Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, September 26, 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

Public Interest Peer Mentor Program - Brown Bag Lunch Meet-up!

Wednesday, September 28, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., Boardroom 5003

Mentors and mentees: join us for the welcoming event of the Public Interest Peer Mentor Program! Take this opportunity to meet your mentor or mentee as well as other UNC Law students interested in a career (or exploring a career) in public interest! Bring a lunch and we'll provide drinks and desserts. We'll email you before the event with the name of your mentor/mentee match! Look forward to meeting you there!

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development General Information Session

Wednesday, September 28, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Career Services Office, 4055

Linda Cruciani (JD '85) and Susan Campbell (JD, MRP '98) will be in the Career Services Office to meet with third-year students to discuss the entry level attorney hiring program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Linda is Deputy General Counsel for Operations in the headquarters office in Washington, D.C. Susan is Chief Counsel in the Greensboro, NC office. Come by to meet and talk with these two great alums.

Read further for more information about the HUD Legal Honors Program. The deadline for application is Friday, October 28, 2011. If you have any questions, please contact Holly Bryan in the CSO at or 919.843.9918.

John Atlas: ACORN and American Democracy

Wednesday, September 28, 6:00 p.m., Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library

John Atlas, acclaimed author of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Antipoverty Organizing Group, will speak at Wilson Library’s Pleasants Family Assembly Room on September 28 at 6.

Seeds of Change , published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2010, is the inside story about how ACORN built the most effective antipoverty organization in the country by reinventing the field of community organizing and how its success made it a target for conservative activists.

Robert Kuttner, co-founder of The American Prospect, called Seeds of Change, the "definitive book on one of the most effective grassroots organizations of low income Americans…. John Atlas combines scholarship, political insight, and powerful narrative writing in this essential book."

Atlas, a public interest lawyer, writer, radio talk-show host, and organizer, is a founder and current president of the National Housing Institute, which publishes Shelterforce. His work has appeared in numerous places including, The American Prospect, The Huffington Post, Star Ledger, The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Tikkun, The Nation, Dissent, and Social Policy.

Please join John Atlas at a reception in his honor at 5:30. The talk will begin at 6. Both events are free and open to the public. Co-hosted by the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies. Questions? Call the Poverty Center at 919.843.8796. Atlas blogs at and at

"Gasland" Sceening and Fracking Forum

Thursday, September 29, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5042

The Environmental Law Project will host a screening of a 30-minute clip from the documentary "Gasland" followed by a 30-minute discussion on hydraulic fracturing by a UNC Law environmental law professor.

Race and the Law: Segregation and Education in Halifax County

Monday, October 3, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 5042

This is a joint program between the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the Education Law and Policy Society, to present information about the UNC Center for Civil Rights report, "Unless Our Children Begin to Learn Together: The State of Education in Halifax County, North Carolina."

The report highlights segregation issues in the three racially divided school districts in Halifax County. Additionally, there will be updates on the state of Halifax County after release of the report. The report can be found at:

National Lawyers Guild Progressive Legal Careers Panel

Tuesday, October 4, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m., 4085

Interested in working for social justice? Elizabeth Haddix from the UNC Center for Civil Rights, Chris Brook from the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and Jennifer Marsh from the NAACP will join us to share career advice and insights with students.

Other Public Interest Events

NC NAACP CLE: Education, Expectations, and Incarceration: A Look at How Resegregation, High-Stakes Testing, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline Marginalize our Children

Wednesday, October 12, 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., High Point, NC

The NC NAACP will host the Fifth Annual Romallus O. Murphy CLE in High Point, NC this fall. Four hours of CLE have been requested from the North Carolina State Bar. Registration and lunch will be from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the CLE will last from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call NC NAACP at 1.866.NC.NAACP or visit their website at

The Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law (APIEL) Conference

October 20-23, University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, TN

Registration is now open for the 2nd annual Appalachian Public Interest Environmental Law (APIEL) conference at the University of Tennessee College of Law. APIEL welcomes law and policy students, attorneys, community activists, scientists, and policy experts for a weekend of workshops and panels focused on exchanging information and fostering collaboration on the most critical environmental justice issues of our time.

Topics include: the basics of mountaintop removal and strip mining; citizen enforcement of Tennessee water law; future of coal in the Tennessee Valley; "Lands Unsuitable for Mining": citizen victories; mountaintop removal mining and public health; creating mineral tax trust funds for economic diversification; activist-attorney relations; "know your rights" as activists and as the attorneys who represent them.

The APIEL conference hopes to create a common ground for community organizers, lawyers and researchers to communicate, educate each other and have fun. For students, APIEL is a chance to network with leading lawyers, professionals, and community activists whose are fighting for environmental justice and economic transition in central Appalachia. A complete list of workshops and panels will soon be available at

The attendance fee for the conference is $65 for Thursday through Sunday, which includes pizza on Thursday night. All other meals, transportation and lodging are the responsibility of the participant. Participants who are only attending part of the conference may pay by the day. Please note that need-based conference registration scholarships can be applied for through your registration form, and they will be granted on a first-come-first-serve basis to those who qualify. Visit for more information.

Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Public Defender Corps: Application Deadline Extended!

Equal Justice Works and the Southern Public Defender Training Center (SPTDC) have launched a new initiative, the Public Defender Corps. Across the country, public defender offices are underfunded, understaffed and burdened with insurmountable caseloads. With too few public defenders handling too many cases, those who cannot afford representation are being denied their fundamental right to counsel, and many are languishing in jail at taxpayers’ expense. Public Defender Corps will provide intensive training and mentoring to new attorneys with the goal of supporting the public defender community and raising the standard of representation across the country. The inaugural class of 18 Public Defender Corps members has completed their training and joined offices in Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucket, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Approximately 14 Fellowship positions will be available in 2012.

The application deadline for the Public Defender Corps has been extended to September 30 at 5:00 p.m. For more information about the Public Defender Corps and how to apply, visit

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

Individual Projects:

  • Interviewing, Research, and Document Review Assistance, Glenn, Mills, Fisher, & Mahoney P.A. - Durham, NC
  • National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Research AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women - Washington D.C.

Upcoming Pro Bono Events

DEADLINE: Applications for Fall Break Trip

Applications for the Fall Break Trip are due this Monday (TODAY!) at 6:00 p.m. Contact with questions. Link to the application:

Legal Aid of NC 4ALL Helpline Pro Bono Project Training

Tuesday, September 27, 5:30 p.m.

Legal Aid of NC has a program in which local attorneys volunteer to take calls from clients seeking legal advice. These cases must, however, be screened beforehand. To date, this part of the process has been understaffed, thereby creating a lag in getting clients connected to attorneys. This bottle neck is preventing clients from being served, as well as allowing volunteer attorneys to go under-utilized. The goal of this project is to help alleviate this problem by having volunteer law students perform these interviews. This project will involve students interviewing applicants who are requesting Legal Aid services. Students will interview applicants for financial eligibility and summarize applicant’s legal situation.

LANC Helpline is a great opportunity to gain interviewing experience while providing a much needed service. This is an ongoing project that requires a minimum commitment of 2 hours per week. Student volunteers will perform telephone interviews/screening to complete online financial eligibility forms and obtain brief facts about legal problems so LANC may determine whether a full interview is needed. Students may conduct these telephone interviews in any location so long as the call will be confidential.

The training for this project will be on Tuesday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. Interested students should email Dean Novinsky at by Monday, September 26 at 5 p.m.

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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