List of Responding Schools
Access to Legal Information (LawHelp) Project - Students act as online LawHelp operator specialists by providing "know your rights" materials and referral information about free or low cost legal services for indigent New Yorkers through an instant messaging live chat program.
Albany County Family Court Help Desk - In conjunction with the Albany County Bar Association, students provide assistance to those conducting business with family court. Animal Law Project - This project provides research to a broad range of organizations devoted to animal law, and is involved with the Attorney General's initiative to prevent domestic/ companion animal abuse.
Anti-Human Trafficking Project – Students engage in community grass-roots organizing and outreach to build support for better anti-trafficking legislation as part of the NYS Anti-Trafficking Coalition, assist the Attorney General's office in its efforts to combat trafficking in the capital region, and build community support to end trafficking.
Attorney for the Day – In conjunction with the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY students attend landlord/tenant hearings to provide assistance to an attorney by conducting initial client intake interviews.
Child Custody & Kinship Care Project – Under the supervision of the Office of Child and Family Services of Rochester, Kinship Program student research grandparents and relatives rights in relation to child custody and support issues including the rights of incarcerated parents. Students in this program have the opportunity to attend meetings relative to these issues and help draft new policies for various agencies.
Community Education Workshop Project - Students assist National Lawyers Guild attorney-members with "Know Your Rights" workshops and legal information presentations in the community.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Project – Students work with attorneys to ensure that courts do what is best for the children involved in juvenile, civil and criminal proceedings.
Elder Law Project - Following a full-day training with Rural Legal Center, students educate low income rural seniors throughout the State of New York about issues including Medicaid, Advance Directive Documents, Avoiding Senior Scams, and Estate Planning.
Family & Child Benefits Project - Students assist in various child care benefits efforts, including updating the "Patchwork of Policies" report by Empire Justice Center. This report is used extensively in EJC's lobbying efforts to move the state to creating a uniform statewide child care subsidy system.
Immigration Assistance Project - In conjunction with community partners, including the Empire Justice Center and the Office for New Americans, students will be serving the needs of immigrants who wish to apply for deferred action under DACA, citizenship and other status changes. Students will conduct research, and develop educational material for both practitioners serving clients who may qualify for deferred action, as well as for the community.
The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) - IRAP organizes law students and attorneys to provide legal representation for Iraqi refugees and their families who cannot otherwise afford it.
Labor Law & Worker's Rights – Under the supervision of an attorney students are developing a presentation and resource brochure around worker's rights and protected concerted activity.
LGBT Rights Project – Students provide legal research and assistance to attorneys, advocacy groups, and legal service providers on matters related to LGBT rights including; free name change clinics for transgender people, free legal assistance on matters of family law, wills, and advanced directives for same-sex couples, drafting police protocols for encounters with the LGBT community, and building support for GENDA.
Matrimonial and Pro Se Divorce Project - Following a four-hour substantive training by the Legal Project - Capital District the Women's Bar Association, students provide legal assistance to low-income individuals seeking to file for pro se divorce. Student assistance is particularly vital in determine the proper grounds for divorce, and writing a convincing application of why those grounds apply. Through participation in this project, the students are exposed to a broad range of topics including: custody/visitation, support and equitable distribution.
NYSBA Leaders Program - Through this program, students work with select Chairs, Sections, and Taskforces of the New York State Bar Association.
Prisoners' Rights Project - Through this project, students provide assistance to Prisoners Legal Services. Projects include research and writing and assisting with administrative hearings including disciplinary hearings. Students may also have the chance to conduct administrative appeals for prisoners who are challenging disciplinary hearings, as well as draft and file Article 78 Petitions.
Prisoner Reentry Project - In collaboration with several organizations, students provide legal education to prisoners on issues that will impact their reentry including how to find housing, employment and seek benefits.
Veterans Legal Assistance Project - provide free legal services to the men and women who have served in our armed forces and now need legal assistance in a variety of areas. In particular, the Project focuses on assisting homeless military veterans in the Albany region.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program - During the tax season, student volunteers provide free income tax assistance to the disadvantaged.
In the past, students participated in a conflict resolution program in the Buchanan County elementary schools, using the curriculum designed by Streetlaw, Inc. Peer mediation was a large part of the conflict resolution program. The program provided training in the skills necessary for children and adults to resolve interpersonal conflicts in a peaceful manner. Law students selected for the program received 14 hours of formal training in conflict resolution and teaching skills.
Students have also assisted the Town of Grundy.Law students worked on projects of interest to the local government. Projects included an analysis of the economic impact of the Law School; review of the Army Corps of Engineers Proposal for Grundy Non-Structural Flood Control Project; research on the path of the proposed bike trail to determine property acquisition and/or easements; assistance with national media coverage; and review of Industrial Development Authority contracts. These students worked with the County Treasurer's office, the Commissioner of Revenue's office, and the Clerk of the County Court's deed records and abstracts. Students learned to research deeds and abstract property.
Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens. ASL students have provided assistance to the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens, ("AASC"). AASC, a private, nonprofit agency, was established in 1975 to serve the region's older adults and their caregivers. AASC helps older adults remain independent and strives to improve seniors' health and quality of life. Law students assisted AASC in the development of a Legal Services Resource Guide for older adults and their loved ones. The Guide provided valuable information about legal issues involving personal autonomy. ASL students also organized an Elder Law Project with the help of AASC. The students provided law-related educational programs on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, living wills and powers of attorney to senior citizens in Buchanan County. This student-centered project won the ASL Community Service Award in 1999.
Court Appointed Special Advocates ("CASA"). ASL students volunteer to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused or neglected children in Virginia and Kentucky. CASA is a national organization managed on a state and local basis through the court system. CASA volunteers are selected to watch over and to advocate for abused and neglected children and make sure that the children don't get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or suffer in an inappropriate group or foster home environment. The 29th Judicial District CASA program encompasses Buchanan County and employees two case managers that supervise volunteers from the community. A majority of these volunteers are from ASL. ASL students spend 30 hours in intensive training to prepare them to advocate for children in court.
Legal Aid: ASL students are provided with the opportunity to work with legal aid organizations that provide free or low cost legal assistance to individuals and groups who cannot afford to hire a private attorney to advocate for their rights. Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc., ("AppalReD"), and the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society, ("SVLAS") are both approved organizations that provide ASL students with the opportunity to assist low-income individuals. The Director of Community Service at ASL has been working with the Executive Director and the Managing Attorney of the SVLAS to implement an intake project involving ASL students. ASL students will earn service hours on campus by assisting SVLAS with client interviews and intake. Attorneys from SVLAS oversee the project and provide extensive training to the participating students.
ACLU at ASU – The ACLU Pro Bono Organization works with the Arizona Civil Liberties Union to provide legal research and assistance to protect and preserve civil liberties. This program offers students the opportunity to work with volunteer lawyers in the community on current civil liberties issues projects and litigation.
Advocacy Program for Battered Women – Students assist attorneys in providing legal information and referrals to domestic violence victims at 8 valley women's shelters.
Arizona Justice Project – Volunteers assist in reviewing criminal cases to determine whether there is a possibility of overturning convictions.
AZ Attorney General Satellite Outreach Project – The Community Services Program of the Office of the Attorney General includes satellite offices throughout Arizona. As the first university-based office, student volunteers (including non-law students) make it easier for the public to access information on consumer fraud, civil and victims' rigthts, and other matters affecting our most vulnerable members of the community and the general public.
Black Mesa Trust Legal Project – The Black Mesa Trust is a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the water resources of the Navajo and Hopi people. Black Mesa Trust is an organization born out of concern for the depleting water supply and its long range implications on the health and viability of the Black Mesa ecosystem and native people.
Crime Victims' Legal Assistance Project – Students work in conjunction with attorneys to provide legal advice to victims of crimes.
Criminal Defense Mentor and Pro Bono Program – This program represents an alliance between students attending ASU College of Law and the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. Students generally work on specific case assignments independantly, or may work as a group on a large-scale project.
De Colores – Students assist attorneys in providing legal information at domestic violence shelters. Spanish speakers preferred. This program is coordinated by the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.
Disability Law Project – The purpose of the Disability Law Pro Bono Project is to consider all matters of legal interest that relate to the subject of Disability Law and the Disabled in Law.
Elder Law Project – The Elder Law Pro Bono Project works with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, local and regional centers that assist the elderly, and local law firms. The project provides legal research assistance to help educate senior citizens regarding their legal rights and help prevent them from becoming victims of fraud, as well as provide assistance with legal documents, such as living wills.
Eloy INS Detention Center Project – Students teach immigrants detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service how they can represent themselves in immigration court. This program is coordinated by the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.
Employment Law Project – The goal of this group is to educate both employees and employers about their respective rights in the workplace, as well as work with the EEOC in advocacy work, educational seminars, and research.
Family Lawyers Assistance Project – FLAP provides assistance to individuals who are representing themselves in family court matters such as paternity, child support, divorce, and custody.
Guardian Ad Litem – Law stduents work in conjunction with volunteer attorneys through the Children's Law Center.
Homeless Legal Assistance Project – Volunteers work with staff at the shelters to identify residents' legal needs. Students interview residents to screen their needs before presenting them to valley-wide attorney volunteers. Attorneys address the residents' concerns by providing advice, referring them to outside resources, or assigning research projects to the students. Volunteers follow up as needed to help the clients resolve their issues. The Homeless Legal Assistance project also provides non-legal assistance by sponsoring various food, clothing and necessity drives as well as other projects.
Junior Law – Students present cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court to 7th and 8th grade students.
Street Law – Sudents teach law-related courses to local inner-city junior high and high school students. These programs are coordinated by the Black Law Students Association and the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.
Student Animal Legal Defense Organization – SALDO is dedicated to preventing animal abuse through legal action. Students help attorneys with research, litigation, and lobbying. They work on projects that help companion, wildlife, and laboratory animals. SALDO members also help organize CLEs on animal law.
Students for Reproductive Rights – Our mission is to join students with community leaders to work for the protection of reproductive rights including but not limited to sexual education, contraception, abortion, and access to clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA is sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division. Training for the student volunteers is conducted by certified public accountants. VITA volunteers from the College of Law assist taxpayers in preparing their tax returns. Most of the taxpayers are ASU students, including many foreign students, and local community members.
