss the status of public interest law, and to learn more about what a public interest legal career is like. Find more information about the retreat at http://www.law.yale.edu/news/coverretreat11.htm.

Assisting Law Students with Disabilities Conference
Thursday, March 10, American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC

This annual conference is designed to provide information to law students with disabilities on a variety of subject areas and this year will have a strong focus on seeking employment, which is a concern for all students in this economy, but may present an even greater challenge to students with disabilities. The keynote speaker will be Patricia A. Shiu, Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, US Department of Labor. The full agenda can be found at http://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/founders/2011/20110310.cfm Please register for the conference by going to http://www.wcl.american.edu/secle/registration.

University of Georgia School of Law Public Interest Weekend
April 1-2, University of Georgia, School of Law, Athens, GA

Join Working in the Public Interest (WIPI) and Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) as we host our annual public interest events. Save the date for this premier public interest event so that you can be in the midst of the greatest students, leading professionals, and experienced faculty who are all excited about public interest.

EJF will kick off the celebration with the EJF Auction the evening of Friday, April 1. The auction raises funds to provide stipends for law students who work in unpaid public interest positions. More information at http://www.law.uga.edu/ejf.

The WIPI Conference begins with a keynote address on April 1 before the EJF auction. The conference continues with panels and roundtables on Saturday, April 2. This student run conference has been offered annually since 2005, and seeks to bring together eminent practitioners in their respective fields, students, and faculty to discuss practical approaches to law, which can promote social justice and human rights for all. The conference offers CLE credit and includes roundtables, panel discussions, and a plenary conference. Find more information at http://www.law.uga.edu/wipi.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Projects are posted on the Pro Bono Board near the mailboxes and are listed online at http://www.law.unc.edu/studentlife/probono/projects/. Students can sign up for projects on the Pro Bono Board or email Lauren Felter at UNCProBonoProjects@gmail.com.

Sign up for a Spring Break Pro Bono Project!

Sign-ups for Spring Break Pro Bono Projects open tonight! The website will open at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, February 28 and close at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1st. After signing up for a project through that site, students must sign an e-contract of her or his obligations to complete that project professionally, and then after receiving Supervising Attorney contact information, must contact the supervising attorney.

A full list of projects and directions on how to sign up is linked to http://www.mysignup.com/UNCPBPSpringbreak.

Here are just some of the great projects that attorneys want your help with:

  • Post-conviction review for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Service
  • Researching the constitutionality of the NC smoking ban
  • Researching the constitutionality of in-court drug and alcohol testing
  • Summarizing Plessy v. Ferguson into a lesson plan for high schoolers
  • An asylum case for a teenager forced into the sex trade to gain entry to the US
  • Interstate government contracts with the Environmental Finance Center
  • Drafting a motion to dismiss for the NC Department of Transportation
  • Working on a legislative campaign to combat predatory lending
  • Investigate an "adult establishment" nuisance for the Durham City Attorney

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Featured Posting for Summer Opportunities

Check out the the postings frequently in the Job Bank and Resume Collects for summer opportunities in states all across the US. See a recently added posting below!

Summer 2011 Judicial Intern, The Honorable Carl R. Fox, North Carolina Superior Court, District 15B, Chapel Hill, NC

Judge Fox is a Carolina Law alum (Class of 1978). He contacted the CSO about this opportunity in response to Dean Boger's e-mail to alums soliciting summer internship opportunities.

Mail resume and cover letter to:
The Honorable Carl R. Fox
Senior Resident Superior Court Judge 15B Judicial District
Old Orange County Courthouse
104 East King Street
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Post Graduate Employment Opportunities

Check out the the postings frequently in the Job Bank and Resume Collects for opportunities in states all across the US.

Summer Housing

If you are looking for housing this summer, The Association for Legal Career Professionals, also known as NALP, hosts a site for law students who are looking for a summer rental and/or renting their housing for the summer. Start searching at http://nalpexchange.org/home.cfm?CFID=35863430&CFTOKEN=18796325.

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

Summer Funding Opportunities

Apply for Equal Justice Works Summer Corps 2011

Summer Corps is an AmeriCorps-funded program that in 2011 will provide 700 law students with the opportunity to earn a $1,132 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for dedicating their summer to a qualifying legal project at a nonprofit public interest organization. To learn more about the program please visit the new Summer Corps webpage. The application will be available on the website beginning on March 16 and must be completed by April 5.

Program highlights for and changes for 2011 include:

  • Larger Education Award: The amount of the education award has increased from $1,000 to $1,132 in 2011.
  • More Opportunities: More Summer Corps funding opportunities mean more opportunities for law students to get involved in the public interest field. The 2011 Summer Corps program will be our largest class to date.
  • Summer Corps Standouts Awards and Publicity: The Summer Corps Standout Program was started in 2009 to recognize members for their innovative approach to meeting the needs of an underserved or marginalized person or community. Winners received an article promoting their service on our public interest blog and more!
  • Improved Efficiency: The paperwork requirements have been drastically reduced to further improve the service experience. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is now available electronically and students are able to apply the voucher soon after they finish their service. Please check to make sure your law school is able to accept electronic transfers from the National Service Trust. If your school is not yet registered, please visit the Segal Education Award website.
  • The National Service Movement: National service is as important as ever and law students play an important role in bridging the justice gap. Summer Corps members have consistently reported that their summer internships solidified their commitment to public interest law, while reigniting their passion for the legal profession.

Apply for a Summer Grant from UNC Law

Each year several summer grants are awarded to students who are taking unpaid or low-paying summer public interest jobs. Funding for these grants comes from several sources including CPILO, funds established at the law school by generous donors, and student organizations that raise money for a grant to a student working in a particular interest area.

The deadline for applying for a summer grant is March 25, 2011 and students will be notified after that date. To view and complete the Summer Grant Application visit My Carolina Law, click on the Student Life tab at the top of the page, and select the Summer Grants link. Be sure to check out 10 Tips for Writing a Strong Grant Application.

Contact Dean Novinsky or Dorsey Ballard for questions about grants.

Apply for the 2011 Fellowship in Environmental Law from the NC Bar Association

The Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association(NCBA), with a funding match from the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy andResources and the NCBA Foundation, is excited to once again offer up two environmental law fellowshippositions this summer for students taking positions in public or nonprofit sector organizations. Thefellowships are designed to encourage disadvantaged or traditionally underrepresented law students tostudy and pursue careers in environmental law.

The fellowships are open to all first and second year law students from underprivileged anddisadvantaged backgrounds, including minorities and students from households with limited resources.Interns are expected to procure employment themselves; however, the NCBA will make every effort toassist them by advertising the program among the members of North Carolina's environmental barworking in government and public interest agencies, passing on leads to the successful candidates, andadvocating on behalf of the interested agencies.

The fellowship salary will be $5,000.00 for the summer, with a minimum eight week commitment. Acommittee of the NCBA's Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Law Section will select thefellowship recipients. Actual placement of the selected fellows will occur through a process involving therecipients and representatives of the potential placement organizations meeting with each other.Interested students should send by U.S. mail, fax or e-mail:

  • A completed application
  • A resume and writing sample
  • Undergraduate transcripts and Law School transcripts (2Ls only)
  • Expression of interest

Applications need to be postmarked by March 4, 2011. For an application, go to the CSO.

Please direct questions concerning the Fellowships to Ms. Robin M. Hammond, Esq., Real Property Counsel, NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund at 919.571.6746 or robin.hammond@ncdenr.gov.

Public Service Resources

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. Access this resource.


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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