Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, March 19, 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.

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Events at UNC Law

UNC Center for the Study of the American South Lecture

March 22, 4:30 p.m., Graham Memorial Hall

Tomiko Brown-Nagin holds a doctorate in history from Duke and a law degree from Yale, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Brown-Nagin teaches courses on American social and legal history, constitutional law, education law and policy and public interest law. She has written widely on civil rights history and law and published in both law and history journals.

Dr. Brown-Nagin will be speaking on March 22 at 4:30 p.m. in the Kresge Foundation Common Room (039) at the Johnson Center for Undergraduate Excellence in Graham Memorial Hall, after a presentation by Dean Boger.

Jammin' for Justice

March 23, 5-8:30 p.m.

Bring your friends and family to hear talented musicians and eat delicious food Friday, March 23 from 5-8:30pm at the annual Jammin' for Justice concert. The event will be outdoors in the law school courtyard. Tickets are for sale this week in the rotunda for $5, or at the door for $10. All proceeds will fund public interest grants.

The Human Rights of Undocumented Parents and Children

March 26, noon, room 5048

The Human Rights of Undocumented Parents and Children is sponsored by the Immigration and Human Rights Policy Clinic. Emily Butera, senior program officer for the Detention and Asylum Program at the Women’s Refugee Commission will be speaking about her special concern, the human rights of undocumented parents and children, ICE detention facilities, and the rights of US citizen children whose parents face deportation.

Pro Bono Panel on The Formerly Incarcerated

March 28, noon, room 5042

The purpose of the panel is to highlight issues affecting formerly incarcerated individuals and policy and legal solutions to help them reenter society. There will be a particular emphasis on how this translates into unmet legal needs in the community. The panel will be moderated by retired UNC Law Professor Richard Rosen, and includes prisoner-turned-lawyer Daryl Atkinson, as well as Kari Hamel from Legal Aid Pittsboro.

Pro Bono Food Truck Rodeo 2

March 29, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Clinic parking lot

Save that PB&J for tomorrow and splurge on a hot lunch from your favorite Food Truck! Back by popular demand, we'll be bringing in 4-6 food trucks for your eating pleasure. Partial proceeds benefit the Pro Bono Program Trips.

Public Interest Mentor Program 1L Class Registration Advising Session

March 30, noon, room 4082

Public Interest Mentees - confused on which classes to take? Would you like some advice from 3Ls regarding course selection for a public interest career? All Public Interest Mentors and Mentees are invited to give and receive class selection advice. This event is sponsored by the Office for Public Service Programs. Questions? Contact Sarah Chang.

Loan Repayment Information for Public Service Lawyers

April 12, noon, room 5052

Are you a graduating 3L that is seeking Public Interest employment? Are you worried about how to repay your student debt after graduation? Vanda Chou, Director of Law School Financial Aid, presents information that you need to know to make good debt decisions post-graduation. This event is hosted by the Office for Public Service Programs. Questions? Contact Sarah Chang.

Professor Birckhead on WUNC

North Carolina is one of only 2 states where 16-year-old criminal suspects are automatically tried as adults. Proponents of raising the age to 18 have tried to get the law changed for years. UNC Law Professor Tamar Birckhead discusses the issue on WUNC's The State of Things. You can listen to the audio.

Other Public Interest Events

From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom

April 13-15, Amherst, MA

Please join the Civil Liberties and Public Policy's 26th Annual Conference, where hundreds of activists, students, and community organizers from around the globe explore connections between reproductive freedom and social justice. A project of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program and the Population and Development program at Hampshire College. For more information please visit the conference website.

Upcoming Events at the Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Taylor Branch, "Violence and Nonviolence in History and Everyday Life"

March 19, 7 p.m., Stone Center auditorium

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and Carolina Law alumnus Taylor Branch returns to Chapel Hill to ask: Is war for the weak? Did Black Power strengthen the civil rights movement? Is nonviolence boring? From drones to mass culture, what is the unexamined role of force? Branch won the Pulitzer Prize for Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, the first volume in his acclaimed three-volume history of the civil rights era. Most recently, he published The Clinton Tapes, a vivid account of the thoughts of a sitting president based on 79 interviews he conducted with Bill Clinton between 1993 and 2001. For details, visit the Honors Carolina website.

Dean Makau Mutua Lecture

March 20, 5:30-7 p.m., Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Dean Makau Mutua, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar, SUNY Buffalo Law School, The State University of New York, is presenting a public lecture entitled "Kenya and the International Criminal Court: Blessing or Curse?". This event will be held March 20, 5:30-7 p.m., in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History auditorium.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Paid Summer Internships at Legal Aid of North Carolina

Legal Aid of North Carolina has opportunities available for paid MLK Internships this summer in the following offices: Fayetteville, Hayesville, Morganton and Pembroke, NC. In addition, there is an MLK internship available with the Charlotte office's Battered Immigrant Project (BIP). Applicants for the BIP must be bilingual in Spanish and English.

MLK interns experience client contact, courtroom participation and legal research and writing on actual cases under the supervision of seasoned legal aid attorneys. Each MLK intern is treated as a valuable member of the legal staff and is expected to participate in case strategy and contribute to overall case management. For more information please visit Applicants should submit their materials via Symplicity by March 21.

Self-Help Legal Internship (paid) with Self-Help

Self-Help is a community development lender that creates and protects ownership and economic opportunity for minority, women-headed, rural and low-wealth families through home and small business lending. Self-Help’s affiliate, the Center for Responsible Lending, researches and advocates for state and national legislation to address predatory lending practices and policies. The intern will work with attorneys at the Center for Responsible Lending on a broad range of legal and policy matters. Major duties include legal research and writing in support of the organization's advocacy, coalition-building, legislative, and litigation efforts related to mortgage, payday loans, auto loans, and other types of consumer credit. The intern will also assist with projects and tools related to laws for tax-exempt organizations. To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to The deadline to apply is March 31.