Volunteer Legal Assistance for Artists – Created from an identified need in the community, this project will provide free online information for artists and those affiliated with artists, such as managers, curators, and venue owners. http://www.ArtsAdvocacy.org
The Baylor Public Interest Legal Society
The Baylor Public Interest Legal Society (BPILS) is a service-oriented organization that exists to serve Baylor Law School and the Waco community in facilitating the involvement of students in public interest institutions and programs. BPILS coordinates and encourages the efforts of students, faculty and administration in promoting public interest issues on campus and in the community. BPILS also assists students in obtaining internships, externships and employment in public interest fields in coordination with Baylor Law School's faculty and administration.
National Adoption Day BPILS, under the direction of our faculty sponsor, Professor Fuselier, facilitates pro bono adoptions in coordination with Child Protective Services and local attorneys. Every fall, members of the Baylor Law School faculty, the Baylor Law School Public Interest Legal Society, and McLennan County Department of Family Protective Services celebrate the joys of adoption and encourage more people to give children permanent families through adoption. This local celebration is part of a nationwide effort to call special attention to the 129,000 foster children awaiting adoption in the United States and to celebrate all loving families that adopt. As part of National Adoption Day on November 16, 2012, Judge Gary Coley finalized the adoptions of seventeen children from foster care. Thirty-six Baylor Law students helped with the adoptions.
The Public Benefits Project at Lone Star Legal Aid BPILS developed the Public Benefits Project at Lone Star Legal Aid. This project screens potential clients for food stamp benefit eligibility. BPILS also is spearheading a closer cooperation between Lone Star Legal Aid and local chapters of the NAACP and LULAC.
The Innocence Project of Texas Due to the advocacy of Baylor Law students, the Innocence Project of Texas has taken root at Baylor Law under the supervision of Professor Brian Serr and a local attorney. The project involves investigations of claims of actual innocence made by inmates incarcerated in Texas prisons.
Miscellaneous Activities Baylor Law Students hold a faculty and student auction in support of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); a Student Bar Association Blood Drive program; an SBA Toys for Tots program at Christmas; an SBA March of Dimes Crusade (among top 10 contributors in McLennan County); and an Immunity Day program benefitting Mission Waco and the Waco Youth Law Project. This year, the SBA won the "Most Pounds of Food Collected"recognition in Caritas' Food for Families Drive.
The public interest student organizations listed below (see: "Student Public Interest Groups") occasionally create pro bono opportunities.
Shelter Legal Services Foundation at Boston College provides pro bono, and often emergency, legal services to the homeless, veterans and low-income women. Students from BC Law and four other Boston-area law schools work together to operate five weekly legal clinics in Boston and Cambridge. Working directly with clients, students handle client-counseling & interviewing, legal research & writing and representation at hearings. Under the direction of staff attorneys and practicing attorneys who volunteer, students handle a variety of legal issues including, housing, child support, social security benefits, immigration and bankruptcy.
The Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, based at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, is a pilot program designed to address the harsh effects of current U.S. deportation policies. The Project aims to conceptualize an entirely new area of law, providing direct representation to individuals who have been deported and promoting the rights of deportees and their family members through research, policy analysis, human rights advocacy, and training programs. Through participatory action research carried out in close collaboration with community-based organizations, the Project addresses the psycho-social impact of deportation on individuals, families, and communities and provides legal and technical assistance to facilitate community responses. The ultimate aim of the Project is to advocate, in collaboration with affected families and communities, for fundamental changes that will introduce proportionality, compassion, and respect for family unity into U.S. immigration laws and bring these laws into compliance with international human rights standards.
Immigration service trips have been a part of Boston College Law School since 1988. Each year a group of Boston College Law students spend their spring break week volunteering with immigration legal aid providers around the country. In 2008, thirty-nine students worked at ten different host organizations in eight cities, all of which provide legal assistance to persons in detention as a result of immigration matters and who are currently facing deportation. The Immigration Spring Break Trips which have been student-run and coordinated since 1988. In order to fund the Immigration Trips, students worked throughout the year to fundraise. All funds were once again matched this year by a generous contribution from the Law School Fund.
Navajo Nation Spring Break trip is organized by the Native American Law Student Association. A group of students spent spring break week working at five placements within the Navajo Nation. The placements included: Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Community & Economic Development; Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Government and Human Services; Navajo Nation Supreme Court; Office of the Public Defender; and Navajo Nation District Court.
New Orleans Spring Break trip. Students work for the week at various placements in New Orleans.
Boston College Law School has a strong commitment to pro bono and in addition to encouraging law students to participate in pro bono, the school organizes pro bono opportunities for alumni. In 2008 and 2009, alumni and students volunteered at housing court to provide one-day legal assistance for people who could not afford to hire an attorney but had a critical need for help.
There are no formal student-run pro bono groups, but each year student organizations, including the Public Interest Project, organize pro bono projects for its members.
The student-run Law Help phone line allows people in need of legal assistance to schedule appointments for the local bar association's Tuesday Night Bar program.
Brooklyn Family Court Evening Session /Assigned Domestic Violence Counsel Project
Students attend night court and help victims of domestic violence to navigate the family court system, and understand their legal rights. Student volunteers draft petitions for orders of protection and help petitioners access appropriate domestic violence services while reviewing petitioner's circumstances and identifying the need for representation by attorneys from the Assigned Domestic Violence Counsel Project.
Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO)
Co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) and Brooklyn Law School, students assist consumer debtors, often victims of aggressive or predatory lending or collection practices by assisting attorneys at a weekly advice only clinic, and playing an active role for their pro se clients as student advocates under the supervision of the supervising attorney from the VLP. It is anticipated that students will also represent clients in negotiations or court actions under a student practice order in their third year of participation.
Courtroom Advocates Program (CAP)
Students assist and advocate for victims of domestic violence seeking orders of protection under the supervision of attorneys from Sanctuary for Families. Students help women fill out petitions for orders of protection and maintain contact and advocate as necessary to ensure petitioners return for their next court date and get referrals and services as needed. Students may also advocate for the petitioner's best interests before the judge on the return date of the petition.
Housing Court – Resolution Assistant Part (RAP)
Students in this program are assigned to one pro se litigant at each session to ensure that tenants or unrepresented landlords are aware of their rights, are not badgered by the other party, and do not sign stipulations in court that they do not fully understand. Students accompany the litigant in court conferences and settlement negotiations and while not representing the litigant, students assist litigants to articulate their claims and defenses, raise red flags for the court or encourages litigants to seek help from the court.
Law Students for Veterans' Rights
Students assist veterans confronting inadequate health care, delays in benefits, treatment and rehabilitation for disorders and injuries, homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, domestic problems and the overall reintegration into civilian life. Students work in conjunction with three non-profit organizations and a clinic run by ten New York City law firms. Students also assist those discharged under the "don't ask, don't tell"policy to upgrade their discharge.
M.Y.L.E (Motivating Youth through Legal Education)
Brooklyn Law School students coach high school students in understanding constitutional issues, and in developing and arguing their position in a mock debate program. Law students join judges and attorneys in judging the final competition. This program is overseen by the Legal Outreach program.
Students assist welfare consumers regarding the denial, delay, reduction, or termination of their public assistance, under the supervision of the Legal-Aid Society's Civil Division and/or the New York Legal Assistance Group. Student advocates interview clients, draft informal written communications, and negotiate with city and state agencies. Eventually, students may appear on behalf of their clients at hearings before administrative judges.
Suspension Representation Project
Students in this project, many of them former public school teachers, represent and advocate for high school students faced with suspension or expulsion hearings before the Department of Education hearing officer, often negotiating terms by which students may remain in school and obviating the need for a hearing.
Student Hurricane Network (SHN)
The Brooklyn Law School SHN has remained active subsequent to the dissolution of the nation-wide organization and continues to volunteers in the Gulf Coast region in a variety of contexts, both criminal and civil, with a variety of local non-profits and government agencies.
Urban Assembly High School for Law and Justice (SLJ) Programs
Brooklyn Law School is the academic partner to this high school serving inner city students. Law students participate in several programs with SLJ students including hosting competitively selected students from SLJ's Constitutional Law class for a day in law school, participating on college informational panels, a luncheon program introducing the SLJ students to legal careers, and other activities as needed each year.
Uncontested Divorce Preparation for Battered Women
Following a training session by the non-profit organization Sanctuary for Families, student volunteers interview their assigned client, prepare and file divorce petitions, and follow-up to facilitate petitioner's court appearance. Students also counsel petitioners to ensure they understand the legal process, and follow-up to make sure petitioner has access to appropriate social services and other resources.
Unemployment Action Center (UAC)
In this student run program, volunteers advise those trying to recover or enroll in unemployment insurance. Students prepare and conduct hearings (including direct and cross examinations of claimants and witnesses where appropriate) before administrative judges at the New York Department of Labor.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
VITA volunteers assist low wage workers to file their income taxes and ensure that they get available low-income and child tax credits, avoid predatory lenders, and get prompt refunds and other financial services. Last year Brooklyn Law School students put over $300,000 back into the local low-income community through this program.
Access to Law Initiative. Many California Western students plan to enter solo or small firm practice after graduation, and in 2012 California Western became the first law school on the west coast to launch an “incubator program” to help graduates who want to follow that career path. It is a key element in the path of many of our students toward attaining a satisfying career. The Access to Law Initiative (ALI) not only helps those graduates, but it brings affordable and pro bono assistance to people who lack access to legal services, as each ALI attorney commits to providing 100 pro bono hours of service per year. ALI includes lawyers who practice in a wide range of areas of law, so it serves a diverse group of our alumni and also can meet the needs of clients with a variety of kinds of legal issues.
The California Innocence Project. This law school volunteer program was founded in 1999 and reviews more than 2,000 claims of innocence from California inmates every year. Students work alongside practicing criminal defense lawyers to seek the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners in California. The law students assist in the investigation of cases where there is strong evidence of innocence, write briefs in those cases, and advocate in all appropriate forums for the release of the project's clients. Training is provided by faculty.
Community Law Projects. The Community Law Projects provides legal advice to low-income and indigent members of the local community, while developing a commitment to public service in California Western students who work within the clinics. We offer legal clinics in the San Diego communities of City Heights, Downtown, and Lemon Grove. Law students work one-on-one with clients and volunteer attorneys in a variety of legal areas, according to their interests. This unique opportunity allows volunteer students to experience the benefits of helping those in need while learning essential lawyering skills from experienced practitioners.
