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Pro Bono Publico Awards

Each year in April, the 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. The Director of the Pro Bono Program solicits nominations for Pro Bono Publico Awards each March. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community organizations may submit a nomination.

Awards

Sylvia K. Novinsky Award

Who is eligible?

Any UNC Law student graduating in December or May of the current academic year (except for members of the Pro Bono Board).

Selection Criteria

This award recognizes a graduating student for three years of consistent pro bono service as a UNC Law student. It awards a graduating student for their “career” of pro bono service.

In particular, the Pro Bono Board considers:

  1. the number of pro bono hours logged in all three years
  2. the diversity of projects that the graduating student has completed
  3. the impact of the graduating student’s pro bono service on fellow students, the law school, and the community

1L, 2L, and 3L Students of the Year

Who is eligible?

Any UNC Law student that is in the 1L, 2L, or 3L class during the current academic year (except for members of the Pro Bono Board).

Selection Criteria

These awards recognize members of the 1L, 2L, and 3L classes that have demonstrated a substantial commitment to pro bono during the current academic year. The Pro Bono Board considers the hours of service completed during that academic year and the impact of the students’ pro bono work on fellow students, the school, and the community

The 3L Student of the Year and the Sylvia K. Novinsky Award both recognize members of the graduating class. Therefore, it is easy to confuse the two awards. The 3L Student of the Year Award focuses only on the pro bono service completed during the 3L year, while the Sylvia K. Novinsky Award recognizes pro bono service completed throughout all three years of the student’s law school career.

Group Pro Bono Project of the Year

Who is eligible?

Any officially recognized student group at UNC Law.

Selection Criteria

This award celebrates the commitment to pro bono by student groups at UNC Law. The award highlights one student group that has helped fulfill the Pro Bono Program’s two goals of meeting unmet legal needs and fostering a lifelong commitment to pro bono legal work among UNC Law students.

In particular, the Pro Bono Board considers:

  1. the unmet legal needs addressed by the group’s efforts
  2. the innovative approach taken to address these legal needs
  3. the level of student involvement in the project
  4. the sustainability and continuity of the group’s pro bono efforts

Professor/Faculty Member of the Year

Who is eligible?

Any full-time or adjunct UNC Law professor or faculty member.

Selection Criteria

This award recognizes the pro bono contributions of a member of the UNC Law faculty. The award celebrates a faculty member that helps fulfill the Pro Bono Program’s two goals of meeting unmet legal needs and fostering a lifelong commitment to pro bono legal work among UNC Law students.

In the past, the Pro Bono Board has recognized professors and faculty members that have:

  1. developed new methods for meeting unmet legal needs
  2. contributed significant time working on behalf of underrepresented populations, either through litigation of pro bono cases or legislative advocacy
  3. encouraged students to participate in pro bono and facilitated their pro bono service

Alumnus/Alumna of the Year

Who is eligible?

Any UNC Law alumnus or alumna.

Selection Criteria

This award recognizes the commitment to pro bono among UNC Law alumni. The award celebrates an alumnus or alumna that has worked to meet unmet legal needs and has demonstrated a commitment to pro bono service.

In the past, the Pro Bono Board has recognized alumni that have:

  1. developed new methods for meeting unmet legal needs
  2. contributed significant time working on behalf of underrepresented populations, either through litigation of pro bono cases or legislative advocacy
  3. incorporated students into their pro bono work
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