Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, February 6, 2012

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.

Events at UNC Law

Attention 2Ls: Clinic & Externship programs info. meeting!

February 13, noon, room 5042

There will be an information meeting at noon on Monday, February 13 in room 5042 to begin the lottery registration process for the 2012-2013 Clinic and Externship Programs. Students who wish to enroll in a Clinic or Externship for the 2012-2013 academic year MUST attend this important meeting. The lottery registration will close on Monday, February 20 at 4 p.m. Please address any lottery registration questions to the Clinic Business Manager, Melissa Cobb. Information about the online registration/preference selection process may be found online.

Reproductive Justice Conference

February 18, UNC School of Law

LSRJ (Law Students for Reproductive Justice) Regional Conferences bring together chapter leaders and reproductive justice community members to learn about current reproductive justice issues, hear from RJ experts, and network with fellow students. This year's conference will focus on "Reproductive Justice for Healthy Families". The conference is free for law students, and you can register online. Questions? Email the conference coordinators.

2012 UNC Conference on Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity

February 25, UNC School of Law Rotunda

Register now for the upcoming conference on Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity at the UNC Law School. This year's conference is entitled "Waking Up From the American Dream: The Sober Reality of Class in America." The Conference will be on Saturday, February 25 and registration is open now. More information and registration materials are available on the conference website.

Other Public Interest Events

Duke Law Veterans Disability Assistance Project

February 9, Goodfellows Bar, Chapel Hill

The Veterans Disability Assistance Project is hosting a charity bar review, benefiting Healing Heroes, February 9 at Goodfellows Bar in Chapel Hill. There will be a $5.00 cover charge which will entirely be donated to Healing Heroes. Healing Heroes provides financial assistance for quality medical care to the men and women of the armed forces injured in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan on or after 9/11/01. Join Duke law students for a fun night of drinks and friends while supporting Healing Heroes and our country's wounded veterans!

18th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference

February 17-18, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT

The RebLaw conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community advocates from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change. This year's keynote speaker will be Gerald Lopez, UCLA law professor and author of "Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano's Vision of Progressive Law Practice." Registration and more details about the conference are available online. You can also find regular updates on RebLaw's Facebook page.

Minority Health Law Conference

February 24, Friday Center, Chapel Hill

The 33rd Annual Minority Health Law Conference will be held on February 24 at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill. This year’s topic is "Translational Research -- The Road from Efficacy to Equity". The UNC Minority Health Conference is the largest and longest-running student-led health conference in the country. You can find more information and register for the Minority Health Conference on their website.

6th Annual Historic Thousands on Jones St.

February 11, Raleigh NC

The HKonJ Coalition has achieved major civil rights victories since it began in 2007. Led by the NC NAACP, this coalition unites over 90 groups in support of broad civil rights in North Carolina. The coalition is planning their annual march for Justice on February 11 at 9:30 a.m., in Raleigh. For more information and details about the march, please see their website.

Robert M. Cover Public Interest Law Retreat

March 2-4, Sargent Center, Peterborough, NH

This retreat brings together public interest law students and practitioners for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun. 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, discuss the status of public interest law, and learn more about what a public interest legal career is like. The registration deadline is February 16, and is expected to sell out quickly. Find more information about the retreat and register online.

Duke Careers in Service Symposium 2012

February 17, Duke Law School

The Careers in Service Symposium will be held at Duke Law School on Friday, February 17 from 12:30 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. The program will include panels of alumni and locally-practicing attorneys who will talk about their careers in various practice areas of government and public interest legal work. Also scheduled are smaller "mini-sessions," which will allow students an opportunity to meet with panelists in smaller group settings, as well as a networking reception at the close of the event. View the draft agenda and speakers bios and register online. The registration fee for non-Duke registrants is $10. If you have any questions about this symposium, please contact Laura Brockington.

UGA Working in the Public Interest Conference

March 2-3, University of Georgia School of Law, Athens GA

Registration is now open for the 7th annual Working in the Public Interest Conference at the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia, to be held March 2 to March 3. This conference seeks to bring together both practitioners and students to discuss real issues confronting attorneys working in the public interest. WIPI considers the broad scope of public interest law, presenting topics this year that will examine pressing economic issues, such as the impact of the student debt burden on the economy and the fallout from budget cuts on the prosecution of domestic violence, and other topics, including the sustainability of animal farming and perspectives on solo practice and alternative careers. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit the website.

UVA Workshop - Law and War: An International Humanitarian Law Workshop

March 24-25, University of Virginia School of Law

The Human Rights Program of UVA Law will be hosting a weekend workshop, in conjunction with the American Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross, focusing on international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict). This workshop features lectures and hands-on exercises that guide participants through an intensive examination of international humanitarian law (IHL) with a focus on its application to combatants and civilians. The workshop is free, and applications must be submitted by February 24. To access the application or for any questions, contact Jessica Lee.

