Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, March 26, 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.

Join our Facebook page Follow us on Twitter

Events at UNC Law

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.

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.

Health and Human Rights Lecture

April 16, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., UNC School of Social Work

The UNC Center for Bioethics and the UNC Global Health Institute are proud to announce the inauguration of a new annual lecture on Health and Human Rights, aimed at fostering dialogue on issues of ethics, justice and health care across the many organizations and programs in NC whose work intersects these themes.

Professor Sofia Gruskin, Director of the Program on Global Health and Human Rights, will discuss the conceptual underpinnings, methods, and goals of human rights approaches to global health issues. This lecture is Monday, April 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building auditorium (UNC School of Social Work, 325 Pittsboro Street). A reception will follow the presentation.

Institute for Justice Conference

June 22-24, George Washington University in DC

The Institute for Justice engages in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government-like the right to earn and honest living, private property rights, the right to free speech and educational choice. The Institute for Justice is now accepting applications for 2012 Law Student Conference. IJ's annual law student conference is open to first and second year law students will be held June 22 to June 24 at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. More information and the application are available online.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Check out these recent PI postings on Symplicity!

  • Summer Fellow at Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (Cambridge, MA)
  • Summer Research Assistant at NC Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Summer Intern at Legal Aid of NC (Greenville, NC)
  • Summer Intern at Columbia University Institute for the Study of Human Rights (New York, NY)
  • Legal Internship at Food & Water Watch (Washington, DC)

Self-Help Legal Internship (paid)

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, please see Symplicity job posting # 5706.

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

Funding Opportunities

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 has been extended to April 10. 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.

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!

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.

ABA Center for Pro Bono Exchange , the blog of ABA Center for Pro Bono, provides technical assistance and planning advice on pro bono advocacy and development to a wide range of constituents.

Career Corner

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!

Public Interest Career Counselor in the CSO

Don't forget to utilize our resident PI employment expert's help! Adrienne Allison in the CSO specializes in working with students who are interested in public interest careers in settings that include legal services and nonprofit organizations, as well as government and fellowship opportunities. Schedule an appointment with Adrienne through email, stop by the CSO, or call at 919.843.9918.

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!

Public Service News

RIP John Payton, Renowned Civil Rights Advocate

John Payton, President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, passed away recently. Read more about the impact of his work.

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

Forward This E-Mail to a Friend