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Pro Bono Board 2018-2019
2018-2019 Pro Bono Board

The Pro Bono Program is administered by a 13-student board and one faculty supervisor. Each February, the director for the following academic year is chosen by interview process by the current board. Applications for open board positions are then solicited from the student body each March.

BOARD MEMBERs

Student Director

Sierra Lyda

Sierra Lyda, 3L 
slyda@live.unc.edu

Sierra, 3L, grew up in Hendersonville, NC. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology and Interpersonal & Organizational Communications. She also completed the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business Essentials Program, receiving certification in 2014.

As an undergraduate, Sierra participated in an honors study abroad program in Rome, Italy, and interned in San Francisco, California for the web-based company Airbnb. After graduation, she returned to Hendersonville and helped coach girls’ soccer at Apple Valley Middle School.

  At the law school, Sierra is a staff member on the Journal of Law and Technology and a LexisNexis Associate. She has served as the Class of 2019’s Pro Bono Coordinator for the last two years, helping connect her peers with available pro bono opportunities and local attorneys, and now serves as Student Director.  

Sierra spent her 1L summer working as a Research Assistant for both Professor Ardia and the Writing and Learning Resources Center, and her 2L summer working as a judicial intern at the North Carolina Business Court in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Outside of the law school, she spends her time playing soccer and tennis, kickboxing, painting, and watching an exorbitant number of movies.

Attorney Projects Coordinator

 Graham Whittington

Graham Whittington, 3L
gwhitt@live.unc.edu

Graham, a 3L, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. He came to North Carolina via Davidson College, from which he graduated in 2014. After college, he worked as a paralegal at Womble's Charlotte office, an experience that guided him to UNC Law. He has worked as a summer associate at Brooks Pierce in Raleigh and Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte. After law school, Graham will be clerking for a federal district judge in Atlanta.

At school, Graham is a comments editor of the North Carolina Law Review and serves as Pro Bono Co-Coordinator for Lambda, in which capacity he organizes the group's annual Name Change Clinic. Of course, he also participates actively in other pro bono opportunities. Many of his favorite pro bono experiences have come via the attorney projects that he now helps facilitate. Graham looks forward to working with attorneys and students to facilitate experiential learning while also assisting those in need of legal services. Away from school, Graham often can be found either playing ultimate frisbee or trying to convince people that it is a sport. Otherwise, he enjoys running, listening to audiobooks, hanging out with his cats, and exploring his new home of Durham with his partner, Katie.

 

3L Class Coordinator

Jasmine Plott
Jasmine Plott, 3L

jplott@live.unc.edu

Jasmine grew up in Concord, North Carolina and attended UNC Chapel Hill where she studied English and Psychology. Her love of research, connecting people with equal access to information, and advocating for others naturally led her to pursue a dual degree in law and library science.

  As a Buckley Public Service Scholar in her undergraduate years, Jasmine has always been drawn to helping others and leaving a positive change in their lives.  Because of this, she knew that she wanted to be involved in the Pro Bono Program, and the rest is history!  Some of her favorite pro bono projects include a recent transgender advocacy project where she created a Know Your Rights guide for transgender individuals in Atlanta, Georgia, the Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (LSASDV) Ex Parte Project, and the Pro Bono Winter Break Trip.  Through her position as 3L Class Coordinator, she is excited to share her enthusiasm for pro bono with her classmates and help them find a way that they can connect with pro bono work.

In her free time, Jasmine enjoys kickboxing, spending time with her noisy dog Hamlet, and watching horror movies.

2L Class Coordinator

Sam Spalding

             

Sam Spalding, 2L  
sspaldi@live.unc.edu

Sam grew up in Syracuse, New York and attended UNC Chapel Hill as an undergraduate, majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in Public Policy and Marine Science. After graduation, Sam spent two summers working at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, one school ye ar working as a STEM teacher in Syracuse, New York, and two years working as a sales associate for Great Outdoor Provision Company in Winston-Salem and Chapel Hill.

Sam decided to attend law school after developing a passion for youth justice and child advocacy while teaching underprivileged middle school students. As 2L Class Coordinator, Sam look s forward to working with the Class of 2020 and continuing the momentum from a record-setting 1L year.

