Pro Bono Program Newsletter

Pro Bono Program Newsletter: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome to the Pro Bono Alumni Newsletter!

Greetings!

I'm Alexis Chappell, and I'm the Alumni Coordinator on the Pro Bono Board at Carolina Law. You have received this email because you showed interest in pro bono service while you were in law school at UNC, and we thought you would be interested in reconnecting with what's going on with the Pro Bono Program now. I will send you an email only once a month with an update about what we're doing and how you can get involved. Please feel free to email me at probonoalumni@gmail.com if you have any questions or comments.

In This Issue

  • Alumni News You Can Use: NC State Bar adopts Rule 6.1 & Annual Pro Bono Publico Awards Ceremony
  • Students spend spring break doing pro bono projects and going on 2nd annual spring break pro bono trip!
  • Spotlight on Bethan Enyon ('12), Pro Bono Student of the Month
  • Discover the many ways you can support pro bono at Carolina Law!

Alumni News You Can Use

North Carolina State Bar Adopts Rule 6.1 - Pro Bono Publico Service

In February, the North Carolina State Bar adopted Rule 6.1 - Voluntary Pro Bono Publico Service. The rule states, "Every lawyer has a professional responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay. A lawyer should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year." You can see the rule on the State Bar's website.

How You Can Fulfill Your Rule 6.1 Commitment

Attorneys can do pro bono and give back to Carolina Law at the same time! As part of the Pro Bono Program, Carolina Law students organize and facilitate law-related educational clinics on topics ranging from powers-of-attorney to housing rights. We are always in need of attorneys to review legal materials and supervise students on-site. If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity or would like more information about our program, contact us at probono@unc.edu.

Thank You to Our Alums Who Submit Pro Bono Projects!

Many thanks to Andres Lopez ('07) and Jocelyn Fina ('04) for submitting pro bono projects since our last newsletter! If you're interested in student assistance with your pro bono work, please fill out this easy online form so we can advertise your pro bono project to Carolina Law students!

Please Attend the Annual Pro Bono Publico Awards

Each year, the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program celebrates the outstanding pro bono service of students, student groups, faculty and alumni at the Pro Bono Publico Awards and Public Interest Reception. This year's reception will be held April 13, 2010, at 5:30 p.m in the Rotunda. We hope to see you there!

Pro Bono Trips: Experiencing Our Education

Lauren Felter ('11) and Carla Hermida ('12) with a happy client

The second annual spring break pro bono trip to eastern North Carolina was a resounding success! In conjunction with the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the Legal Aid offices of Greenville and New Bern, 20 students traveled east to serve 27 low-income clients. The law students worked with Legal Aid attorneys, Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs Sylvia Novinsky, and UNC Law alum Mark Dorosin ('94) to draft and execute wills and advanced directives.

Students socialized with alumni at Sumrell Sugg in New Bern

The students also relished the opportunity to meet and speak with Arey W. Grady, III ('98), Jimmie B. Hicks, Jr. ('91), and Scott Hart ('92) at Sumrell Sugg in New Bern, and listen to Jimbo Perry ('80) speak. The students also had dinner with Melissa Michaud ('09), a former Pro Bono Board member and current law clerk to the Honorable Louise W. Flanagan, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Some of the students had the opportunity to learn more about the JAG program through a tour of the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, led by Capt. Iain Pedden.

Students learned more about the JAG program from Capt. Iain Pedden

Due to overwhelming student interest for spring break pro bono opportunities, the Pro Bono Program's wills project expanded to western North Carolina! Ten UNC Law students served 36 low-income clients in conjunction with the office of Legal Aid of Boone, North Carolina. With the help of amazing alums like Denise Lockett ('98), Kelsey Graf ('08), and Carole Spainhour (93), the students drafted and executed 103 wills and advanced directives in just a few short days! The students also had the opportunity to observe court in Watauga county, and the students met with local alumni such as Jim Deal ('74), who told them about the benefits of practicing law in a small town. This was the first year the Pro Bono Program expanded to Boone, but the trip's success ensures that it will become a new Carolina Law tradition.

Students discuss wills on the spring break trip to Boone

Students who attended the spring break trips wrote about their experiences on the UNC Law Pro Bono Program's spring break blog.

Finally, the Winter/Spring Break Co-Coordinators worked incredibly hard to find pro bono projects that interested students could complete remotely over spring break. Twenty-five students signed up for 16 projects from organizations and firms from three states, and we'd like to especially thank alums Rene Kathawala ('96) at Orrick and Lindsay Verity ('03) at Atlanta Legal Aid Society for the pro bono projects they submitted.

Spring break was a huge success, and we look forward to continuing our new traditions!

Pro Bono In Action

Pro Bono Student of the Month

Bethan Enyon ('12)

Bethan R. Eynon

Total Pro Bono Hours: 70

Bethan wanted to hit the ground running this past fall to begin gaining legal experience as soon as possible. Bethan describes pro bono as "a priceless opportunity to explore several aspects of law that interest me while getting to know my classmates better and networking with the local legal community."

Bethan started her participation in the pro bono work by participating in the Women In Law Girl Scouts Mock Trial. Bethan worked one-on-one with girls assigned the role of witnesses during the trial to explain the procedure of a trial, discuss the legal issue, and talk about future career goals. Bethan also participated in the Drivers License Restoration Project. Working with an Assistant District Attorney for Orange and Chatham Counties and several local attorneys, she learned how to interpret driving records to determine why clients' licenses were suspended and use legal strategy and knowledge of court procedure to achieve reinstatement. Furthermore, Bethan worked with on The Community Legal Project. Bethan interviewed a client to determine her legal problem, researched the issue, and provided her information on how the law intersects with her problem so that she can decide the best course of action available to her.

In addition, Bethan has used her breaks to gain more pro bono experience. Over fall break, she participated in the Wills Project. With the help of the Center for Civil Rights and Legal Aid of Pittsboro, she traveled with fellow students to Moore County to write wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and living wills for indigent residents with the greater goal of preventing future land loss. She liked it so much that she decided to do the project again over spring break. During her winter break, she worked with the Durham/Orange Women Attorneys Association, and researched and compiled a timeline of all women elected to legal-related positions in Durham and Orange Counties.

Bethan said, "I love working with the clients. I am always attracted to projects that emphasize student-client interaction because it gives me the chance to learn about someone else's life and empower that person to make important legal decisions."

How You Can Support Pro Bono at UNC Law

The Pro Bono Program has come so far in a few short years, but we need your support to continue our mission. There are two ways that you can support the pro bono program at Carolina Law:

Submit a project: Law students can help you with everything from research and writing to interviewing clients. When you submit a project, you can specify if you prefer a 2L or 3L to work, the time commitment, any specific skills required, etc. You can even submit a project online. Students can do projects both during the school year and over winter and spring breaks. If you have any questions, please email Lauren Felter, the Attorney Projects Coordinator, at uncprobonoprojects@gmail.com or consult our FAQ webpage.

Provide financial support: Finally, your financial support is incredibly beneficial to us. The support of our donors help us continue to allow students to come on pro bono trips at a very low cost to themselves, thus helping ensure that personal finance is no barrier to doing pro bono work. You can donate online (please select "Pro Bono Program").


Please consider supporting the Pro Bono Program in any way that you can, and please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions. I hope everyone has a wonderful spring, and we hope to see you at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Ceremony on April 13th!

Go Heels,

Alexis

Alexis Chappell
Alumni Coordinator
UNC Law Pro Bono Program
Students and Lawyers Making a Difference
http://www.law.unc.edu/studentlife/probono/