New Media Rights. New Media Rights is a non-profit program that provides legal services, education, and advocacy for Internet users and creators. California Western students work closely with program staff and clients to analyze policies related to online content creation. Students can help create informational videos, prepare policy briefs, and contribute to the program’s work with the FCC and other agencies.
Proyecto Acceso. Proyecto ACCESO is a Rule of Law training and public education program. ACCESO trains Latin American leaders to promote the rule of law and educate the public in their basic legal rights, enabling lawyers, law enforcement officials, and the general public to understand the benefits of a transparent judicial system. Students can participate in summer abroad, internship, and other international opportunities to develop experience and connections in Latin America.
Campbell Law Pro Bono Council
The Pro Bono Council consists of student members who are selected as part of a competitive application process each year. The mission of the Pro Bono Council is to educate students on the nature and importance of serving the underserved through:
- Creating a life-long commitment to pro bono work and volunteerism among Campbell Law students;
- Embracing volunteerism and community service partnerships in the Raleigh area;
- Developing alliances and volunteering with organizations providing legal services to those in need; and
- Assisting lawyers who provide high quality, low-cost legal services to individuals in need.
Campbell Law Innocence Project (CLIP)
Under the supervision of NC Center on Actual Innocence, students review case files to determine if a defendant's case demands further post-conviction review.
Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP)
Students are certified by the State Bar under the 3 semester practice rule to represent victims of domestic violence in domestic violence protective order hearings in Wake County. This project is in collaboration with Legal Aid of NC (Raleigh office) and the private bar who serve as supervising attorneys.
The Reentry Project is a mobile initiative that interviews North Carolina citizens who may qualify for relief from the collateral consequences of having a criminal record. This project is in collaboration with Legal Aid of NC and the NC Justice Center.
Child Permanency Appeals Project (CPAP)
In collaboration with the County Attorney's Office of Wake County and Wake County Human Services, Campbell students have the opportunity to write appellate briefs that respond to child placement appeals from the Juvenile Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Court.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
The VITA Project partners with the IRS to assist individuals who meet certain income qualifications to prepare and file tax returns. The program certifies Campbell Law students through an online certification course and exam.
Capital Area Teen Court
Teen Court gives first-time youthful offenders a second chance, while also holding them accountable. Students volunteer to play the various roles in the court system.
Death Row Visitation Project
In collaboration with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, students are paired with death row inmates housed at Central Prison and become temporary members of the inmate's legal team and meet with the inmate regularly.
Education Law Project
In collaboration with Legal Aid of NC's Lawyer on the Line Program, the Education Law Project allows students to assist clients and gain valuable experience in the field of education law.
Naturalization Workshop Project
In collaboration with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, students help clients complete a naturalization application.
Service Animal Project
The Service Animal Workshop Project, in partnership with Disability Rights NC, provides law students an opportunity to learn about disability laws surrounding service animals and to provide workshops to local organizations and government entities on how best to accommodate service animal users.
In collaboration with Legal Aid of NC, students work with volunteer attorneys to provide legal information and assistance at local Stand Down Events to assist veterans with various legal issues.
Wills/Advance Directives Projects
The Wills/Advance Directives Project pairs law students with private attorneys volunteering with Legal Aid of NC to interview clients and assist with drafting wills, power of attorneys, health Care POAs, and living wills.
Street Law -- This is a practical program of law-related education aimed at engaging high school students in a critical examination of their rights and responsibilities. It involves law students in discussions surrounding practical legal problems, contemporary legal issues, and the ramifications of breaking the law. The underlying goal of the program is for the young students to gain a sense of belonging to society. The law students, working closely with the teachers, teach at least one to two hours a week for six weeks at a local high school.
Street Law - Street Law students educate local high school students regarding various aspects of the law, including constitutional law, criminal law, juvenile torts, and more. It also organizes, coaches, and hosts a high school mock trial competition every year.
Innocence Project: At Charlotte School of Law this Charlotte Law student group works with the North Carolina enter on Actual Innocence, a non-profit agency that coordinates the Innocence Projects at each of North Carolinas law schools. Through these projects, students benefit from the opportunity to review and assist in the investigation of innocence claims made by North Carolina inmates.
Guardian ad Litem (GAL): A Guardian ad Litem is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a district court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children petitioned into the court system by the Department of Social Services. The GAL makes independent recommendations to the court for services which focus on the needs of each child. After completing the required training, students will be certified as a GAL. Many Charlotte Law students have completed their GAL training with the Mecklenburg County Guardian ad Litem Program.
Self-Serve Center Group Project: The Charlotte Law Self-Serve Center Student Group Project works with the 26th Judicial District Self-Serve Center at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Charlotte Law students are trained to help educate members of the community about the steps required to file family law and Landlord-Tenant cases pro se (self-represented). Charlotte Law students are supervised by local attorneys and trained by Mr. Darwin Rice of the Self-Serve Center. The North Carolina Bar Associations Public Service Advisory Committee recognized Charlotte Laws Self-Serve Center Group Project with its 2009 NCBA Pro Bono Law Student Project Award.
Street Law: The Charlotte Law Student Group of Street Law, an innovative public law clinical program began at Georgetown Law in 1972, has worked with young people in Mecklenburg County for several years. The idea for Street Law was cultivated by law students, and several decades later, Street Law, Inc. continues its close relationship with the legal community. Street Law provides lawyers, law students, paralegals, and judges with programs, professional development opportunities, and publications to enable them to teach practical law in their communities and schools.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association - Organizes student participation in projects of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Domestic Violence Coalition - Runs the Court Advocacy Project in which trained students assist domestic violence survivors seeking protection orders in Family Court.
National Lawyers Guild - Coordinates student involvement in Street Law Project.
The Mississippi Project - Student volunteers work with community and public interest groups in the Mississippi delta during the break between fall and spring semesters.
Cleveland Bar Association's Education Initiative - Students, faculty, staff and alumni work in the Cleveland Public high schools on one or more of the following initiatives (law firms and the bar association pick up some of the expenses): 1) Street Law: Law students and volunteer lawyers work with high school teachers to team-teach practical law in the social studies elective called Street Law. 2) Proficiency Exam Preparation: Law Students help prepare students to take the citizenship portion of the state-mandated proficiency exam that students must pass to receive a diploma. 3) City Mock Trial Program: Law students serve as legal advisors to help prepare student teams for competition. Law students also sit with municipal court judges and attorneys to serve as mock trial judges. 4) Mural Project: Law students help high school students paint a mural showcasing their interpretation of the law.
Homeless Legal Assistance Project - Students go to shelters and assist pro bono attorneys in addressing legal issues and rights to homeless people.
International Services Center - Students and alumni provide legal assistance to people seeking asylum to the United States.
Women's Re-Entry Program - Law students work with women recently released from incarceration. Law students conduct intake, make referrals, and assist with legal decisions that the women make concerning housing, custody, employment, criminal, and social security issues.
Veterans Legal Assistance Project – New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG): Law students meet with veteran clients and their families to prepare benefits applications and develop the strongest cases possible. Students have the opportunity to work on PTSD claims, Agent Orange-related disability claims, discharge upgrades, sexual assault claims, and appeals. Students work simultaneously for multiple clients on various stages of the benefits application process. Students are the main point of contact at NYLAG for each of their clients and keep clients informed of case progress by telephone and in person.
Criminal Justice Action Network (CJAN) and Public Defender Students of Columbia Law School (PDS)
Prisoners' Rights Project: Law students draft Article 78 Petitions for incarcerated individuals to appeal disciplinary tickets in court that they'll then file pro-se. Students identify whether an administrative agency failed to perform a duty enjoined upon it by law; if the agency proceeded in excess/without jurisdiction; whether determination was made in violation of procedure, was capricious, or was marred by abuse of discretion or error of law.
The Domestic Violence Project
- U-Visa Project: Participants represent undocumented low-income victims of domestic violence seeking a path to U.S. citizenship through a petition for U non-immigrant status. Students are assigned a client and complete the petition application from beginning to end and learn skills such as interviewing and drafting affidavits.
- Courtroom Advocates Project: Students serve as advocates in Family Court for domestic violence victims. Under the supervision of Sanctuary for Families, students help victims draft and file petitions for Orders of Protection, educate them on their rights and safety precautions, and advocate for them during court appearances.
- Uncontested Divorce Workshop: Law student volunteers participating in the Uncontested Divorce Workshop help victims of domestic violence attain uncontested divorces from their abusers. Under the supervision of attorneys from Sanctuary for Families, each two-student team meets with a client and helps the client prepare and file papers for the divorce process. From this process, students can gain experience working directly with a client while developing a better understanding of the issue of domestic violence. Completion of the project also involves learning and executing the procedure for filing for an uncontested divorce in the state of New York. This includes learning to draft and revise initial and final papers, as well as learning the rules around service (who is able to serve the papers, when must the papers be served, etc.) and filing.
- Human Trafficking Intervention Court: Columbia students work with Sanctuary for Families attorneys to interview foreign-born individuals with cases before the Human Trafficking Intervention Court in order to identify any trafficking-based or immigration remedies potentially available to them.
High School Law Institute (HSLI)
HSLI has law school students spend their Saturday mornings and early afternoons teaching high school students a legal curriculum based on Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Moot Court, and Mock Trial. The knowledge our student-teachers learn in their classroom and extracurricular settings plays directly into their lesson plans.
The Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual (JLM)
The JLM is a handbook of legal rights and procedures distributed to thousands of prisoners across the country each year by Columbia’s Human Rights Law Review. Student volunteers write, update, edit, and cite check discrete sections of the JLM and its various state supplements. Short assignments are available (up to 6 hours), but volunteers who complete longer assignments may be eligible for “by-line” writing credit. Students interested in immigration law can also work on the JLM Immigration Law Supplement.
Latino/a Law Student Association (LALSA)
Know Your Rights Series / Spanish Street Law: Law students are tasked with conducting research on substantive areas of the law (immigration law, housing law, labor law, consumer rights, etc.) and they are expected to make PowerPoint presentations that allow them to present their findings in a succinct and intelligible manner. They have the opportunity to work with attorneys who specialize in those areas of the law and work with them to develop the knowledge needed to then present this information to large groups in various locations in our NYC Latino communities.