The Ackerman Summer Fellowship Program

PBLS is a non-profit Legal Services Program funded by The Charleston County Bar Association and other public and private contributors including the Ackerman Foundation. Our primary mission is to facilitate pro bono legal service by the approximately 2000 attorneys in Charleston County. Students perform research, investigation, pleading preparation, drafting of deeds, wills and health care power-of-attorney documents. PBLS will award six paid Fellowships over two six-week sessions, approximately May 14-June 22 and June 25-August 3. To apply, send your resume and three references, two of whom should be present or former law school professors, to:

Diana Fielding/Pro Bono Coordinator
(Charleston) Pro Bono Legal Services, Inc.
111 Church St.
P.O. Box 1116
Charleston, SC 29402
Phone: 843.854.6456

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

Funding Opportunities

Deadline approaching - apply for a UNC Summer PI Grant!

Each year summer grants are awarded to students taking unpaid or low-paying summer public interest jobs. Funding for these grants comes from several sources including: CPILO, private funds given through generous donors, law school funds allocated by the Dean, and student organizations that fundraise to support students working in a particular area of interest. The deadline for applying for a summer grant is Friday March 23 at 5 p.m. and students will be notified by April 5. To view and complete the Summer Grant Application visit My Carolina Law. Be sure to check out 10 Tips for Writing a Strong Grant Application. Questions? Contact Dean Novinsky or Dorsey Bachenheimer.

2012 Summer Corps Application is Now Open!

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 are available online now! The deadline to apply is March 23. Please visit EJW's website to learn more.

Ms. JD 2012 Summer Public Interest Scholarships

Winners will receive a $250 prize to support their continued commitment to public interest work. Women law students entering their second or third year at an accredited U.S. law school and working the summer of 2012 at least 35 hours per week for a minimum of 6 weeks at a government agency or nonprofit organization are eligible to apply. Unpaid judicial externs also qualify. Applications are due no later than March 31 and recipients will be notified by April 10, 2012.

To apply, please email the following application materials to

  1. Resume
  2. Anticipated Summer 2012 Employer (Name, City), Job Title, & Dates of Employment
  3. Expected Summer Funding from Other Sources
  4. Essay (should not exceed 1000 words) on the topic: "What about law school presented an unexpected challenge? What have you done to successfully meet this challenge?" Winning entries will be those that tackle a common law school situation and provide concrete advice.

Robert Masur Fellowship for 1Ls

The Robert Masur Fellowship competition is open to first-year law students who intend to carry out significant activities during the summer between their first and second year in the areas of civil rights and/or civil liberties. Proposed activities may include a writing or research project, work with a public interest organization in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties, work on a civil rights or civil liberties law case under the supervision of a faculty member or lawyer, or any other work in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties. The fellowship recipient receives a $1,000 honorarium. Applications are due March 23. Please see the Fellowship website for more information.

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.

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

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

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!

Public Interest Blog Spotlight

Looking for an interesting and inspiring new blog?

Each week we will highlight a different blog that covers information relevant to public interest law students and attorneys.

Harvesting Justice , the blog of Farmworker's Justice, is an interesting, useful resource for the public and farmworker advocates. Harvesting Justice is dedicated to facilitating an ongoing conversation to enhance understanding of farmworkers' problems and stimulate discussion of effective solutions.

Career Corner

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 the following program:

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.

Still Looking for a Summer Internship?

Don't forget to check out the Career Services Office's public interest job search guide! This thorough manual details the different practice areas available to a public interest attorney, gives helpful advice on activities to participate in during law school to build your resume, and job search strategies. Also, make sure to review the resume and cover letter advice and samples!

Action Plan for Public Interest 3Ls

In his article "A Bar Prep Action Plan for Public Interest 3Ls with No Job Offers," Steven Grumm - who was in your very shoes back in 2003 - offers some advice on how to maximize your time between graduation and bar exam results. Grumm provides tips on bar exam prep, your job hunt, managing your finances, and maintaining your sanity!

Want to start your own Nonprofit?

Kristen Pavon complied this list of general tips for those interested in starting up a nonprofit. Originally published on PSLawNet's Blog.

1. Assess yourself.

Figure out what issues you’re passionate about. It may be that the practice areas you were interested in are transferable for purposes of your nonprofit. Or, not. Either way, brainstorm.

Then, when you’ve written down everything you possibly can about your passions, do the same for your skills. What skills do you have that will be helpful in running your nonprofit? Maybe you were a fundraiser in a past life or a public relations guru — write it down.

2. Assess your community.

Take a look at nonprofits serving your community. What kinds of organizations are there a lot of? Are there organizations that could be doing more? Are there issues that are not being addressed at all? Talk to nonprofit leaders in your community and see what they’re saying.

3. Match up!

After you’ve done your research, it’s time to narrow your nonprofit organization’s focus. Match any needs you found in your community to your passions, interests, or skills.

4. Refine & Plan.

Work on refining what you want to accomplish, who you want to serve, and how you plan on delivering your services. You’re almost there when you can describe your organization’s goal, mission and services in one sentence.

5. Get that money, honey.

Fundraising and finding supporters will be the most important and toughest part of starting your nonprofit. You have to relentlessly reach out to people who may have an interest in supporting your organization’s work and develop relationships with community leaders that can lend credibility to your organization. Also, apply for grants!

6. Incorporate.

Here's where your lawyering skills come in handy! Go to the IRS's website to find your state's incorporation forms and information. Nonprofit board members are veryimportant because they will be the champions for your organization. Choose wisely.

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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