Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, March 3, 2014

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

Environmental Law Project Board Interest Meeting

Tuesday, March 4, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 5048

At this meeting we will discuss the process for applying for an ELP board position and provide an overview of what it's like on the ELP board. Each member of the current board will talk about their general responsibilities and experiences on the board so you can make an informed decision about for which position to apply.

A Broken System: Race and Mass Incarceration

Wednesday, March 5, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 5046

Join the American Constitution Society for a discussion on race and mass incarceration, featuring:

Joe Kennedy, UNC School of Law: Kennedy is a Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he has taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Investigation, Computer Crime Law, Criminal Justice Policy, Constitutional Law, and International and Comparative Criminal Law. Kennedy taught International Law and Intellectual Property at Northwest University in Xi'an, China during the spring semester of 2012 on a Fulbright Lecture Award. Kennedy served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UNC Law School for the 2005-06 academic year.

Daryl Atkinson, Southern Coalition for Social Justice: Atkinson is a staff attorney at SCSJ focusing on criminal justice reform issues. Prior to coming to SCSJ, Daryl was a staff attorney at the North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services (IDS) where he co-managed the Collateral Consequence Assessment Tool (C-CAT). C-CAT is an online searchable database that allows the user to identify the civil disabilities triggered by North Carolina arrests, indictments, and convictions. Because of Daryl’s intimate knowledge of collateral consequences he was chosen to serve on an advisory committee for the American Bar Association’s collateral consequence project.

Carolina Public Interest Law Organization Board Interest Meeting

Wednesday, March 5, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 4082

Current board members will be there to describe the work of C-PILO and the responsibilities of each board position. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the rewards and demands of serving on the board. Lunch will be provided.

Panel on Lethal Injection & the Death Penalty

Wednesday, March 5, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 4085

Join the UNC National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the UNC Death Penalty Project for an engaging panel focusing on recent developments in the debate over lethal injection in death penalty cases. The panel will include David Weiss of Copeley Johnson Groninger LLP. This event is part of the NLG Student Week Against the Death Penalty and is co-organized by the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Screening: "The Execution of Wanda Jean"

Wednesday, March 5, 7:30-9:00 p.m., Room 4085

"The Execution of Wanda Jean" chronicles the life-and-death battle of Wanda Jean Allen, the first black woman to be put to death in the United States in the modern era. (IMDb)

UNC National Lawyers Guild and the UNC Death Penalty Project will be screening this moving documentary as part of the National Lawyers Guild Student Week Against the Death Penalty.

Healthy popcorn will be served!

Summer Funding Opportunities

Public Interest Summer Grant Application Now Open

The Public Interest Summer Grant Application is now open on My Carolina Law until the deadline on Thursday, March 20 at 11:58 p.m. This process is open to all Class of 2016, Class of 2015, and December 2015 graduates. Students with questions about the summer grants or application process can contact Samara Reynolds in the CDO.

Career Corner

Immigration Law Association Career Panel

Wednesday, March 5, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 5048

The Immigration Law Association will be hosting a career panel where students can about the practice of immigration law. Come hear from community professionals who are working in diverse areas of immigration law, and bring your questions! Lunch will be served.

Panelists include:

  • Professor Deborah Weissman from UNC Law
  • Mr. Jeff Sapko from the USCIS field office for Raleigh-Durham
  • Ms. Heather Sivaraman from the Law Offices of Dayna Kelley

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Featured Public Interest Position: Research Assistant, Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity

Open to 1Ls and 2Ls; deadline is March 14

The Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity is seeking full-time (30 hours/week) RAs for the summer of 2014. Research will involve issues of poverty and economic justice, including access to civil justice, economic/statistical research about North Carolina cities, towns, and regions, child poverty and development, and homelessness. Some of the work may be policy and social science based, some may be investigative or journalistic, and some will be legal.

Requirements: Applicants must be

  1. interested in issues related to poverty, particularly in North Carolina
  2. comfortable working across disciplines and topics
  3. able to work independently
  4. willing to work collaboratively with people affected directly by poverty, other organizations, and policy-makers.

The Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity is located in Meadowmont at 323 W. Barbee Chapel Road in Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3382. It is accessible via bus and there is free parking on-site.

To apply, please email your resume and a cover letter to Joe Polich, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center. The deadline to apply is March 14, 2014 and interviews will be conducted at the end of March.

Upcoming Government Deadlines

Below is a sampling of upcoming deadlines for federal government honors programs (3Ls) and summer 2014 internship programs (1Ls & 2Ls). Information about each program can be found on individual department websites, as well as in the Government Honors and Internship Handbook online. If you have questions, need application assistance, or would like to be added to the govcareers email list for relevant announcements, please contact Samara Reynolds, Government Career Counselor in the CDO.

  • Department of the Air Force OGC Internship (1L & 2L): March 10
  • Air Force JAG Internship (1L & 2L): March 10

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Projects are posted on the Pro Bono Board near the mailboxes. Students can sign up for projects on the Pro Bono Board or email

Pro Bono Board Interest Meeting

TODAY! Monday, March 3, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room 4004

All potential applicants for the Pro Bono Board are encouraged to attend an open house with the current Pro Bono Board. The Board will answer any questions applicants have about the role of the Board, responsibilities of specific positions, and the application process.

Remember, all applications (cover letter and resume without GPA) are due by Friday, March 7 at 5 p.m.

Spring Break Project Sign-Up Deadline

TODAY! Monday, March 3, 5:00 p.m.

Spend part of your Spring Break helping to address unmet legal needs in North Carolina! Projects will involve a variety of areas of law and be from a variety of different organizations (nonprofit, government, etc.). Sign-ups will take place online, on a first-come, first-serve basis, beginning on February 27. The remaining projects are listed online; please see recent emails from your class coordinator for more detailed descriptions of the projects. The deadline to sign up is Monday, March 3 at 5:00 p.m. If you have questions, contact Ramona McGee.

Nominate someone for a Pro Bono Publico Award

Each year, the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program celebrates the outstanding pro bono service of its community by soliciting nominations for students, student groups, faculty, and alumni who have demonstrated outstanding pro bono work. Recipients of the Pro Bono Publico Awards are honored at our annual Public Interest Reception and their stories are published in our Annual Report. This year’s reception will be held on Wednesday, April 9, at 12 p.m. in the Law School Rotunda. Award nominations may be submitted by any member of the UNC Law community, alumni, and any legal organization.

Please consider nominating someone you know who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to pro bono work. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, March 28, at 5 p.m. Only nominations submitted through the online survey form will be considered. You may nominate more than one person or group. Please submit nominations separately, but you may use the same nomination form.

Contact Program Director James Jolley with questions.

You can read about the awards criteria online and also nominate award recipients online.

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

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