Legal Clinic for the Homeless
Working with attorneys from the City Bar Justice Center, students are assigned a client and advocate for the resolution of various legal issues. Students commonly work on issues related to public assistance, immigration, employment, and family law.
Mentoring Youth Through Legal Education
Debate & Mock Trial Program: Columbia Law School students work with attorneys from major New York firms in coaching New York high school students for constitutional law debates. The year-long constitutional law debate program is a key part of Legal Outreach’s effort to inspire and prepare young people to go to college. Student coaches establish a strong mentoring relationship with individual students through one-on-one tutoring and guidance. They also adjudicate a series of four exciting debates, all conducted at Columbia Law School.
Outlaws and Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC)
Transgender Legal Defense Fund: Through the Transgender Name Change Project, law students assist transgender clients in petitioning to have their names legally changed to match their gender identity. This involves both helping the client file name change documents and representing them in a hearing before the court, supervised by attorneys from Sullivan and Cromwell. Students learn valuable written and oral advocacy skills and gain firsthand experience interacting with clients.
Leveraging the vast research resources available to Columbia students, Rightslink provides free legal research services to human rights groups that lack the capacity or political freedom to conduct their own research. Students interested in human rights gain the opportunity to contribute to research projects covering both domestic and international issues ranging from language discrimination to human trafficking.
The Rightslink Research and Advocacy Program (RAP) will give students (JDs and LLMs) the chance to join a dedicated human rights advocacy community and participate in exciting human rights research ongoing at Columbia Law School.
Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
- Aldea -- Credible Fear Monitoring: This project is a remote project working with families detained at the Berks Detention Center in Pennsylvania who have applied for asylum based on fear of returning to their own country. Our volunteers are present on the phone during the 1 - 2.5 hour-long interviews to listen in and make sure the family is being afforded a fair interview and then to offer a closing statement in support of the family's claim at the end. No language fluency is required because the Asylum Officer has an interpreter on the call. The day or evening before the interviews are set to happen, we send out a request for volunteers, and once a volunteer confirms availability, we send the family's case summary and provide the closing statement that should be read by the volunteer at the end. The Asylum Office will call the volunteer directly. Volunteers do not have to commit to doing any amount of interviews per day, week, or month, so it is a very flexible opportunity.
- Asylum Seekers Advocacy Project (ASAP): Starting in the spring, Columbia students can collaborate with law school students from around the country to assist in creating two guides focused on asylum claims: (1) A guide focused on expedited removal proceedings; and (2) A start-to-finish toolkit/guide on assisting pro se applicants with asylum applications. Additionally, students can pick up discrete assignments to contribute various aspects to an ASAP client's case, like writing letters to the court, helping draft motions, and doing translation work.
- Church World Service (CWS): A prominent non-profit in the fields of globaldevelopment and immigrant and refugee rights, CWS was founded in 1946 and now has offices all over the world. Its headquarters are right next to campus. CWS's low-fee and pro bono programs are open to all immigrants and refugees, regardless of their religious affiliation. To learn more about CWS, check out its website. Columbia Law students may apply to assist CWS’s senior staff attorneys with its immigration and refugee program. Students may decide to assist CWS in a great many ways, from advocacy to managerial work.
- Immigration Court Helpdesk (ICH): The Immigration Court Helpdesk (ICH) program was created by the Department of Justice to assist immigrants in removal proceedings in understanding their rights and learning to navigate the immigration system effectively. Unlike in criminal court, immigrants facing removal from the United States are not appointed free or low-cost lawyers. ICH attorneys from Catholic Charities provide immigrants facing removal with information about the immigration court process, how to access and utilize available resources, and referrals to competent representation. Volunteers assist us at the New York Immigration Court providing one-on-one screenings and also assisting particularly vulnerable immigrants fleeing persecution during our pro se asylum clinics. Foreign language skills or prior immigration experience is appreciated, but not required.
- Immigration Equality: Students assist attorneys at Immigration Equality with asylum applications for LGBT immigrants. Students can sign up to write country conditions reports, which support an asylum application by providing information about the applicant's country of origin to corroborate their claim of persecution. Students may also apply to work on an entire asylum application over the course of a semester under the supervision of an attorney from Immigration Equality.
- International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP): Columbia Law School students partner with attorneys to help refugees primarily located in the Middle East navigate the refugee resettlement process. Columbia Law School students can get involved with one of two exciting IRAP opportunities: (1) as an intake volunteer to help IRAP National identify clients for resettlement and (2) become a caseworker and work in-depth with a client on his/her resettlement case.
- New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG): Students participate in Key to the City “immigration clinics." These clinics are typically held on Saturday mornings and give students the opportunity to conduct an initial screening of potential immigrant clients under the supervision of NYLAG staff.
Suspension Representation Project (SRP)
SRP is a pro bono project in which law students represent New York City public school students at their suspension hearings. SRP’s mission is to safeguard the right to public education and due process by providing high-quality advocacy services to New York City public school students facing the Superintendent’s suspensions, which can range from ten days to a full year. SRP advocates develop meaningful legal skills—including interviewing clients and conducting direct- and cross-examinations—and SRP’s clients gain valuable assistance and support.
Tenants’ Rights Project
- SRO Law Project, The Legal Aid Society and NMIC Legal Services: Students assist attorneys at local community organizations in all aspects of low-income tenant representation. Types of work include legal research, motion and memorandum drafting, client intake, and court appearances. Cases range from eviction defense to living condition complaints.
- Manhattan Legal Services Housing Intake Clinic: Manhattan Legal Services will hold a weekly housing intake clinic on Fridays during the Fall Semester. During intake sessions, students will conduct one-on-one intake interviews with potential low-income clients, helping to assess legal issues presented in the case, as well as potential defenses and evidence for litigation. All work will be performed by students under the supervision of housing attorneys at Manhattan Legal Services.
- Lenox Hill Neighborhood House:
- Lawyer-for-the-Day Clinic at the Harlem Community Justice Center: students provide brief legal services to public housing tenants. By the end of the semester, students have the opportunity to enter into a limited-scope retainer allowing them to negotiate with attorneys for the New York City Housing Authority and/or appear in front of the housing court judge. Students will also conduct intakes and provide legal advice and counsel to public housing tenants.
- Tenant Advice Clinics: students provide weekly assistance at tenants’ rights clinics and to assist the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House housing advocacy team with diverse projects. Students attend four tenants’ rights clinics where they will conduct intakes and, after consultation with a housing attorney, provide legal advice and counsel to tenants. On the weeks without a tenants’ rights clinic, students will have the opportunity to assist Lenox Hill housing attorneys with legal research and writing projects, participate in home visits, and conduct phone intakes with low-income tenants.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
SALDF fights to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. This project provides a chance to complete legal research, writing, and fact investigation on pending animal litigation issues and cases. Animal law permeates most traditional areas of the law – including tort, contract, criminal, and constitutional law. The animals involved range from companion animals and wildlife to animals used in entertainment or research or who are raised for food.
Bankruptcy Assistance Project
Under the direction of Legal Services for New York, students conduct client intake to assess the appropriateness of cases and help clients file bankruptcy petitions.
Davis Polk Asylum Workshop
Under the direction of Davis Polk & Wardwell, teams of Columbia students assist in preparing the factual record and brief the legal issues involved in complex asylum cases that bring human rights violations from around the world into the U.S. legal arena.
Students staff LiveHelp, an online, real-time chat service that will direct users toward relevant self-help materials, legal assistance organizations, and court information.
New York State Courts Access to Justice Programs
- Volunteer Lawyer for the Day - Consumer Credit: Students provide pro bono assistance for unrepresented litigants in its Volunteer Lawyer for the Day - Consumer Credit Project in New York City’s Civil Courts. This program provides law students with the opportunity to represent clients in court, negotiate with opposing counsel, and argue before a judge. Interns gain invaluable, hands-on experience in lawyering while simultaneously helping some of New York’s most disadvantaged civil litigants obtain due process of law. The program is supervised by a coordinating attorney with expertise in consumer credit law.
- Uncontested Divorce Program: Students provide assistance to unrepresented litigants in Uncontested Divorce matters in New York City’s Supreme Courts. The program is supervised by a court attorney with expertise in matrimonial law. Assistance through this project is targeted to those litigants who cannot afford counsel. Law students assist unrepresented litigants with the preparation of uncontested divorce forms under the supervision of the Supreme Court Help Center’s Court Attorney. The court system will provide training at a date to be determined at Columbia Law School. Law students do not represent litigants in court or file papers on their behalf. The Uncontested Divorce Program operates in all NYC Counties.
Public Interest Law Union
Spring Break Service Trip
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project
The Women’s Law Student Association sponsors a recurring pro bono project in partnership with the Women’s Center for Advancement, a local nonprofit organization serving individuals experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking.
The Military Law Society sponsors a recurring pro bono project in partnership with the Veterans Legal Support Network, a local nonprofit organization assisting veterans to navigate the legal system.
Other student organizations regularly support pro bono activities through programming, club-sponsored projects and donation drives.
The Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative matches students with pro bono and community service projects both in and out of the legal community. PBCSI works with partner organizations that provide students with a positive, meaningful volunteer experience. Students are not limiting to volunteering with a PBCSI partner, and PBCSI is committed to helping students find a pro bono or community service site that fits their interests and schedules. PBCSI also runs The Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project ("NLAP"), a pro bono legal help desk that assists the homeless with sealing and expunging their criminal records and obtaining state IDs and provides brief advice and referrals for other legal and social service issues. NLAP is staffed with law student volunteers and a supervising attorney. The Pro Bono "Staycation" is another PBCSI pro bono project. It takes place over spring break and gives students the chance to help low-income clients while gaining legal experience and making contacts with local public service organizations. Additionally, PBCSI offers at least one law student/alumni pro bono day where students and alumni work on teams to prepare advanced directives for low-income seniors. PBCSI also recruits students to assist with discrete pro bono projects for local legal aid agencies, such as research and writing assignments.
Although not managed by PBCSI, the College of Law also offers the following pro bono opportunities:
DePaul's Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic has partnered with Erie Neighborhood House to provide legal assistance to recipients of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Working under the guidance of immigration attorneys, students work 1-on-1 with DACA recipients on a variety of matters during Friday afternoon and Saturday morning workshops. Experienced immigration attorneys provide orientation, training, and on-site support.