Outside of law school, Sam spends his time watching movies, appeasing his cat Lewis, and working on small-scale paintings.

1L Class Coordinator

Cayla Rodney, 1L Class Coordinator 

Cayla Rodney, 1L
crodney@live.unc.edu

Cayla grew up in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania and attended East Carolina University where she studied Journalism and Hispanic Studies. During her time at ECU, Cayla was a part of the Cross Country and Track and Field team and worked for the university's newspaper. Cayla also worked on a social equality project within ECU's athletic program and a project for Muslim-American rights on ECU's campus. After graduation, Cayla interned with Student Action with Farmworkers and South Carolina Legal Services where she worked on promoting human rights for migrant farmworkers.

Cayla's passion for justice and equality is what has led her to be a part of the Pro Bono Program. As the 1L Class Coordinator, Cayla's goal is to get her class involved in the diverse, unmet legal needs that citizens are facing within the community and across the country. She hopes to get her class members excited about the tangible change that law students can make through Pro Bono work and within their legal careers. When Cayla is not at the law school, she can be found out on a run, spending time with family, or watching the Bachelor.

Alumni Outreach Coordinator

Rana Odeh

 

Rana Odeh, 3L  rjodeh2@live.unc.edu

A Raleigh native, Rana graduated from North Carolina State University double majoring in Political Science and Accounting, concentrating in Financial Analysis. Before starting law school, Rana worked at her father's accounting firm.

During her first year of law school, Rana took part in the Cancer Project, VITA, and Winter Break Pro Bono. After her first year of law school she split her summer and interned at the North Carolina Department of Justice and ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Rana served on the Pro Bono Board as Special Trips Coordinator as a 2L, leading trips to Moore County, NC, Cherokee, NC, and Folkston, GA. During her 2L summer, Rana interned at Allstate in Chicago.

Outside of law school, Rana enjoys staying active, whether that be outdoors or at the gym, listening to podcasts, eating ice cream, and spending time with her family and friends.   
   

Special Projects Coordinators

Alex Rutgers
Alex Rutgers, 2L


Alex, a 2L, was born in New York City and has since lived in 14 different places across the
 country an d the world-he now is truly grateful to call Raleigh his home! Alex graduated from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh with a dual degree in Physics and International Relations before commissioning as an Army Officer. After three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he left the Army to teach 8th grade science and social stud ies in Four Oaks, NC.

At UNC Law, Alex serves as a board member with VALOR and the Christian Legal Society, is on the Moot Court International Team, and a member of the Journal of Law and Technology. Pro Bono work, though, has been and continues to be the best part of law school: a chance to serve others with newly-learned legal skills. Alex interned his first summer with the NC Attorney General's office and NC Court of Appeals, and hopes to become a prosecutor.

Outside of school, Alex is a volunteer firefighter and EMT, is learning to fly, and leads a Christian recovery ministry. Out of everything, he most enjoys the time he gets to spend with his 6-year-old son-who likes trains, building towers, activating creature powers, riding his bike, and absolutely loves his dad!

Liliya Oliferuk
Liliya Oliferuk, 2L oliferuk@live.unc.edu




Liliya grew up in Sacramento, California, and graduated from U.C. Davis in 2013. After graduating, she worked as a paralegal at an Estate and Probate firm in Chapel Hill, an experience that helped foster an interest in both law school and end-of-life care and planning. On top of being the special projects coordinator for the Cancer Project, Liliya also serves on the board of the UNC chapter of the National Lawyers Guild as activities coordinator. Liliya was the inaugural intern at the Julius L. Chambers Center for Civil Rights.

 

Outside of school, Liliya enjoys spending time with her partner, dog, cat, and chickens, as well as making pottery, gardening, watching weird movies, asking people if their advance directives are in place, and organizing with a number of local organizations.

Student Group Projects Coordinator

Becca Fisher
                        
Becca Fisher, 2L

becsfish@live.unc.edu

Becca grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia and received her B.A. in Philosophy from Davidson College in North Carolina, where she played Division I soccer. After graduation, she worked with children and families at an education non-profit in Charlotte, called Communities In Schools, and volunteered as a custody advocate at the Council for Children's Rights. At UNC Law, Becca  continues to pursue her interests in race equity, juvenile defense, and education law. She is involved with LAMBDA, Education Law and Policy Society, and is a staff member on Law Review.