Upcoming Events at The Parr Center for Ethics at UNC

Lunch & Learn: "Does Free Speech Trump Free Elections?"

February 7, 12:30 p.m., Hyde Hall's University Room

Bob Hall, Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina, will speak about the impact of the Citizens United ruling and special interest money on public policy and elections. This event is open to the public, lunch is provided, and registration is required.

Lunch & Learn: "The Meaning of Political Protest"

February 22, noon, Hyde Hall's University Room

Pardue Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Parr Center Fellow Dr. Bernard Boxill will speak on the history of political protest in the United States and what lessons from the past might be applied to the modern Tea Party and Occupy movements. This event is open to the public, lunch is provided, and registration is required.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Southern Education Leadership Initiative

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) is seeking graduate student applicants. Internships are eight weeks during the summer, and interns receive a stipend of $4,500 plus travel expenses. Interns are placed with nonprofits and foundations throughout the region focused on providing advocacy, grant-making, policy analysis, research, community organizing, and direct service in education. More information about the program and the application process is available online.

Summer Law Clerkships

Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc. is seeking law clerks for the Summer of 2012 in its nine offices to assist attorneys in all phases of client representation and program work. This well-established legal services program is in its 40th year of serving low-income clients and client groups in a 37-county area. Interested applicants should apply via email or mail to Lorie Elam, Deputy Director, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Ky., Inc., 120 North Front Avenue, Prestonsburg, KY 41653. Applicants should send resume, writing sample, and list of references along with a statement regarding the applicant's ability to provide funding for himself/herself.

Research Assistant position with Professor Sabbeth

Professor Kathryn Sabbeth seeks a research assistant for Summer 2012. Subject areas of research are expected to include the definition of public interest lawyering, the role of lawyers' work in American society, and possibly topics in employment discrimination. The position will be 30 hours per week. See Symplicity job posting #5412 for application instructions.

2012 AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships

The 2012 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps host sites will be announced in June. Please visit PSLawNet in the spring to find a selection of AmeriCorps Fellowship openings across the country. Alumni and 3L/4L students apply directly to the host site for open positions, and the host sites will select the appropriate candidates to become 2012 Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellows. If you have any questions regarding the AmeriCorps Legal Fellowships, please email AmeriCorps directly.

Don't forget to check PSLawNet and Symplicity frequently for new job postings. Public Interest jobs are being posted frequently!

Funding Opportunities

ABA Internship for students with a disability

In continuing its mission to promote the equal participation of law students with disabilities in the legal profession, the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights established a partnership with Prudential Financial, Inc., to provide a summer internship opportunity to a 1L with a disability at the Fortune 500 company's Law Department. This internship is paid and will be located in New Jersey. You can find more information and apply online. The deadline for applications is March 25.

Community Engagement Fellowship

The Carolina Center for Public Service is now accepting applications for the new $2,000 Community Engagement Fellowship program. Fellows are responsible for planning and implementing their projects, but work in collaboration with community partners and faculty mentors who are familiar with their topics or geographic areas. Returning, full-time graduate students (individuals or teams) at UNC are eligible to apply with preference given to interdisciplinary teams of students. Applications are due February 6 by 11:59 p.m. and can be found online. For more information, visit the Center's website.

2012 Summer Corps Application

The Equal Justice Works Summer Corps program provides law students with the opportunity to dedicate at least 300 hours of their summer to a legal project at a qualifying nonprofit public interest organization. In 2012, 711 law students will be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps education award in the amount of $1,175 upon their successful completion of the Summer Corps program. Applications for 2012 Summer Corps will be available March 1, 2012. The deadline to apply is March 23, 2012. Please visit our website to learn more, or attend the webinar for more information on the application process.

Summer 2012 Public Interest Grant Information Session

February 20 & Feb. 22, noon, room 4085

Will you be working in unpaid public interest employment this summer? If so, come to this information session! This is open to current 1L and 2Ls interested in applying for a summer grant for unpaid public interest work for Summer 2012. This meeting will give you all you need to know about the application process and summer funding. Information sessions will be held on Monday, February 20 and Wednesday, February 22 from 12:00 p.m.-12:50 p.m. in room 4085. Grant applications are due March 23, and recipients will be notified on April 5. Questions? Contact Dean Novinsky or Dorsey Bachenheimer.

Save the Date!

Free Webinar Series: The Summer Public Interest Job Search

This webinar series, cosponsored by NALP and Equal Justice Works, will provide law students with insight on the key elements of the summer public-interest job application process. All events are free - enroll now!

Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair

Save the date for the Equal Justice Career Fair this Fall. This year, the conference and career fair will be held on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 in Arlington, VA. More details will be posted as the event nears, but this is an event you don't want to miss!

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

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

Civil Rights and Employment Law Research

Glenn, Mills, Fisher, & Mahoney seek students for projects involving legal research, document review, and client interviewing. The first project involves legal research and client interviews for a retirement case against Sprint/Embarq/Centurylink. The second project involves legal research and document review for a sexual discrimination case against Bank of America.

  • Skills Built : Document Review, Legal Research and Writing, Client Interviewing
  • Time Commitment : 10+ Hours
  • Project Due Date: Flexible
  • Location of Work : Student's Choice.
  • Area of Law: Civil Rights, Employment
  • Requirements: Open to ALL students.

New Orleans Public Defenders (3L)

The Orleans Parish Prison houses, among other inmates, individuals awaiting trial who have not been able to make bond. Resources and treatment options for individuals with medical, and particularly mental health, problems are severely limited. We have had a number of clients in OPP who have not been able to obtain the medications they need and/or were taking before their arrest, and we have heard from OPP's medical director that they have a policy of a 30-day waiting period before administering any mental health medication. We would like to explore the possibility of OPD or another organization filing a federal lawsuit to enjoin this practice. The student should research case law related to applicable federal standards in the 5th circuit and elsewhere, pull cases that are on point for relevant procedural and substantive rules, and advise whether litigation in this area is worthwhile.

  • Skills Built: Legal Research and Writing
  • Time Commitment: 20 Hours
  • Project Due Date: April 30, 2012.
  • Location of Work: Remote Location.
  • Area of Law: Criminal Law, Prisoner's Rights
  • Requirements: 3L; The advising attorney has provided research points which will be provided to the assigned student.

If you are interested in these openings, or any other pro bono projects, please sign up on the bulletin board or e-mail .

Career Corner

Legal Career Opportunities in State & Local Government Panel

February 9, noon, room 4082

Members of the North Carolina Bar Association's Government and Public Sector Section will be at Carolina Law to discuss legal career opportunities in local government. Panelists include:

  • Ralph Karpinos, Chapel Hill Town Attorney's Office
  • Tiffanie Sneed ('98), Chapel Hill Town Attorney's Office
  • Erin Wynia ('08), NC League of Municipalities
  • Linda Miles ('73), City Attorney
  • Lori Fuller ('85), NC Department of Justice, Services to State Agencies Section

A pizza lunch will be provided to students who RSVP to Lindsay Knell in the CSO by Tuesday, February 7.

Judicial Clerkship Programs for 2Ls (all students welcome)

A judicial clerkship is a full-time, paid position which usually lasts a year but continues to pay considerable dividends throughout one's career. Second-year students who are interested in exploring the possibility of seeking a 2013 clerkship need to start thinking about it now, since most judges hire clerks well in advance of graduation. We strongly encourage you to attend all three of the following programs:

Judges and Their Clerks: A Special Panel

February 8, noon, room 4085

A panel of federal and state judges – and their current judicial clerks – will be on hand to talk about the clerkship experience. Not only will you learn what the work is like, you will also gain insight into what judges look for in clerks – which is important when applying and interviewing. The panelists, most of whom are UNC grads, are:

  • Hon. William Osteen Jr. ('87), U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina in Greensboro (Clerk: Colin Shive '11)
  • Hon. Patricia Timmons-Goodson ('79), NC Supreme Court in Raleigh (Clerk: Jeremy Tarr '10)
  • Hon. J. Douglas McCullough, NC Court of Appeals in Raleigh (Clerk: Ashley Hare Denmark '10)

Alumni Clerkship Panel

February 29, noon, room 4004

Our panel features distinguished UNC alumni who worked as federal and state court clerks after graduating from law school. The panelists now work in various areas of the legal profession, and will speak about their experiences as clerks and how clerkships helped launch their careers.

The Nuts and Bolts of Applying for Judicial Clerkships

March 21, noon, room 4085

What is J-CAP? Who is OSCAR? If you plan to apply for clerkships, you'll need to know! We'll give you everything you need, including info on what goes into an application, how to find judges, what the timetable is, and more.

Public Service News

NALP/EJW Webinars available online

Summer job search webinars, produced by NALP and Equal Justice Works, are available on the NALP website. The two, hour-long webinars offered expert tips and best practices on cover-letter and resume drafting, as well as interviewing and networking. These webinars are free to access.

To add items or provide feedback, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs, or Sarah Chang, Public Service Fellow.

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