Spring Break Border Project
Also sponsored by DePaul's Asylum & Immigration Law Clinic, the Spring Break Border Project provides law students with the opportunity to represent detained immigrants in their removal proceedings in Harlingen, Texas, near the US-Mexico border, over spring break. Students visit the detention facilities, interview clients, assist with factual and legal research, present cases in court and otherwise assisted the work of attorneys and paralegals at South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR), a not-for-profit organization dedicating to serving immigrants and refugees in detention.
The Equal Justice Works/Public Interest Law Association student group coordinates students interested in public interest opportunities or public interest careers.
SPIN - Student Public Interest Network
The Just Society
Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocacy Project - Students work with the Durham Crisis Center, volunteer with domestic violence legal aid attorneys, and sponsor awareness programs on domestic violence and sexual assault.
Guardian ad Litem (GAL) - Students are trained by the GAL office and certified by the court to represent children who have allegedly been abused or neglected. (In 2005-2006, a related project started called the Guardian ad Litem Litigation Project.)
Innocence Project - This Project, begun in the fall of 1999, is a collaborative effort with the UNC School of Law. It has grown into a separate non-profit organization, the NC Center on Actual Innocence. The project remains primarily student-run, with faculty advisors from both law schools and a volunteer Executive Director. The students review, investigate and pursue innocence claims of prisoners incarcerated in North Carolina.
Refugee Asylum Support Project (RASP)- Students investigate the conditions in home countries of those seeking asylum in the United States and do other immigration-related projects for organizations serving low-income immigrants.
Street Law Project - Law students teach the Bill of Rights and the American Court System in the Social Studies classes of local high schools and middle schools, as well as other sites such as an alternative school for juvenile defendants and a literacy center.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is a student-run project which assists low-income individuals in completing their income tax forms and in claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit. Volunteers are recruited, trained and tested, and provide services from January through April every year.
PILA Public Interest Law Association: The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) is dedicated to increasing awareness of public interest issues as well as providing opportunities for students to gain experience in the public interest field. PILA organizes fundraiser and hosts an annual PILA Auction in the spring to auction and raffle off donated prizes. All proceeds from their fundraisers go to the Public Interest Scholarship Fund at Duquesne University School of Law that provides financial assistance to students participating in summer internships with public interest employers
SBA Student Bar Association: The SBA The SBA sponsors a number of educational and social events during the academic year including an annual Christmas Ornament Sale to donate funds to the charity of their choosing. The SBA has donated to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Tree of Life Synagogue, and to Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. The SBA also host the annual on-campus Katie Westbrook 5K run and Dog Walk. All proceeds are donated to the Public Interest Scholarship Fund.
Animal Law Society: The Animal Law Society provides a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system, and raising the profile of the field of animal law. Organizes Howl-O-Ween a costumed pet contest and bake sale. fundraiser for a charity of the Animal Law Society’s choosing. Past funds have been donated to the Humane Animal Rescue, an animal shelter in the Northside and in the East End of Pittsburgh.
Criminal Law Society: The Criminal Law Association serves as a crossroads between Duquesne's unique resources in the practice of criminal law, including faculty and alumni working in government and private practice, and the students. The goal includes benefitting the community through education and service. The Criminal Law Society Partners with Presents From Police , by conducting a toy drive to donate to this program. Pittsburgh Police Officers then deliver the gifts to children who are patients at local Children’s Hospitals.
Health Law Society: The Health Law Society aims to bring awareness to current issues in health law, provide a forum for students to learn about health law careers. In addition to providing exposure to the various facets of the health law field, the Health Law Society hosts events such as a basket raffle and bake sales to raise money for various charities. Past recipients of funds include Dr. Withers’ Street Medicine Institute program which provides doctors and medical care directly to the homeless living on the streets of Pittsburgh.
The Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) is a student-led organization that coordinates a wide variety of public interest, community service, and pro bono activities.
The Emory Law Volunteer Clinic for Veterans (VCV) is a non-academic credit clinic that assists veterans and their families with disability benefit claims before the Veterans Administration and in subsequent appellate proceedings, as well as with wills, advance directives, and discharge upgrades. Students may work under the supervision of the VCV staff attorney or with local pro bono attorneys.
The Emory Law chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides legal representation to refugees seeking resettlement. Law students work under the supervision of pro bono attorneys to prepare visa applications, submit appeals, and empower clients to successfully navigate the resettlement process.
Emory Immigrant Legal Assistance (EILA) is a is a collaboration between Emory Law and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the "LDS Church") to provide brief legal advice and referrals to metro-Atlanta Immigrants through monthly clinics.
Emory LGBTQ+ Legal Services (ELLS) is a student-led organization that currently works to support the Atlanta Legal Aid Society Name Change Project.
Know Your Rights provides at-risk youth in the Metro-Atlanta area with information about their rights during encounters with law enforcement or during involvement in the juvenile justice system.
Student organizations have service projects during the school year. The Jones' Public Interest Law Foundation works with the Clinical Director and CSO Director to develop means to raise money to provide financial assistance for students working in Public Interest or Public Service.
Each student organization at the law school has a service project for the school year.
Advancing Law and Technology (ALT)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Constitution Society
Black Law Student Association (BLSA)
Broward County Bar Association
Caribbean Student Bar Association (CSBA)
Christian Legal Society
Club for Mindful & Conscious Living (CFMCL)
Criminal Law Society
Cuban American Bar Association (CABA)
Dade County Bar Association – FIU Student Chapter
Employment & Labor Law Society (ELLS)
Environmental Law Society (ELS)
Federal Bar Association – South FL Chapter
FIU Law Democrats
FIU Law Maritime Law Society
Florida Bar's Young Lawyer's Division – FIU
Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA)
Immigration Law Society
Intellectual Property Student Association
International Law Student Association (ILSA)
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
Muslim Law Student Association (MLSA)
National Lawyers Guild
Phi Alpha Delta
Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Society (RPPTL)
Sports & Entertainment Law Society (SELS)
Stonewall Legal Alliance
Society of Legal Entrepreneurship
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Student Bar Association
Women's Law Society
Advocates for the Incarcerated (AFTI): Raise awareness and advocate on behalf of those in the prisons and jails and seek meaningful change on issues that debilitate the justice system into a seemingly endless cycle of incarceration for affected populations.
Advocates for Sexual Health and Rights (ASHR): Dedicated to raising awareness of the sexual health and legal rights of marginalized populations, including sex workers, LGBTQ population (with a strong emphasis on transgender rights), people with disabilities, and communities impacted by HIV/AIDS. Activities include speaker events/panels, coordination with community advocacy groups such as Resilience Advocacy Project, and substantive projects.
Anti-Trafficking Legal Advocacy Society (ATLAS): An advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, through hosting and attending speaker events, trainings, and screenings. Education and advocacy efforts include constant updates on legal efforts to combat human trafficking and opportunities for student engagement in support of attorneys and advocates working in the field.
Artist Representation Society (ARS): Artists are often exploited by the entertainment industry and suffer from mistreatment such as delayed payments, poor working conditions, tax misguidance, and predatory contracts. Legal counsel for artists is not always accessible and can be prohibitively expensive. ARS is dedicated to empowering the NYC artistic community by providing artists across all disciplines (actors, recording artists, songwriters, dancers, etc.) access to legal education and resources. Our events include informational workshops and audience-led discussions about relevant legal issues. ARS also strives to educate and encourage Fordham Law students to understand legal issues from the artists’ perspective. In order to prepare Fordham Law students to better assist artists in their future careers, ARS provides opportunities for law students to hear first-hand from artists in various disciplines about the legal issues they face.
Consumer Law Advocates (CLA): Raises awareness about the legal issues surrounding the field of consumer debt and assists attorneys at the Manhattan Consumer Legal Advice Resource Office (CLARO) project, a free, weekly walk-in clinic providing assistance to consumers being sued by creditors in civil court.
Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC): Advocacy and assistance to survivors of domestic violence seeking orders of protection (Courtroom Assistance Project), uncontested divorces (Uncontested Divorce Project), and legal information and support (Womenslaw.org) under supervision of attorneys. Education and advocacy within Law School community, and community service activities.
The Drug Policy Reform Group (DPRG): From the burgeoning opiate epidemic to the rise of legalized marijuana, drug policy in the United States faces unique challenges in the 21st century and presents complex legal questions situated at the intersection of public health, mental health, and criminal justice. DPRG seeks to foster intellectual discussion, build community relationships, and support meaningful policy reform around legal and sociopolitical issues relating to the supply and demand of illegal, addictive, and/or consciousness-altering substances; treatment options for substance users; and harm reduction efforts on an individual, community, and national scale.
Education Law Collaborative (ELC): An interdisciplinary student organization based at Fordham Law School that welcomes student members from all of Fordham’s colleges and graduate programs. ELC seeks to bring together students and practitioners from various fields to discuss and elaborate solutions to issues in education law and policy that challenge pK-12 schools and higher ed institutions.
Environmental Law Advocates (ELA): Education and advocacy on environmental issues both on and off campus. Legal research opportunities in support of attorneys practicing in the field.
Farm to Fordham: Provides opportunities for students to work alongside community activists to make our food system more socially just, environmentally responsible, and economically sound. Organizes both policy-oriented legal projects and hands-on grassroots activities and coordinates a CSA to deliver organic food to the law school weekly.
Fordham Health Law Society: Aims to increase awareness of the many facets of health law by developing a pro bono project through which Fordham Law students can assist those in need with health law-related issues, and by hosting informational events on topics such as healthcare policy, careers in health law, and mental health issues facing lawyers today.
Fordham Law Advocates for Voter Rights (FLAVR): Founded after the contested 2000 presidential election, FLAVR is a nonpartisan group dedicated to promoting political empowerment.
Fordham Law Defenders: A community of Fordham law students who are pursuing or strongly considering careers in public defense. FLD organizes discussions, collaborates with practitioners and alumni, and shares resources and tactics. FLD supports students seeking to excel as zealous and careful defenders of indigent people who are facing accusations, court-involvement, and loss of freedom.
Habitat for Humanity at Fordham Law School (HFH): Organizes volunteer trips--weekend trips in New York City area and week-long Spring-Break trip. Students help build homes under the supervision of skilled volunteer builders and trades people.
