About the Office
The Office of Public Service Programs serves as the hub of pro bono activities.The Pro Bono Program is housed in the Office of Public Service Programs and provides numerous opportunities for students to perform pro bono service throughout the school year.
Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs
5023 Van Hecke-Wettach Hall
In its ongoing commitment to public service, Dean Boger has appointed Sylvia Novinsky as the school's first assistant dean for public service programs. Novinsky has been with the School of Law since 1996, after practicing public interest law representing migrant farm workers and immigrant workers in Virginia and New York. She served as the school's first public interest career counselor and in 2000, became the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. In her new role, she will combine these varied experiences to counsel, advise and support students interested in public service and public interest law, as well as continuing to foster the school's pro bono activities.
"As a great public law school, our tradition of public service is deep-rooted and core to our mission," noted Dean Novinsky. Upon graduation, approximately 20% of the class goes on to pursue careers in the public sector. While in school, approximately 50% of the student body performs pro bono service. Still, there are challenges for students and graduates who want to do public service, particularly as debt burdens at all law schools increase. "Helping students identify avenues for pursuing their commitments to pro bono and public service, and supporting them while they are doing so, is crucial," said Dean Novinsky. "Our students are following in the footsteps of many great Carolina Law alumni who have gone on to serve our state and the nation and we want to make sure we support them as they incorporate these values of serving the public in their own educational pursuits and legal careers."
James Jolley '14
Pro Bono Program Director
James grew up in Lawndale, North Carolina, but has called Raleigh home for the past five years. He graduated in 2007 from UNC-Chapel Hill with majors in History and Political Science. After earning his Masters in Education from Wake Forest University in 2008, he taught high school social studies at East Wake High School in Wendell, North Carolina.
Making the transition from teacher to law student, James found that pro bono and service to others were common threads that could unite these vastly different experiences. Whether speaking with clients with the Legal Aid Lawyers on the Line Program or advocating on behalf of the incarcerated with N.C. Prisoner Legal Services, James has worked to meet the unmet legal needs of fellow North Carolinians. As Director, James looks forward to helping other students connect with the good work that lawyers are doing in North Carolina and around the country. Outside of the law school, James ran a marathon last year, plans to run another one this year, and has an awesome wife, Emily.
Ashley McAlarney '14
Public Service Fellow
Ashley McAlarney is from Concord, North Carolina and
graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2011 with a B.A. in History and Political
Science. Last summer, she represented domestic violence victims in
protective order proceedings with Safe Alliance in Charlotte. She supports
fellow future public interest lawyers through the peer mentor program and her
work with the Carolina Public Interest Law Organization as a former board
member. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys reading, hiking, yoga, and
cheering on the Tar Heels!