Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Student Newsletter: Monday, January 9, 2012

About the Public Service 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.

Save the Date!

Robert M. Cover Public Interest Law Retreat

March 2-4, Sargent Center, Peterborough, NH

This retreat brings together public interest law students and practitioners for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun. This retreat was envisioned by Robert Cover, a Yale Law School Professor and social activist, in order to bring law students together with legal professionals and academics to build networks, discuss the status of public interest law, and learn more about what a public interest legal career is like. The registration deadline is February 16, and is expected to sell out quickly. Find more information about the retreat.

Free Webinar Series: The Summer Public Interest Job Search: Expert Tips on Cover Letters, Resumes, Interviewing, and Networking

This two-part webinar series, cosponsored by NALP and Equal Justice Works, will provide law students with insight on the key elements of the summer public-interest job application process. Attorneys with years of application review experience will highlight do’s & dont's; explain how and why public interest application materials may substantively differ from law firm materials; and explore the dynamics of personal interactions in interviews and networking situations.

UNC Law 2012 Public Interest Retreat

Please save the date for UNC Law's 2012 Public Interest Retreat to be held on February 3 at the Law School starting at 3:00 p.m., followed by Happy Hour at Bailey's in Chapel Hill. A more detailed agenda will be available soon, but you can look forward to networking opportunities with public interest alums, topical breakout sessions featuring local practitioners and professors, a session on affording life as a public interest attorney, and an inspiring keynote address. Registration information will be available soon. Questions? Want to help? Email Meghan Melloy or Shonaka Ellison.

Events at UNC Law

2012 UNC Conference on Race, Class, Gender, and Ethnicity

February 25, UNC School of Law

Please save the date for the upcoming conference on Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity at the UNC Law School. This year's conference is entitled "Waking Up From the American Dream: The Sober Reality of Class in America." The Conference will be on Saturday, February 25 and registration opens today. More information and registration materials are available on the conference website.

Funding Opportunities

Apply soon for the 2012 Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Fellowship!

The Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Summer Fellowship was established jointly in 2009 by the America Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL), and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIP/NLG), to commemorate the life and legal contributions of Michael Maggio. Students must submit a project proposal with an organization willing to host the student for 10 weeks and provide a $1,500 stipend. The $1,500 amount may be paid by the host organization or may be provided by the law student through other means, e.g., law school public interest funding, independent fundraising, etc. The Maggio Immigrants' Rights Fellowship will provide an additional $2,500 stipend for a total award of $4,000. Applications will be accepted through February 1, 2012 and the Fellow will be notified by March 1, 2012. Learn more about the Fellowship and download the application form.

3Ls: Apply soon for these exciting funding opportunities!

Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow U.S. citizens to contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad by serving in professional placements within foreign government ministries or institutions while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project. Fulbright Public Policy Fellowships will be offered in Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand, and Tunisia. Candidates must be in receipt of a J.D. degree by the beginning of the Fellowship (Summer/Fall 2012). Applicants must also have at least two years of work experience applicable to public policy-related fields and must demonstrate proficiency in the language of the host country. Applications are due on February 1, 2012. Read the program overview and get more detailed information.

State Policy Fellowship Program

State Policy Fellows tackle domestic policy challenges in areas like health care, taxes, anti-poverty policy, education and public safety. Working in independent, highly respected think tanks located in state capitals, Fellows analyze the impact of state budget and tax policy choices on low-income residents and promote positive reforms. Eligible candidates must have received a graduate degree within the past year, or expect to graduate before the end of August 2012; must have a strong academic record; and must be eligible to work full-time in the US for the two-year duration of the program. Applications are due by January 13, 2012. For more information, please visit the State Policy Fellowship Program webpage.

Other Public Interest Events

What about the Children? Symposium on Children of Incarcerated Parents

February 14, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday Center, Chapel Hill, NC

The Symposium on Children of Incarcerated Parents promises to be an invaluable learning and sharing experience for anyone concerned about the effects on children whose parents are incarcerated, and how we as a community can best serve them. More information, an agenda of events, and registration information are available online.