Housing Advocacy Project (HAP): Organizes a volunteer partnership with the housing unit of Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, giving students the chance to contribute to client interviews, legal and investigative research, community meetings and local advocacy on behalf of indigent NYC tenants. On campus, HAP plans and promotes talks and events that seek to inform students about current issues in housing rights, fair housing, homeless services, land use and community development practice in NYC, while creating opportunities for students to connect with alumni and practitioners.
If/When/How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice: Trains, networks, and mobilizes law students and legal professionals to work within and beyond the legal system to champion reproductive justice. In collaboration with communities, organizations, and movements, we work to ensure all people--especially those most likely to experience reproductive injustice--have the ability to decide if, when, and how to create and sustain a family. We hold events on topical reproductive justice issues throughout the school year and provides judicial bypass support in states that have parental consent laws. Finally, our Chapter works to improve access to reproductive health services for Fordham students.
Immigration Advocacy Project (IAP): IAP works towards the goal of ending family detention, and has partnered with the Feerick Center for Social Justice to coordinate and provide legal support to the CARA Pro Bono Family Detention Project, a mass-representation effort aiding refugee women and children detained at the southern U.S. border. IAP seeks to raise awareness of immigrant issues and to train law students to advocate for immigrant rights through remote appellate work. IAP also organizes panel discussions related to ongoing litigation, as well as career paths in immigration law.
International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP): IRAP organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy, IRAP serves the world's most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders. Since its founding in 2008, IRAP has helped resettle over 4000 refugees and their families to 18 different countries and has trained over 2000 law students and lawyers in the process. Fordham University School of Law is one of IRAP's 30 student chapters across the United States and Canada.
Mentoring Youth Through Legal Education (MYLE): The Fordham Law branch of Legal Outreach, an organization that uses the law as a tool to foster skills and inspire vision among high school students from underserved areas around New York. MYLE helps high school students who participate in three debate competitions per year on topics that range from Search & Seizure and Freedom of Speech to Equal Protection and Miranda Rights.
Stein Scholars Program: Stein Scholars is an academic and professional program that prepares students for practicing law in the public interest. The program includes a summer externship and accompanying seminar, curriculum focused on ethics in public interest law, and project-based public interest work with outside partner organizations. Through the program, students gain exposure to practitioners in the field, and have the opportunity to engage in community service. The program encourages students to maintain and galvanize their commitment to practicing law in the service of others, and has helped launch the careers of hundreds of public interest lawyers over its 25 years of existence.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund of Fordham Law School (SALDF): Dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals through the legal system.
Students for the Education and Representation of Veterans (SERV): Providing veterans with an opportunity to network on campus, while also providing a space for students to dialogue about important military, veteran affairs, and national security issues.
Suspension Representation Project (SRP): Trains law students to represent public school students in superintendent's suspension hearings and help safeguard their right to education. This project was created in response to the tremendous need for increased access to quality representation for low-income students and parents facing suspension hearings.
Unemployment Action Center (UAC): Advocate on behalf individuals at unemployment insurance hearings and appeals. The Fordham Chapter is part of a citywide consortium at five New York law schools which has assisted more than 12,000 people and secured millions of dollars in owed benefits for claimants.
Universal Justice (UJ): Get hands-on human rights experience by providing assistance to human rights and non-governmental organizations in developing nations. Recent UJ delegations have included the Philippines, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
Workers’ Rights Advocates: We are a group committed to raising awareness and advocating for workers’ rights through organizing speaker events, off-campus volunteer activities, and supporting collective action both on campus and in the community. We also look to support students with backgrounds in organizing, labor, and workers' rights or who have an interest in pursuing legal careers that intersect with these domains.
YouthLaw: A group for Fordham Law students interested in exploring careers that are committed to advocating for children and juveniles involved in the Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Public Education systems. YouthLaw seeks to increase understanding of legal practice on behalf of young people, raise awareness of important policies and issues affecting youth, especially youth from underserved communities, and to collaborate with leaders in the field, organize discussions and networking, and encourage academic and service-oriented youth advocacy.
There are many student organizations at Georgetown Law that incorporate service into their annual activities. Georgetown Law also has a student Pro Bono Advisory Board, which serves as a liaison between OPICS and students or student orgs seeking to engage in pro bono and community service work.
The following student groups organize pro bono projects:
Student Bar Association (SBA): SBA is the official voice of School of Law students. An umbrella organization funded by student fees, the SBA coordinates various programs, activities, and events to meet the educational, recreational, and interpersonal needs of the student body. All JD students are members of the SBA and pay a fee of $20 per semester to fund SBA activities. In turn, the SBA disburses these funds to support other student groups and activities. Students elect SBA officers and representatives each spring. The representatives come from each class of the day and evening divisions. The officers of the SBA are the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Together with the representatives, these officers constitute the board of directors. The president of the SBA serves on the School of Law's hearing panel and attends meetings of the Golden Gate University Board of Trustees.
ACLU-NC Student Chapter: The ACLU of Northern California works to preserve and guarantee the protections of the Constitution's Bill of Rights. We aim to extend these freedoms to segments of our population who have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. In addition to the litigation for which the ACLU-NC has been known over the past seven decades, we also educate the public, inform the media, lobby legislators, organize grassroots activists, and disseminate information about our constitutional freedoms.
American Bar Association Law Student Division (ABA/LSD): ABA/LSD seeks to further academic excellence by encouraging law students to participate in the efforts of the organized bar in the formation and revision of standards of legal education. In the past, the School of Law's chapter sponsored a "Surviving Law School" program, introducing both day and evening division firstyear students to the reality of law school, and organized an annual Homeless Luncheon.
American Constitution Society (ACS): ACS is a progressive organization comprised of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, policymakers, activists, and other concerned individuals working to ensure that the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice are in their rightful, central place in American law. The GGU ACS chapter initiates and organizes events and debates that foster intelligent discussion and thought on current and future legal issues.
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association: APALSA is open to all law students enrolled at Golden Gate and is dedicated to providing academic, professional, and social support to all of its members. APALSA also encourages and fosters greater minority enrollment at the School of Law and teaches awareness of issues involving Asian Pacific American individuals, minorities, and the surrounding community.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA): BLSA is a national organization dedicated to the recruitment, support (including academic support), and development of African-American law students. The BLSA chapter at Golden Gate promotes academic success and achievement by sponsoring a mentoring program and conducting review sessions and workshops for first-year students. BLSA promotes career development by participating in job fairs and the School of Law's annual Law Career Focus Day and by sponsoring presentations by practicing attorneys.
Employment Law Association (ELA): ELA members promote employment and labor law, uncover the hot issues in these areas, and build a network together.
Environmental Law Society (ELS): ELS discusses current developments in environmental law and works to further the goals of protecting the environment as well as securing placements in the legal field. ELS also participates in the annual Earth Day cleanup and the annual beach cleanup, hosts speakers on environmental issues, and periodically cosponsors a symposium dealing with emerging issues in environmental law. ELS participates each spring in the Environmental Conference in Eugene, Oregon, which provides a setting for interested students to meet and share information about events, school programs, jobs, and new developments in the field of environmental law.
Federalist Society (FS): The Federalist Society is a nationwide organization of conservative and libertarian law students, lawyers, and members of the judiciary. The society is founded on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and the rule of law.
Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA): IPLA seeks to forge and maintain relationships among students, the School of Law and firms, corporations, businesses, and other organizations involved in all areas of intellectual property law to educate students about intellectual property law, aid students in obtaining IP-related employment, and promote the integrity of the School of Law's IP law program to the legal community. IPLA has surveyed local firms to determine their hiring preferences regarding recent graduates and summer associate positions, sponsored presentations by local attorneys regarding issues in IP law, and cosponsored activities with professional organizations such as California Lawyers for the Arts.
International Law Society (ILS): ILS brings together students of diverse backgrounds and interests with a common goal of promoting and fostering an increased understanding and appreciation of international law at all levels, whether public, private, comparative, theoretical, or practical. ILS is an active member of the International Law Student Association (ILSA), a worldwide umbrella student organization.
Iranian Law Student Association (ILSA): The Iranian Law Students Association ("ILSA") of Golden Gate University seeks to promote the professional and cultural advancement of the Iranian community in the Bay Area. ILSA strives to strengthen the Iranian and Middle Eastern communities by participating in cultural, social, and charitable events.
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA): JLSA plans social and culturally enriching events for Jewish students and faculty as well as events designed to educate the School of Law community about Jewish concerns.
Latino Law Students Association (La RAZA): A main objective of La Raza is to provide academic and moral support for first-year students. La Raza provides direction and advice to first-year students through its mentor/mentee program and scheduled general meetings. La Raza also strives to facilitate bonds among students who are interested in Latino issues and serves as an information resource group for its members. Upper division students can benefit from the host of career and scholarship/fellowship opportunities that are available for people of color. Additionally, La Raza brings Latino community issues back to the law student through e-mail postings and announcements at its general meetings.
Law Students for Reproductive Justice: Law Students for Reproductive Justice is committed to educating, organizing, and supporting pro-choice law students to ensure that a new generation of lawyers will be prepared to successfully defend and expand reproductive rights.
Middle Eastern LAW Students Association (MELSA): MELSA was founded to facilitate information sharing and collaboration among law students of Middle Eastern background. The group strives to build a strong alliance with other School of Law associations and to foster a greater understanding between Middle Eastern and non-Middle Eastern law students.
National Italian American Foundation (NIAF): NIAF seeks to provide a unified and effective voice for Italian Americans so that their beliefs and views may be heard by the social, economical, cultural, educational, and political institutions of this country. NIAF also educates members of the Italian American community on issues that are of interest to them and may affect government policy, and aims to protect the history, heritage, and accomplishments of Italian Americans. In addition, NIAF seeks to help young Italian Americans attain their educational goals. This group is also known as "CIAO," the California Italian-American Advocates Association.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG): NLG is a progressive group of lawyers, law students, and legal workers that provides legal support for workers and for persons who are racially, sexually, or politically oppressed. The Bay Area chapter strives to expose law students to a variety of public interest law practices and connect students with practitioners working in areas of particularly urgent need. The Bay Area chapter of the NLG recently organized projects on SSI reapplications, affirmative action, prisoner's rights, and immigrant rights.
