Pro Bono Program Alumni Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Alumni Newsletter: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Welcome

Happy Holidays! We hope you have had a great end to your year and that you are able to spend some time with loved ones in the coming weeks. This Fall has been a busy time for the Pro Bono Program and we are excited to share some of the highlights with you here. Whether participating in an attorney project or serving as one of the more than 100 volunteers on this year's Election Protection Hotline, Carolina Law students are committed to serving the community through pro bono service. This Fall we have also launched our new Pro Bono Alumni Board, chaired by Tammy Bouchelle and Jennifer Simmons. Check out our website for more information on this exciting new initiative. As always, we look forward to connecting with each of you soon. Please know we love to hear from you with comments, updates, or just to say hello! Drop us a line at uncprobonoalumni@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Annie Bryan
Pro Bono Program Alumni Coordinator

Pro Bono Alumni Board

This fall, we are excited to announce the creation of our first ever Pro Bono Alumni Board. Chaired by Tammy Bouchelle and Jennifer Simmons, the group meets at the law school three times each year. Tammy and Jennifer are joined by a dedicated group of Pro Bono Alumni Board members: Neil Bagchi, Chris Brook, Suzanne Buckley, Alexis Chappell, Will Corbett, John Duberstein, Bethan Eynon, Jennifer Hall, Mary Irvine, Seema Kakad, Amily McCool, Allison Standard, Emily Wallwork, and Boz Zellinger. Thank you all! For more information about our alumni initiatives, please visit our website, or email our Alumni Coordinator, Annie Bryan at annie.bryan@gmail.com

"The mission of the Pro Bono Alumni Board is to sustain a life-long commitment to Pro Bono work among alumni, and further the work of the UNC Law Pro Bono Board, by offering alumni opportunities to interact with students, with one another, and with the community by participating in Pro Bono work."

Past Pro Bono Board Directors Bethan Eynon, Emily Wallwork, and Jennifer Simmons pose with current Pro Bono Board Director, Meriwether Evans and Dean Sylvia Novinsky at the First Pro Bono Alumni Board Meeting.

Alumni Award Nominations

Each year, the Pro Bono Program selects a distinguished alumnus to receive the Pro Bono Publico Award for their commitment to pro bono service. Last year, Martin Brinkley '92, received the award for his support of pro bono during his leadership as the North Carolina Bar Association President through the 4ALL and Call4ALL programs, creation of a pro bono taskforce, and personal pro bono service. Other past recipients include Mandy Hitchcock '07, Tommy Holderness '90, Rachel V. Stevens '04, and Christopher Lam '02.

Award recipients are selected based on their dedication to pro bono service, contribution of innovative approaches to the delivery of pro bono services, participation in pro bono activities helping underserved populations, successful litigation of pro bono cases, or work on legislation that contributes substantially to legal services for the poor.

Nominate someone for the Pro Bono Alumni of the Year Award today! Nominees will be recognized on February 7, 2013 at the UNC Law Pro Bono Alumni Celebration. (For more information on the celebration, email alumni coordinator Annie Bryan at annie.bryan@gmail.com.) Nominations are being accepted through January 11, 2013 at 5 p.m.

Please contact Dean Sylvia Novinsky at snovinsk@email.unc.edu, or alumni coordinator Annie Bryan at annie.bryan@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Spotlight On: Immigration Law Association

During the fall semester, the Immigration Law Association (ILA) partnered with the North Carolina Justice Center to provide legal assistance to young immigrants who were applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals is an immigration remedy that allows for certain eligible youth to apply for two-year work permits. It is estimated that there are over 50,000 DACA eligible youth in North Carolina. In conjunction with support from the N.C. Justice Center and Professor Deborah Weismann, ILA was able to train over 50 students and staff to help eligible youth complete their DACA applications. ILA estimates that UNC law students volunteered over 100 hours to DACA clinics across the state, including Raleigh, Asheville, Durham, Fayetteville, and Burlington. ILA plans to continue to participate in DACA clinics during the Spring Semester. Thank you to ILA for your support of this project!

Students participate in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals training.

Election Protection

On November 6, more than 100 students, faculty, pro bono attorneys, and election officials collaborated on the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline for North Carolina. The hotline was co-sponsored by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and UNC Center for Civil RIghts. The Black Law Students Association and the Pro Bono Program collaborated in coordinating the event and recruiting volunteers. Volunteers answered more than 1,200 phone calls from voters and voting officials across the state. Calls ranged from registration issues to restrictions on felony convictions to improper polling activities. Thank you to all of our alumni, students, and partners who volunteered to make the day a success!

Alumni, students, faculty and volunteers from our partner agencies field questions from voters on Election Day.

Winter Break Sign Ups

176 UNC Law Students set a new record last month when they pledged to complete more than 2,830 hours of pro bono service over the upcoming Winter Break. In an effort led by Winter Break Projects Coordinator, James Jolley, the Pro Bono Program received projects from more than 50 organizations. 84% of the projects will benefit organizations in North Carolina, but students will also volunteer with organization based in Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia.

Special thanks goes out to all of the UNC Law alumni, specifically the Pro Bono Alumni Board, who helped by either submitting a project or recruiting other attorneys to do so. We offered more projects to more students than ever before, and that would not be possible without the help of supportive alumni. Thank you for all you do to support the UNC Pro Bono Program.

UNC Law Students line the halls of the law school waiting to sign up for a Winter Break project.
1L Jennifer Nusbaum selects a project to complete over Winter Break.
Members of the Pro Bono Board on the morning of Winter Break project signups.

To learn more about the Pro Bono Program, including how you can be involved, email uncprobonoalumni@gmail.com.