Becca's passion for advocating for low-income, marginalized communities drew her to UNC's Pro Bono Program. As Student Groups Coordinator, she looks forward to connecting student groups to causes and projects that align with their interests in order to serve the unmet legal needs of the community. When she's not studying, Becca enjoys hiking, going to concerts, visiting breweries, and reading.  

Public Relations Coordinator

Erin Grubbs
Erin Grubbs, 2L ering7@live.unc.edu

Erin grew up just outside of Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Clemson University with a degree in environmental engineering. She then moved to Houston, Texas where she worked for four years at ExxonMobil as an environmental and regulatory advisor. While working at ExxonMobil, Erin received a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.

Erin has always had a passion for helping others. As Public Relations Coordinator, Erin is looking forward to being the resident hype woman for the Pro Bono Board and spreading the word about all the great work the Pro Bono Program is doing.

At the law school, Erin is also a member of the Journal of Law and Technology, a competing member of the Environmental Moot Court Team, 2L Class Representative on the Student Bar Association, and a board member of the Environmental Law Project. When not at the Law School, you can likely find Erin running, playing cards, or trying to find the best breakfast tacos in the triangle.

Special Trips Coordinators

Josh Smith
       
Josh Smith, 2L sjosh@live.unc.edu

Josh is from Atlanta, Georgia, and attended UNC-Chapel Hill where he was a Public Policy major. During his final semester in undergrad, Josh interned for the Democratic Governors Association in Washington, D.C. At UNC Law, Josh has continued to pursue interests in public policy and government. Josh spent his 1L summer working for Montana Governor Steve Bullock's Office of Legal Counsel.

Josh was introduced to the Pro Bono Program during the 2017 Winter Break Trip to Cherokee, North Carolina. Now, he is serving as a Special Trips Coordinator and gets the opportunity to help plan trips to introduce other students to the program, and serve communities across North Carolina. If he's not at the law school, you can find Josh reading, running, or watching Netflix.

Cameron Ervin
Cameron Ervin, 2L  cvervin@live.unc.edu

Cameron grew up in Morganton, NC, and graduated from Davidson College in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science.  After graduation, Cameron worked as a legal assistant at a small law firm in Washington, D.C. and then spent several years working as a Senior Paralegal Specialist with the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division Fraud Section.  This job required weekly travel and long hours, which did not leave much time for public service.  Cameron has enjoyed the chance to change this in law school and looks forward to building public service opportunities for other students. 

Outside of law school, Cameron enjoys taking group workout classes, vicariously planning future trips, and FaceTiming with the family dog.


Winter & Spring Break Projects Coordinator

Jeff Miles 
Jeff Miles, 3L

milesjd@live.unc.edu

Jeff grew up in Chelmsford, Mass., and Cary, N.C., before earning his undergraduate degree in Journalism and Geography at UNC in 2012. After graduation, Jeff worked as a marketing and web development professional in state government for four years, before returning to UNC for law school.

At the law school, Jeff is also a Dean's Fellow, a member of the North Carolina Law Review, and involved with the Lambda Law Students Association. He has done pro bono work with the N.C. Center on Actual Innocence, N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and UNC Center for Civil Rights among others.

Outside of school, Jeff enjoys spending time with his partner, honing his skills as a home cook and baker, and reading just about anything he can get his hands on.

 

Director of Pro Bono Initiatives

Allison Standard

Allison Standard, J.D. '09
standard@email.unc.edu

Allison is a double Tar Heel, graduating with a BA in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006 and graduating from UNC School of Law with honors in 2009. Following graduation, Allison practiced law at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, most recently serving as the Assistant Director of Post-Conviction Litigation.

Allison joined the law school staff in 2016, and she serves as advisor to the Pro Bono Program. As a student, she was a member of the Pro Bono Board, was President of the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization, Dean's Fellows Coordinator, and worked as a Research Assistant with the Office of Public Service Programs. Allison has also been a member of UNC School of Law's Pro Bono Alumni Board, joining the board at its inception in 2012 and serving as chairperson from 2014-2015.

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