Phi Alpha Delta: Phi Alpha Delta aims to unite law students, teachers, judges, and attorneys in a fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of liberty and equal justice; to stimulate excellence in scholarship; to inspire compassion and courage; to foster integrity and professional competence; to promote the welfare of its members; and the encourage members' moral, intellectual, and cultural advancement.
Phi Delta Phi: The purpose of Phi Delta Phi, which is open to all students, is to form a strong bond uniting law students and professors with members of the bench and bar in a fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of justice and community service.
Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF): PILF is dedicated to advancing public interest through law by encouraging and supporting members who give back to the community. PILF assists students in finding legal employment and involvement opportunities in public interest and in government. It also provides forums to hear from faculty and practicing attorneys about their public interest experiences and to discuss issues within public interest fields. PILF helps administer the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which provides grants to help repay a portion of educational loans to School of Law graduates who work in low-paying public interest jobs. Each spring, PILF awards summer grants to current students working in public interest positions and holds an auction and raffle to raise money for these programs.
Public Policy Project (PPP): PPP, a non-partisan organization, aims to promote awareness of the relationship between law and politics and to engage and participate in the public policy sector by facilitating the understanding of the many considerations and tenets that underlie policy and how it serves the community.
Queer Law Student Association (QLSA): QLSA is concerned with individual rights and legal issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Members are committed to playing an active part in legal and social reform. QLSA has spearheaded dialogue within the School of Law community on the issue of gays in the military by publishing information and bringing in speakers on the subject. QLSA also engages in networking by way of a mentor program with Bay Area attorneys through BALIF (Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom).
Student Elder Law Forum (SELF): The Student Elder Law Forum (SELF) creates opportunities for students to get involved in the rapidly growing field of elder law. SELF invites leading elder law attorneys to address students on campus, maintains a website and other resources for interested students, and regularly sponsors events to encourage students to apply their skills in the important and rewarding practice of elder law.
South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA): SALSA is an organization that aims to build networks between South Asian law students and lawyers that will continue throughout their professional careers. SALSA strives to come together to help the community through volunteer work and fundraising. SALSA hopes to educate the community about South Asian issues and promote social synergy throughout the school's South Asian community.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF): SALDF provides a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system and raising the profile of the field of animal law.
The Women's Law Association (WLA): WLA is dedicated to educating and fostering dialogue on issues that impact women's rights, especially in the legal field. It sponsors social and educational activities for the entire student body as well as events primarily of interest to women. In the past, WLA has provided a mentor program for first-year students.
Youth Law Association (YLA): The Youth Law Association aims to open up the field of Youth Law at GGU through panels and networking events. We strive to assist students in their exploration of this dynamic area of practice.
Alliance for Social Justice: The Alliance for Social Justice is a student-led movement to connect public interest-oriented students with each other and with the legal aid and legal services community. The Alliance works closely with CLiPS to ensure that every student understands the importance of public interest law, so that they might continue Gonzaga's Jesuit mission for social justice throughout their legal career.
Gonzaga Public Interest Law Project (GPILP): GPILP is a student-led fundraising organization which focuses on removing financial obstacles that prevent students from pursuing careers in public interest law. GPILP students organize fundraising events, including an annual auction, to support summer grants for students working in public interest law positions that would otherwise be uncompensated.
Mission: Possible: Mission: Possible is a student-led organization that funds and leads spring break trips to complete service projects in poverty-stricken communities. Gonzaga Law's Mission: Possible students have served in Honduras, hurricane-stricken New Orleans, and the Dominican Republic.
Street Law: Street Law is a student-led organization that sends law students to local elementary, middle, and high schools to teach on legal topics such as the Bill of Rights and the history of the Constitution, mock trials, , and general discussions of what it means to be a lawyer. Teaching teams of 3-4 law students prepare, teach, and follow-up with seven 50-minute classes offered at local schools throughout the academic year.
Thomas More Service Project: Each 5-member cohort of Thomas More public interest scholars must plan and execute a service project during their third year of law school. Examples of ongoing projects launched by Thomas More service projects include Street Law, GPILP, Mission: Possible, Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic, and a cyberbullying and internet safety curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students.
Harvard Defenders (HD): Provides advice and/or representation to low-income defendants in criminal show-cause hearings and in District Courts.
Harvard Immigration Project (HIP): Provides legal services to immigrant and refugee clients and policy advocacy in support of the local immigrants’ rights movement through four main projects: Immigration Services Project (ISP), Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Removal Defense Project (RDP), and the Policy Project.
Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project (HLEP): provides legal research and advice to projects affiliated with students at Harvard and MIT.
Harvard Mediation Program (HMP): provides mediation services in landlord-tenant, small claims, harassment prevention and other cases.
Harvard Mississippi Delta Project: engages in a broad range of public policy assignments in the Mississippi Delta.
Harvard Negotiators (HN): engages in various negotiation and dispute resolution projects.
Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP): represents inmates in Massachusetts state prisons in disciplinary and parole board hearings, provides information and referrals with prison-related problems (medical, civil rights and property), and works on impact litigation and prison policy initiatives.
HLS Advocates for Human Rights (Advocates): Assists NGOs and other institutions around the world and the Human Rights Clinic’s projects on everything from transnational human rights litigation, homelessness in Boston and Cambridge, human rights in Myanmar, and prison reform.
Project No One Leaves (PNOL): provides information, education and mediation services to help former owners and tenants stay in their homes after foreclosure.
Recording Artist Project (RAP): assists under-served musicians and music entrepreneurs in such matters as copyright/trademark registration and counseling, and the review, drafting and negotiation of management, recording and publishing agreements and other music industry related transactions.
Tenant Advocacy Project (TAP): provides representation at administrative hearings at Public Housing Authorities, as well as advice on landlord-tenant issues for tenants who receive subsidies through a housing authority.
HLS TaxHelp - HLS TaxHelp provides low-income, elderly, and handicapped residents in Cambridge and Somerville with free, confidential tax assistance in preparing state and federal tax returns.
Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocates Program (CAP) – The Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocates Project is a unique program that recruits, trains, supervises and mentors law students to fill the gap in advocacy, education and services in New York City's Family Courts. Student advocates assist domestic violence victims by helping them draft and file their petitions, advocating for them during court appearances, educating them about their legal rights and remedies, and providing them with safety planning and referrals to community resources, such as shelters and counseling. Student advocates interview domestic violence victims and help them draft their petitions. This initial advocacy significantly improves the quality of the petitions filed so that they accurately allege the family offenses committed and request the necessary temporary relief sought. Student advocates then accompany petitioners when they appear before family court judges and assist them in requesting appropriate relief from the court, such as exclusion of the batterer from the home or temporary child support. Student advocates accompany petitioners to court on their adjourn dates and assist them with their cases as they move forward.
Unemployment Action Center (UAC) – The Unemployment Action Center is a nonprofit, student-run corporation providing free representation on a volunteer basis to unemployment insurance claimants. Student advocates represent claimants before Administrative Law Judges and, when necessary, on appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Hofstra UAC has been operating since August 1991 and provides a unique experience for Hofstra law students. Student advocates independently argue real cases regarding actual claims and claimants. With a nominal time commitment (approximately 5-10 hours per case), the UAC is an unparalleled opportunity for real-world legal experience. Membership is open to all law students.
Volunteers for Income Tax Assistance (VITA) –The Volunteers for Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is affiliated with the Internal Revenue Service and has been in existence for more than 30 years in many different schools in the United States. VITA offers free tax aid to people who cannot afford professional assistance. The purpose of VITA is to help the community, specifically low to moderate income families and individuals, as well as the elderly, in meeting their tax responsibilities.
Legal Emergency Aid Project (LEAP) -LEAP is a law student-run organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to victims of disasters across the United States including victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our members will be traveling down to New Orleans over Spring Break to provide legal assistance to our neighbors in need on a variety of issues including: FEMA claims, insurance claims, social services benefits, mortgage foreclosures, criminal justice circumstances, housing for displaced residents, voters' rights, immigrant labor, and access to counsel. Please join us in our fundraising efforts.
Law Brigades – Law Brigades is a secular, international volunteer network of students and law professionals who collaborate with local organizations and developing communities to implement legal empowerment, human rights, environmental protection, and business rights strategies for micro-enterprise development.
Alternative Spring Break: A hallmark of student pro bono service at HUSL is the Alternative Spring Break Program (ASB). Beginning in 2006, Howard law students began organizing a trip to New Orleans to lend their hands in the clean-up effort surrounding the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. In the 6 years since the storm, the ASB program has continued to send groups of more than 50 law student volunteers to New Orleans each spring to partner with legal services organizations, such as the New Orleans Public Defender and Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, who are leaders in the fight for social justice.
East of the River Youth Court Pro Bono Project: This student run initiative coordinates with a local diversion court to staff Saturday court sessions with volunteer law students. Law students serve as judges, jury coordinators, and case processors. They also mentor the high school students who serve as volunteer jurors and the defendants.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): The law schools has partnered with the business school to run a tax assistance center through VITA at Howard's GADGET Center. Volunteer law students assist with tax returns as well as financial literacy.
DC Employment Justice Center: Law student volunteers assist at the Workers Rights Clinic and help with all areas of employment law, including: unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, family and medical leave act (FMLA) violations, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, unlawful discrimination and harassment, and wrongful termination.
Several student groups run pro bono projects:
Kent Justice Foundation (KJF) - KJF sponsors opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer activities and learn about public interest opportunities. Volunteer events have included charity walks and runs, food and clothing drives, as well as fundraising and volunteer work with various non-profit organizations throughout Chicago. Even if your future plans do not include public service, KJF will allow you to volunteer and make a difference. Speaker events regarding public interest law are also sponsored by KJF.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) - The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. They seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers of America in an organization that shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. The NLG student group at Chicago-Kent is active in training students to be legal observers when there are protests or controversial trials taking place in the Chicago area. The Chicago-Kent NLG Chapter is also working on ways to get involved in representing persons after they are detained or arrested by police, but before they are assigned an attorney.
Self-Help Web Center (SHWC) - The Self-Help Web Center (SHWC) is a help desk located on the 6th floor of the Daley Center Courthouse. The SHWC is designed to serve as a starting point for litigants who must navigate an unfamiliar and complex court system on their own. The SHWC has three internet enabled computer workstations that provide individuals of all technical skill levels access to user friendly web-based tools and legal resources created by Illinois Legal Aid Online. Illinois Legal Aid Online's resources provide visitors with a better understanding of their legal issue and the court's procedural requirements. In addition, students from Chicago-Kent College of Law are available to help visitors utilize the wealth of online legal information available.
