Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, March 9, 2015

About the Pro Bono Newsletter

The mission of the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program is to increase the provision of high quality, low-cost legal services to North Carolina residents in need by empowering lawyers to accept more pro bono cases and creating a life-long commitment to pro bono work among UNC Law students. This newsletter supports our mission by providing current students with a comprehensive list of ways to get involved in Pro Bono work while still a student at UNC Law, as well as offering context for the good work our students do through news and information. Look for the Pro Bono Newsletter in your inbox every Monday at noon!

Attorney-Sponsored Projects

To secure a spot on an Attorney-Sponsored Project, you must sign up at the Pro Bono Bulletin Board near the student mailboxes. For other questions please contact Samuel Williams, Attorney Projects Coordinator, at

For Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault: Introducing a Toxicology Expert

AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women

Time: 20 Hours
Location: Remote
Due Date: 4/17/15

AEquitas is looking for student(s) to help us to compile a resource on the use of toxicology experts in sexual assault cases that involve alcohol. We would like the students to develop: (1) A compilation of statutes that addresses the below questions; (2) a digest of case law that addresses the below questions; and (3) a summary research memo that describes the students’ findings on how the jurisdictions across the United States handle the below questions. The 2 research questions are: In an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault trial, can the prosecution call a toxicologist to testify regarding the victim’s level of intoxication? In an alcohol-facilitated sexual assault trial, can the prosecution call a toxicologist to testify regarding the defendant’s level of intoxication (can the prosecution do this as part of its case in chief, or are there certain things that must occur prior to the introduction of such testimony, e.g., the defendant must have officially asserted intoxication as a defense). Students will be working with AEquitas staff to identify trends, common challenges to introducing toxicology experts, and strategies to proceed in sexual assault cases.

Criminal Defense Trial and Motion Preparation (Durham Superior Court)

Charns & Donovan Law Firm

Time: 10 hours
Location: Onsite
Due Date: March 16, 2015

I would like the help of some law students on the defense of an accused who was stopped by Durham police for an alleged traffic offense there is a Motion to Suppress for an unconstitutional stop). The defense evidence is that the officer assaulted the accused, threatened to shoot the accused and the officer’s gun discharged leading to the officer’s injury. Our evidence is that the officer shot himself. We’ve given notice of self-defense. I was appointed by the Public Defender as the accused is indigent.

Attend NC General Assembly Appropriations Committee Meetings

NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Time: 3 Hours Per Week
Location: Onsite
Start Date: Variable (will need to speak with attorney)
Due Date: April 17, 2015

NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence is seeking law student pro bono volunteers interested in policy and the legislative process to attend one or more Appropriations Committee Meetings each week to monitor discussions for issues that would impact funding to domestic violence agencies and immediately notify NCCADV’s lobbyist when issues of funding impacting DV. Students are expected to work Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday morning between 8:30 and 10:00.

Student Group-Sponsored Projects

If you would like your project to appear below, please contact Nicole Daniels, Group Projects Coordinator, at

Black Law Student Association and Center for Civil Rights Wills Clinics

Training: Friday, March 13 at the Center for Civil Rights, 1-3 p.m.
Rocky Mount Clinic: March 21 (transportation will be provided)
Chapel Hill Clinic: March 28

Interested students can register online.

Please direct question to Gabriel Odeh at or Kandace Watkins at

What: HLLSA Naturalization Clinic

When: March 21, 2014
What Time: 9:00 a.m. You can sign up for shifts between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Where: El Centro Hispano, 600 E. Main Street, Durham, NC

One of our favorite HLLSA pro bono projects is coming up soon and we want you to be involved! On Saturday, March 21, we will be joining NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected And Appointed Officials) for a Citizenship Clinic, where we will help lawful permanent residents complete their naturalization applications. All class years are invited to participate. If you have not completed training for the clinic before please contact either Andrea ( or Kristi ( ASAP so that we can organize a training session. You can sign up online.

Pro Bono Program Initiatives

The Cancer Pro Bono Legal Project-Now accepting 2015-2016 Board Member applications!

The deadline to apply is today, March 9!

Open positions include Clinic Coordinator, Attorney Coordinator, Administrative Coordinator, Trainings Coordinator, Student Promotions Coordinator, and Hospital Promotions Coordinator. Each new board member will be paired with a senior board member who will help share responsibilities. You can apply even if you have not yet had an opportunity to serve at a clinic! Please email Kristi Nickodem at for an application!

News and Special Events

Lawyer on the Line Celebrates Four Years of Pro Bono Service!

Every year, Lawyer on the Line connects thousands of low-income North Carolinians with volunteer advocates who provide free, over-the-phone legal help with routine cases. Since it launched in 2011, more than 12,000 people have received free legal help through the program, thanks to the efforts of more than 1,000 volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law school students - a level of service estimated to be worth roughly $3 million based on a typical hourly rate for private attorneys. Already in 2015, Lawyer on the Line volunteers have served nearly as many clients as they did for the entire first year of the program, and our network of active volunteers is twice as big now as it was in 2011. Read more about the accomplishments of this great program.

To add items or provide feedback, please contact Sylvia Novinsky, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs, or Jared Smith, Research Assistant for Public Service Programs.

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