18th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference

February 17-18, 2012, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT

The RebLaw conference is an annual, student-run conference that brings together practitioners, law students, and community advocates from around the country to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change. This year's keynote speaker will be Gerald Lopez, UCLA law professor and author of "Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano's Vision of Progressive Law Practice." The keynote panel on "The Criminalization of Poverty" will feature Andrea Ritchie, co-author of "Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States" and coordinator of Streetwise and Safe; Andrew Friedman, co-founding director of Make the Road New York; and Lisa Daugaard, supervisor of the Seattle Defender Association's Racial Disparity Project. Find more details about the conference. You can also find regular updates on the RebLaw's Facebook page.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Projects are posted on the Pro Bono Board near the mailboxes and are listed online at http://www.law.unc.edu/studentlife/probono/projects/. Students can sign up for projects on the Pro Bono Board or email UNCProBonoProjects@gmail.com.

Summer and Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Legal Aid Society of New York is accepting applications!

Legal Aid Society of NY is accepting applications for summer internships, fellowship positions, and post-graduate employment. Please see their website for more information. Applications must be sent to attorneyjobs@legal-aid.org, unless otherwise directed, and be addressed to Mr. Ricardo Granderson. The deadlines for applications are as follows:

  • January 31, 2012 is the deadline for Criminal applicants; applications for Civil and Juvenile Rights will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Interns must apply during the specific seasons: Summer (October 15-March 15), Fall (July 15-September 15), Spring (October 15 - January 15): all intern applicants must apply through internships@legal-aid.org .
  • Fellowship applications for the 2013 Fall Class must be submitted by July 1, 2012 and applications should be submitted to fellowships@legal-aid.org .

Spring On-Campus Interviews

Many public interest employers have already signed up to interview students on campus this spring for open summer internship positions. Below are a few of the participating organizations - log in to Symplicity for the full OCI schedule with deadlines and employers.

  • Center for Death Penalty Litigation - Durham, NC
  • Southern Coalition for Social Justice - Durham, NC
  • Center for Death Penalty Litigation - Durham, NC
  • District Attorney, District 15A, Alamance County - Graham, NC
  • NC Coastal Land Trust - Wilmington, NC
  • Charlotte City Attorney's Office - Charlotte, NC
  • Disability Rights NC - Raleigh, NC
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont - Charlotte, NC
  • Social Security Administration - Philadelphia, PA
  • ...and more!

Deadlines for On-Campus Interviews

Make sure to pay attention to the bidding deadlines for all OCI job opportunities!

  • Session 1 (Jan. 27-Feb. 3): Bidding opens Jan. 6 and closes Jan. 12
  • Session 2 (Feb. 6-Feb. 10): Bidding opens Jan. 13 and closes Jan. 19
  • Session 3 (Feb. 13-Feb. 17): Bidding opens Jan. 20 and closes Jan. 26
  • Session 4 (Feb. 20-Feb. 24): Bidding opens Jan. 27 and closes Feb. 2
  • Session 5 (Feb. 27-Feb. 29): Bidding opens Feb. 3 and closes Feb. 9

Career Corner

So, you wanna be a public interest lawyer? Here's what it takes!

The Official Guide to Legal Specialties, a NALP publication, has some good information about the skills that are most important to public interest lawyers. The list includes:

Obvious skills

  • Passion for public service
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Oral advocacy skills
  • Organizational & time management skills

Less obvious skills

  • Patience
  • Tenacity
  • Foreign language skills
  • Ability to cope with crises
  • Resourcefulness

Public Service News

Increased Interest in Public Service Careers

BrainTrack recently published an interesting article about the growing increase in interest among law students in public service careers, which suggests that there are more factors at play than simply a bad economy.

Financial Challenges for Virginia Legal Services Programs

Virginia legal services programs are facing extraordinary fiscal challenges. They expect layoffs and service cuts, particularly with last November’s LSC appropriation slash. The legal services community is looking to the state legislature for help, in the form of establishing mandatory IOLTA program and increasing some court filing fees. See this article for further information.

ABA Coverage of Recent LSC Cutbacks

The ABA looks at ways of ensuring that the new cuts in federal funding will not result in a denial of legal services to those Americans living near or below the poverty line.

For more public interest law news, please visit the PSLawNet Blog.


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