Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, March 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.

Events at UNC Law

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.

The Current State of Military Commissions and the Prosecution of War Crimes
Monday, March 28, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., 4004

The Office of the Chief Prosecutor, Military Commissions (OMC-P), in close cooperation with the military and civilian law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the Federal government, investigates and prosecutes war crimes committed by alien unprivileged enemy belligerents. As you may have recently heard, on 7 March 2011 President Obama signed an executive order that ended his two-year ban on prosecution of detainees at Guantanamo Bay; therefore, the Office of Chief Prosecutor for Military Commissions can move forward with trials for at least some of those men. (See, e.g., this NPR story for more information on the President's action.)

We are honored to have with us two long-time members of the OMC-P, Professor Francis A. Gilligan, Professorial Lecturer of Law at The George Washington University School of Law and Director of Training for the Military Commissions' prosecutors, and Major Daniel Cowhig (UNC Law Class of 1990), Office of the Chief Prosecutor, Military Commissions. Professor Gilligan is co-author of the 2-volume Courtroom Criminal Evidence and the 3-volume treatise, Court-Martial Procedure. We invite you to join them for a unique opportunity to discuss this fascinating area of national security law, i.e., military commissions - the history, the status during the two-year ban, and the near future following the end to that ban.

ALL interested students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend, and questions for the presenters are encouraged!  Sponsored by the Career Services Office

"The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Cultural Identity"
Monday, March 28, 6:00 p.m., Institute for Arts & Humanities, University Room of Hyde Hall, UNC campus

The UNC Latina/o Cultures Speakers Series of the UNC Latina/o Studies Program presents "The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Cultural Identity" by Lorraine M. Lopez from Vanderbilt University.

Lorraine M. Lopez's first book Soy la Avon Lady and Other Stories won the inaugural Miguel Marmol Prize. Her second book Call Me Henri was awarded the Paterson Prize, and her novel The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters was a Borders/Las Comadres Selection. Lopez's Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories was a Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Prize. She has edited a collection of essays titled An Angle of Vision: Women Writers on Their Poor or Working-Class Roots (University of Michigan Press, 2009). Her forthcoming works include a novel, "The Realm of Hungry Spirits" and an edited collection of essays, "The Other Latin@." Q & A and book-signing to follow.

Sponsored by the UNC Program in Latina/o Studies, the Institute for the Arts & Humanities, and the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative. For directions, visit

The School-to-Prison Pipeline in North Carolina: How it Pushes Low-Income Youth of Color out of Schools and into the Criminal Justice System, and What You Can do About It
Wednesday, March 30, 12:00 p.m., 5052

Join Professors Catherine Kim, Tamar Birckhead, and Barbara Fedders, and Advocates for Children's Services attorney Jason Langberg for a lunch and discussion this Wednesday. Pizza will be provided. This event, organized in conjunction with the publication of Professor Kim's new book, The School-to-Prison Pipeline: Structuring Legal Reform, will provide a forum for a consideration of the ways in which local attorneys and advocates can work to keep children in schools and out of prison. Co-sponsored by the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and the UNC Office of Clinical Programs.

Charlotte Law Public Interest Law Society (PILS)/Pro Bono Program Saturday Service Day
Saturday, April 9, 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Charlotte School of Law

The Saturday program allows law students from across the state to network and chat about public interest work being performed across the state. The Saturday Service Day will also give free student training for the Beazer Restitution Fund clinics, Charlotte Law's signature service project that may be applicable to Beazer Homes located in your communities! See:

Agenda for the day: enjoy a free lunch, network and hear about law student public interest work from across the state (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.), receive Beazer Restitution Fund training (1pm to 2pm), participate in a legal service project (Beazer Restitution Fund Clinic) that afternoon from 2 to 4pm, and enjoy a day near the heart of downtown Charlotte!

This Saturday event will be held at the Charlotte School of Law--for directions: To participate, confirm by March 25, 2011 if you can attend. If you have any additional questions, call 704.971.8590 or email

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

Pro Bono Celebration and Publico Awards Ceremony

Mark your calendars for the 2010-2011 Pro Bono Celebration and Publico Awards Reception on April 13 at noon! This annual ceremony celebrates the outstanding pro bono service of students, student groups, faculty, and alumni. It isn't too late to nominate a fellow student, student organization, professor or alum - find information about nominations. Nominations are due today, Monday, March 28 at 5:00 p.m.

Congrats to the Class of 2012!

The Class of 2012 has eclipsed 12,000 hours of pro bono service. That's a new record. Congrats everyone!

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. New postings are added weekly! See a few recently added postings below!

Summer Research Assistant - UNC Civil Legal Assistance Clinic, Chapel Hill, NC

The student in this position will work with Professor Sabbeth and/or collaborating attorneys on litigation and other projects related to civil clinic cases. We anticipate that this summer will involve one larger employment discrimination case and several other smaller cases related to employment and housing matters. This should be an excellent opportunity to gain practice-related experience. Rising 3Ls are strongly preferred.

Internship is for any 12 weeks between May 9 and August 26, 2011 for 30 hours per week.

Judicial Internship - the Honorable James Ammons, North Carolina Superior Court, District 12, Fayetteville, NC

Whole summer or half summer; very flexible schedule. The judge is a UNC graduate and loves having UNC students as interns. Application deadline is March 31.

Summer Intern - Forsyth County Public Defender's Office, Winston-Salem, NC

The Forsyth County Public Defender's Office (Defender District 21) is accepting applications for one or two summer interns. The office prefers 2L applicants. This is a great opportunity for students interested in criminal defense. Application deadline is March 31.

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.

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.

How to stay current on public interest law news...

With a few clicks, most anyone can create a blog as an avenue to share their thoughts on just about anything. There are lots of legal blogs out there, some fresh and on point and others that miss that mark, but for those who are interested in public interest law and want to keep up with news in the field, here are a few to bookmark:

Criminal Law

Environmental Law

Immigration Law

Other blogs

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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