Public Service Newsletter

Public Service Newsletter: Monday, October 3, 2011

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.

Events at UNC Law

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 http://www.law.unc.edu/centers/civilrights/

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.

Champions of Change: White House and Justice Department Celebration of Public Service Contributions

Thursday, October 13, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Boardroom 5003

Join students and law schools across the country in a live streaming-video conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder about what can be done to increase access to justice. This online video conversation or "watch party" will also feature public service champions who are being honored by the White House. The event aims to encourage law students to think of new ways to use their degrees to help secure basic rights for all Americans. Students may submit questions to Attorney General Holder and/or the public service champions via email during the event. Law schools across the nation will participate in the conversation, to be held on Thursday, October 13, from 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Please join us for this opportunity to engage with the White House on closing the justice gap.

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 www.naacpnc.org.

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 www.apiel.org.

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 www.apiel.org for more information.

Post-Graduate Employment Opportunities

Know Your Search Engines

While many public interest jobs that are currently available are looking for immediate hires, you can begin searching for possible openings and organizations by checking out job search engines catering to the public sector. In no way do we suggest this should be your only job hunting technique, but it is a good way to find open positions, especially if you are hunting from far away, and also learn about organizations that you should explore further. Here are a few:

  • Idealist.org - living the mission of putting motivated individuals in connection with social and environmental problems, Idealist.org allows seekers to search for jobs by interest area, job function and geography; especially helpful for those seeking alternative legal careers in the public interest sector (ie. higher education administration or public policy/lobbying)
  • PSLawNet - check out this site for a national database of jobs in the public interest legal sector
  • Symplicity - don't forget Carolina Law's own search engine - updated continuously as jobs come in and often has postings that other mainstream job sites may not
  • ABA Career Center - site listing all legal jobs, however, it may connect you to some organizations you might not have expected!
  • GovtJobs.com - listing of available government jobs on local, city, county, state, or federal level

Other Public Interest Opportunities

Buckley Public Service Scholars Graduate Student Facilitators

The Carolina Center for Public Service is offering support for up to 10 graduate students interested in sharing their expertise with undergraduate students engaged in service in the community and on campus. Selected graduate students will be required to facilitate at least two skills trainings (one per semester) as well as help with the review process of BPSS portfolios submitted by graduating seniors. Upon completion of these requirements, a stipend of $500 will be given to the graduate student. Visit us online at http://www.unc.edu/ccps/students-scholars-requirements.php for more information on the Buckley Public Service Scholars program. The application is due by 5:00 p.m. on October 5. Apply online. Contact susarah@email.unc.edu for more information.

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

FASPE (“Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics”) for Law Students is an intensive two-week, all-expenses-paid educational fellowship program that examines the moral responsibilities and professional duties of legal practitioners, lawyers and judges in extreme as well as more routine situations. The Law Fellows study historical, philosophical, theological, and cultural texts related to Nazism and the Holocaust, building the context for the discussion of contemporary ethical issues, while visiting Holocaust-related interpretive and historical sites in New York, Berlin, Auschwitz, and Krakow. The goal of FASPE is to provide students with new insights that will help them tackle problems of moral reasoning in their future careers. Students of all religious faiths – or of none – are encouraged to apply. Selection for the fellowship is very competitive; high academic distinction and a clear vision of how the fellowship will be relevant for and beneficial to the applicant are essential. UNC professor Eric Muller is one of the fellowship program’s faculty members.

Tentative dates of the fellowship are May 21 - June 1, 2012. Current 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls may submit applications, and UNC plans to endorse up to three candidates, selected by a panel of law school faculty and administrators.

How to Apply

After reviewing the information on the FASPE website (http://www.mjhnyc.org/faspe/pr_law.html), interested students wishing to receive UNC’s endorsement need to write a short essay that explains why you are applying. Include what you can offer to FASPE, as well as what you hope to gain from it. Make sure to describe any previous experience you may have had with ethical issues or the study of ethics. Please also consider how your previous experiences might affect your fellowship and how you expect to use the experience of the program in your future profession. (750 words or less).

A copy of your essay and a resume need to be submitted electronically to Lindsay Knell in the CSO knell@email.unc.edu by October 31.

Current Pro Bono Opportunities

Current Pro Bono Projects

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.

Individual Projects:

  • Interviewing, Research, and Document Review Assistance, Glenn, Mills, Fisher, & Mahoney P.A. - Durham, NC
  • Research School District Merger Case Studies in NC, UNC Center for Civil Rights - Carrboro, NC
  • National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Research AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women - Washington D.C.

Upcoming Pro Bono Events

Pro Bono Alumni Networking Event

Thursday, October 13, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., CSO Lobby

Come to this event to network with alumni who were involved in pro bono efforts during their law school career. This event is for 2Ls and 3Ls and is by invitation only.


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