Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, September 20, 2010

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.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities


  • Natural Resources Defense Council - DC, New York, California, Illinois
  • Wake County Public Defender - Raleigh, NC
  • Atlanta Legal Aid Society - Atlanta, GA


  • Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship, Georgetown University Law Center - Washington, DC

Check Symplicity regularly for both summer and post-graduation opportunities.

Events at UNC Law

Public Interest Peer Mentor Program: Brown Bag Lunch Meet-Up
Wednesday, September 22, 12 p.m., Boardroom 5003

Join fellow students in the Peer Mentor Program for the first event of the school year! Come meet your mentor or mentee and other public interest students. Bring your bag lunch, dessert will be provided.

2L Public Interest Job Search
Wednesday, September 29, 12 p.m., 4082

All second-year students planning a career in public interest should attend this session with Dean Novinsky. The discussion will include information about what you should be doing now to secure a summer position and how to plan ahead for the post-graduation job search. Come hear about available job search resources and more.

3L Public Interest Job Search
Thursday, October 7, 12 p.m., 4082

Join Dean Novinsky for a session devoted to third-year students searching for a career in public interest. The discussion will include information about what you should be doing now for your post-graduation job search. From basics to helpful tips, come hear about available job search resources and more.

Public Interest Peer Mentor Program: Chili Dinner!
Sunday, October 17, 7 p.m.

Public interest mentors and mentees: Mark your calendars for the annual Chili Dinner! Please join us for a relaxed evening with fellow public interest peers and some delicious home cooking!

Save the Date!

Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) Conference
Saturday, October 2, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Interested in working or living in Atlanta, Georgia? This conference is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet practitioners from Atlanta-based organizations doing public interest work. The conference will focus on addressing poverty in Atlanta, and the barriers which exist. Discussions will focus on how to access quality healthcare, education and housing and ways to open avenues for improved access. Another set of panels will address discrimination in areas of environmental equality and criminal justice, as well as unique challenges faced by impoverished women. Sign up for the conference and learn more details here. It is free to attend.

Communities in Dark Times: A Lecture by Dr. Camilla Stivers
Tuesday, October 5, 4 p.m., UNC School of Government

Dr. Camilla Stivers, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University, will present "Communities in Dark Times" at the School of Government, Knapp-Sanders Building. Dr. Stivers is the author of Governance in Dark Times: Practical Philosophy for Public Service, which received the Brownlow Award from the National Academy of Public Administration. This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Carolina MPA program's Carolina Society for Future Leaders.

Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
Thursday, October 28, 5 p.m., Varsity Theater on Franklin Street

Join the Center for the Study of the American South for a screening of To Kill a Mockingbird at the Varsity Theater on Franklin Street (free with UNC One Card, $3 for general public) followed by a panel discussion with notable writers moderated by Professor Nichol. There will also be a reception to follow at the Ackland Art Museum (RSVP to requested).

"The Unfinished Work": Advancing New Strategies in the Struggle for Civil Rights
November 1-2, Friday Center for Continuing Education

Join the UNC Center for Civil Rights, its co-conveners and nation's most talented attorneys, advocates and scholars for a national conference dedicated to the life and career of civil rights pioneer, Julius L. Chambers. This two-day conference will unite practitioners, researchers, policymakers, community activists and students to examine the most promising strategies for pursuing equity and eliminating discrimination in public education, housing, democratic representation, employment and criminal justice. Issues in these areas remain at the forefront of today's civil rights struggle and while new trends in engagement, organizing and advocacy have shifted the ways we challenge racial and socioeconomic segregation and discrimination, the inequalities that these age-old problems create remain largely the same. The solutions to these debilitating issues are not simple, but they are possible to construct.

Join us as we analyze these issues and offer a range of innovative and strategic approaches for: applying the law, pursuing policy change, mobilizing well-informed grassroots activists, and encouraging the scholarly pursuit of public interest-oriented research.

Register for the conference here.

Safe Schools, Fair Schools: A Community Dialogue about School Suspensions in North Carolina
Friday, November 12, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Attend this one-day gathering of stakeholders concerned about out-of-school suspensions in North Carolina and their impact on students. Speakers will include Shay Bilchik of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, Dan Losen of the UCLA Civil Rights Project, and many other juvenile justice advocates and practitioners. The event is sponsored by Advocates for Children's Services, a project of Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc., Action for Children, and the North Carolina Social Justice Project. Read more about the Summit here, including a schedule of speakers. Click here to register.

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 Lauren Felter at

  • Driver's License Restoration Project, NC Office of Indigent Services - Chapel Hill, NC

Public Service Resources

How to Capitalize on Your Summer Employment Experience

In order to capitalize on your summer employment experience, consider taking the follow steps suggested by Sharon Booth, Director of Public Interest Programs at Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in her post on the PSLawNet blog. See the full post.

  1. Continue to cultivate your relationship with your summer employer by keeping in touch periodically and updating them of your future goals and career plans.
  2. Utilize your summer contacts to set up informational interviews. Set up these interviews with contacts you made over the summer.
  3. Remember your fellow students. Peers are a great resource for learning about potential employers, and practice areas, and can help you broaden your contacts.
  4. Update your resume with this summer's experience fresh in your mind. Consider whether a peice written this summer could be a great writing sample.
  5. Reflect on your summer experience by thinking about what you learned and what skills you are still seeking to improve.

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. This resource will be updated soon. Access this resource.

Other Public Interest Opportunities

NCBA Zoning, Planning & Land Use Section Seeks Student Fellow for Spring Semester

The Zoning, Planning & Land Use Section of the North Carolina Bar Association is accepting applications from 1L & 2L students for their fellowship program. The fellow will work 100-200 hours, most of which can be done remotely, during the spring 2011 semester. Projects include working on the Section's newsletter, quarterly journal, CLE materials, etc. This is a great opportunity to interact with zoning and land use professionals and be exposed to current issues in the field. The selected student will be awarded a $2000 scholarship. Interested students should complete an application and submit it in PDF format to Dean Novinsky by October 15, 2010 at 5:00 p.m.

Law Student Writing Competition

As part of their conference "The Unfinished Work": Advancing New Strategies in the Struggle for Civil Rights in honor of Professor Julius L. Chambers, the UNC Center for Civil Rights invites all law students across North Carolina to compete in an innovative publishing project. Submissions should build on Professor Julius L. Chambers' body of work by discussing a current social justice struggle relevant to North Carolina. Papers may address any combination of legal issues relevant to the modern civil rights movement, including K-12 and higher education; housing and community development; criminal and racial justice; employment; voting rights; and/or economic justice.

Papers should original, unpublished works between 6-10 single spaced pages. The work should begin with a title page and must contain the title of the submission, the student's name, year, school and contact information including street address, phone number(s), and email address. To ensure a blind and impartial evaluation of all papers, writers should include personally identifying information (such as the writer's name or school) only on the submission's title page.Submissions are due via email to Adrienne Davis ( by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010. For assistance in shaping a paper topic, students may contact the Center for Civil Rights' Community Development Fellow Peter Gilbert ( or Education Fellow Benita N. Jones (

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

Forward This E-Mail to a Friend