Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, March 14, 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.

Events at UNC Law

Applying for Judicial Clerkships: A Nuts and Bolts Presentation
Tuesday, March 15, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., 4085

The CSO will present very important, detailed information on how to apply for post-graduate judicial clerkships. All 2Ls thinking of applying for clerkships should attend.

Public Interest Peer Mentoring Program End-of-Year Spring Picnic
Wednesday, March 16, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Law School Courtyard

This is the final event of the year for mentors and mentees in the Public Interest Peer Mentoring Program. This event is potluck so bring a dish of your choice to share. Rain location is the Rumpus Room.

Race and the Law: Theory and Practice
Monday, March 21, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., 5046

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 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

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!

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

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

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 Lauren Felter at

Driver's License Restoration Project

The Driver's License Restoration Project will have a client contact session on March 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m in 4051. Students who attended training and passed certification this semester are eligible to meet with clients. This will be the last client session of the semester at UNC. Contact to participate.

Pro Bono Board Interest Meeting

An interest meeting for those interested in applying for the 2011-2012 Pro Bono Board will be on Monday, March 21 at noon in 4004. Interviews will take place on March 31. More information about the application and selection process will be available at this meeting.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Featured Postings 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 few recently added postings below!

NC Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center

The NC Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center is seeking a law student this summer to assist in research legal, scientific and policy issues relating to a study being conducted of the inner coast of North Carolina. The study is being conducted by a study committee consisting of academics and state agency personnel. The position is for 30 hours a week for seven (7) weeks during the time period of May 9, 2011-June 25, 2011. Any student interested should contact Professor Joseph Kalo at Please include a current resume and a writing sample.

NC Association of Women Attorneys

The North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA) is looking for a motivated first-year or second-year law student to work 10-15 hours a week during the summer, for approximately 8-10 weeks. Job responsibilities may include: writing articles for the NCAWA newsletter; assisting in planning networking events to connect law students and women attorneys in North Carolina; and assisting with the planning and preparation for the NCAWA Annual Conference, including researching and assembling CLE materials (and contacting speakers), organizing the Conference silent auction, assisting with logistics of community service at the Conference, and possibly other projects running concurrent with the Conference. The majority of the work can be done from home and on your own time schedule. We are also flexible in accommodating your schedule to allow you to pursue additional opportunities for your summer. Although the internship is unpaid, you would be invited to attend the NCAWA 33rd Annual Conference at the gorgeous Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC, September 15-17, 2011, for FREE (registration and hotel/meals included).

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume as attachments to an email addressed to Lesley Albritton,, AND Jessica Leaven, (together on one email, please).

Please note: Although the deadline for submitting your application is April 15, 2011, we will begin reviewing applications immediately and on a rolling basis. We hope to be able to make an offer (or offers) prior to the school's deadline for summer funding applications, in hopes that the intern can receive some monies from her school for this unpaid internship.

Featured Posting for 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. See a recently added posting below!

Richard A. Wiebe Public Service Fellowship, New York State Senate

A memorial fellowship was established upon the retirement of an extraordinary public servant, tax specialist, and advisor to governors and Senate leaders. Students with legal training and a variety of other backgrounds have been selected. The Wiebe Fellow is placed in the Majority Counsel/Program Services Office. Fellowship runs from Thursday, September 8, 2011 to Wednesday, July 11, 2012. See the posting on Symplicity for more details!

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

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.

Public Service Resources

Webinar on Landing the Ideal Public Interest Law Job

NALP presents "Destination Public Interest: Landing the Ideal Public Interest Job." This webinar, designed for 3Ls and recent graduates who are pursuing public interest jobs, offers best practices and tips in the areas of cover letter and resume drafting, as well as interviewing and professional networking. Watch the webinar.

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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