Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, April 2, 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

Failures in the Criminal Justice System: The Trayvon Martin Case

April 4, 5:30 p.m., room 5042 with march to follow

The UNC School of Law Black Law Student Association (BLSA) invites you to participate in a discussion, march, and rally for Trayvon Martin. Featured panelists include Dean Richard Myers and Representative Larry D. Hall (D-NC House District 29). At the conclusion of the program, we will march from the law school to main campus. The march will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the fountain in front of the UNC School of Law. Please dress comfortably and, if possible, wear a hooded sweatshirt to symbolize the injustice of racial profiling. Questions? Contact Fallon Speaker or Jeremy Collins.

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

Shrinking Budgets, Growing Debt: Is College Still Affordable?

April 4, 7:30 p.m., NC Central University - Alfonso Elder Student Union

Join us for an event on higher education funding trends and the challenges they create for postsecondary access and completion. Presenters will provide an overview of national and North Carolina state funding trends. The meaning of these policy choices in students' lives and proposed solutions by young people will also be presented.

State funding for public higher education defrays costs that otherwise would fall on students, playing a critical role in keeping postsecondary education affordable. Yet over the last twenty years, state funding for higher education has declined. By investing less in higher education, states are effectively shifting costs to students and their families in the form of escalating tuition and fees. For students of color, this shift has created even greater barriers to access and completion. These higher costs are especially alarming in light of stagnant household incomes and as a postsecondary education has become a prerequisite for obtaining a decent job and entering the middle class. You can find more information, including a list of panelists, and RSVP online.

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.

Become a Witness for Justice: Visit a Migrant Labor Camp

The Farmworker Unit's Witness for Justice (WFJ) program introduces students and members of the community to migrant farmworkers who live in isolated labor camps around North Carolina and lack contact with the larger population. Volunteers accompany staff members and take notes on camp demographics, take pictures, hand out brochures and interact with workers. Contact Kate for more information.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Check out these recent PI postings on Symplicity!

  • Legal Intern at Environmental Defense Fund (Raleigh, NC)
  • Research Assistant at UNC Civil Legal Clinic (Chapel Hill, NC)
  • Public Policy Intern at NC Center for Nonprofits (Raleigh, NC)
  • Summer Intern at Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund (Atlanta, GA)
  • Legal Intern at Kids in Need of Defense (New York, NY and Newark, NJ offices)
  • Summer Fellow at Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (Cambridge, MA)
  • Research Assistant at NC Coastal Resources Law, Planning & 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)

PSLawNew Project Assistant

Are you working in D.C this summer, and looking for extra income? PSLawNet is looking for a few project assistants to help update and manage database content on the PSLawNet website. This is an ideal opportunity for law students who have lined up unpaid or low-paying internships in Washington DC and who want to supplement their income by working a few hours per week.

Interested students can learn more about the position online. Apply via Symplicity by April 16.

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.

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.

Heather Jarvis: Student Loan Expert is an excellent blog for those interested in public interest careers, but intimidated by the growing student debt.

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!

Upcoming Government Program Deadlines

The creators of the Government Honors & Internship Handbook have provided us with a handy listing of government program deadlines within the next few weeks (opportunities for 1Ls, 2Ls and 3Ls).

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

Professor Weissman in DTH on NC Court Interpreters

A recent Daily Tar Heel included a story about important policy work performed by Deborah Weissman and her students in the Immigration and Human Rights Policy Clinic. They investigated and wrote about a systematic shortage of foreign language interpreters in North Carolina courts. They sent their report to the U.S. Department of Justice, which investigated further, verified the research, and recently issued official findings that will, one hopes, lead to a remedy.

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