Access to Justice Student Editorial Board- is a student-staffed initiative aimed at researching and supporting access to justice projects, including the A2J Author project and other internet related projects.
Student Hurricane Network– Law students from across the country formed the Student Hurricane Network (SHN), a national association dedicated to providing assistance to communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The legal questions and problems facing the individuals and communities throughout the Gulf Coast region are monumental in scale, and will remain for years to come. The Chicago-Kent Student Hurricane Network organization was created to support and organize Chicago-Kent students who are interested in providing free assistance to legal agencies involved in hurricane-related projects. The organization works with students at Chicago-Kent to coordinate travel and fund-raising efforts for service trips (during winter and spring breaks) to the areas affected by the hurricanes. The organization also helps match students interested in performing remote research with organizations that are seeking assistance. Finally, SHN promotes summer internship opportunities for Chicago-Kent Students in New Orleans.
Inmate Legal Assistance/Federal Post-Conviction Relief Project (ILAP): ILAP, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, helps inmates at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute with challenges to their convictions under 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and other legal matters. Students may also work, under the supervision of a faculty member, on direct appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. In addition to providing a chance for live-client interviewing and pro bono service, the Project offers an opportunity to polish legal research and writing and gain expertise in federal courts and criminal appeals, all especially valuable for those planning to apply for judicial clerkships.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Legal Project (LGBTLP): LGBTLP is a student pro bono project providing legal research and advocacy for organizations and individuals around the state on issues of special interest to the LGBT community and attorneys serving LGBT clients. Its work has included researching anti-bullying policies for school corporations; guiding transgendered citizens through the process of changing names and gender markers on government identification documents; and helping cultural and service organizations draft articles of incorporation and obtain tax-exempt status. In November 2012, the Project, in partnership with Indiana Equality Action, released its comprehensive study, "More Than Just a Couple: 614 Reasons Why Marriage Equality Matters in Indiana,"which received nation-wide media coverage from commentators including MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
Outreach Legal Literary (OLL): Outreach for Legal Literacy (OLL) is a community service program in which law students teach law to fifth-graders in local elementary schools.
Pro Bono Immigration Project (PIP): The central mission of the Pro Bono Immigration Project (PIP) at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law is to support the unmet legal needs of noncitizens in Bloomington and surrounding areas. Through partnerships with local organizations and under the supervision of practicing attorneys, students conduct intake interviews and perform legal research in order to assist in the filing of relevant applications on behalf of noncitizens and their family members. Students may also teach citizenship classes and are encouraged to pursue scholarly research that will have practical relevance to noncitizens.
Protective Order Project (POP): POP is a student-directed pro bono project that for 25 years has helped victims of sexual assault, stalking, and domestic violence obtain civil protective orders and related relief. POP serves IU students, faculty, and staff, as well as any resident of Monroe or surrounding counties. Law students work on these cases alongside our community partners including volunteer attorneys, Middle Way House, the Monroe County Clerk's and Prosecutor's Offices, and the IU Office of Student Affairs.
Tenant Assistance Project (TAP): The Tenant Assistance Project provides legal help onsite at the courthouse to tenants facing immediate threat of eviction. Students represent tenants at the preliminary stages of the process, identifying defenses and other issues, assisting in negotiations with landlords, and referring tenants with more complex cases to lawyers or legal services organizations.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): The VITA Program offers free tax help to people who make $51,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns.
EDUCCA -- A student initiated project to bring general legal orientation to citizens, particularly people in poor communities.
Public Interest Law Society
Youth and the Law Summit
American Civil Liberties Union: The student ACLU group works on pro bono matters with ACLU of Oregon, and coordinates the annual ACLU Northwest Civil Liberties Conference, speakers, and presentations.
Asian/Pacific American Law Student Association: APALSA provides its members with personal, academic, and professional support to aid in the development of its law students. We work with attorneys in the Portland area to provide networking and professional development opportunities for APALSA members. We also hold several events throughout the school year to build a sense of community within APALSA and the rest of the student body.
Black Law Student Association: The Black Law Student Association is a student run club that includes members from diverse backgrounds; BLSA is dynamic and is dedicated to increasing diversity and communication amongst students and legal professionals. Our organization was formed in order to articulate and promote the needs of black law students, while effecting positive change in the legal community. By encouraging students to pursue careers in the judiciary, we hope to adopt and implement policies that will foster economic independence.
Coalition Advocating for Transportation Solutions (CATS): CATS works to build a future where transportation-related greenhouse gases are at a minimum, and where riding bikes, taking busses, and carpooling are more common than driving single occupancy vehicles. We work to increase bike awareness, safety and advocacy on campus and beyond. We work with the administration, students and the community to increase environmentally sensible and sustainable modes of travel for the L&C Law School family.
Crime Victims' Rights Alliance: The Crime Victims' Rights Alliance is dedicated to raising awareness and educating future lawyers about the issues related to crime victims advocacy. We aim to facilitate discussions about how to acknowledge and further the rights of crime victims. We hold many events throughout the school year on topics ranging from a victim's right to privacy to the psychological traumas faced by victims of crimes.
Criminal Law Society: The Criminal Law Society at Lewis and Clark is a student group that strives to promote criminal law dialogue, practice, policy, and scholarship. While our members' backgrounds and career goals vary widely from both sides of the criminal law perspective, we're all interested in criminal law and committed to increasing the presence of criminal law at our school. With the goal of networking and contributing to the criminal law community in Portland and the surrounding areas, we invite speakers, hold panels, and hold other networking events. Furthermore, we arrange field trips to prisons, trials, and judges' chambers.
Employment Law Society: The Employment Law Society (ELS) is dedicated to promoting student opportunities in employment law through informational programs, volunteer service events, and lively discussion of the latest employment law issues.
Environmental Justice Advocates (EJA): Environmental justice ("EJ"), occurs at the intersection between social and racial justice and environmentalism. EJA's focus over the upcoming school year is to empower and aid under served communities and communities of color self-determine their own environmental values, particularly with regard to equitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits, human health, and public welfare. Environmental Justice is the idea that the income, race, or ethnicity of communities should not correlate to their quality of living environment. The Environmental justice Advocates advocate for and support, through direct action and the law, communities' efforts toward environmental justice.
Environmental Law Caucus: The Environmental Law Caucus (ELC is dedicated to educating the Lewis & Clark Law School community about environmental issues and fostering environmental stewardship, whether on or off campus. ELC plans several events, which include hiking, ivy pulls in Tryon Creek, the "Bike to Eugene Challenge," and the fall Mushroom Hunt. We also provide transportation and lodging for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. So get your head out of the books and come join the fun with ELC!
International Justice Mission: International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM seeks to restore to victims of oppression the things that God intends for them: their lives, their liberty, their dignity, and the fruits of their love and labor. By defending and protecting individual human rights, IJM seeks to bring hope and transformation for those it serves and restore a witness of courage in places of oppressive violence. The Lewis & Clark Law School IJM Campus Chapter is made up of students passionate about integrating the work of justice into their faith. We focus our activities around three main objectives: raising awareness on our campus and in our community about the reality of modern-day slavery, raise our voice on behalf of victims of injustice through advocacy and prayer and finally, raise funds to enable IJM to bring rescue to victims of modern-day slavery.
International Law Society (ILS): The International Law Society (ILS) at Lewis and Clark is a chapter of the International Law Students Association. The ILS follows the goal of the parent organization in seeking to promote international law; to encourage communication and cooperation among students and lawyers internationally; to contribute to legal education; to promote social responsibility in the field of law; to increase opportunities for students to learn about other cultures and legal systems worldwide; and to publicizing educational and career opportunities in international law.
J. Reuben Clark Law Society: We affirm the strength brought to the study of law by a law student's personal religious conviction. We strive through public service and diligence in our studies to promote fairness and virtue founded upon the rule of law. Our core values include public service, loyalty to the rule of law, and appreciation for the religious dimension and in a law student's personal lie.
Jewish Legal Society: Our mission is to provide a forum for Jewish law students to interact with one another and with the greater community of Portland. In addition to organizing the annual Passover Seder for students, staff, and faculty, JLS also hosts Jewish speakers on campus, organizes Jewish student-attorney networking opportunities, and leads community service events and activities throughout the academic year.
Latino Law Society: The Latino Law Society is an organization comprised of Latino students and students who support the organization's goals. The organization promotes: the recruitment and retention of Latino students; unity among the Latino students; and awareness and understanding in the law school and the community of perspectives, culture, heritage and issues concerning Latinos. Additionally, LLS provides a support system for its members . We are an equal opportunity organization, you do not need to be Latino to join just have an interest in Latino issues, culture and heritage.
Law Students for Reproductive Justice: Law Students for Reproductive Justice trains and mobilizes law students and new lawyers across the country to foster legal expertise and support for the realization of reproductive justice. Reproductive justice will exist when all people can exercise the rights and access the resources they need to thrive and to decide whether, when, and how to have and parent children with dignity, free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. LSRJ works to advance understanding of reproductive justice through active communities on law school campuses to foster diverse membership and encourage multi-issue activism an build a foundation of lasting support for reproductive justice within the legal community.
Minority Law Student Association: The Minority Law Student Association of Lewis & Clark Law School serves to promote the recruitment and retention of minority students, staff and faculty, to promote unity among students of color, to promote awareness and understanding in the law school and the community of perspectives, culture, and heritage of students of color, and to create a forum to address issues concerning its members.
National Lawyers Guild: The National Lawyers Guild is national non-proﬁt legal and political organization of lawyers, legal workers, law students and jailhouse lawyers. We represent progressive political movements, using the law to protect human rights above property interests and to attain social justice. If you want to organize against the death penalty, go out into the community to inform people of their rights by being a "Know Your Rights" trainer, be a presence in Portland activist community through legal observing, or just meet with progressive lawyers, we can make it happen.
Native American Law Student Association (NALSA): The Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) would like to invite you to our next activity. NALSA is open to all members of the Lewis & Clark Community and looks forward to your participation! NALSA's goals are to educate the Lewis & Clark Community about legal issues affecting Native American and Alaskan Native communities, promote the study of Federal Indian law, and encourage interaction with local tribes.
Northwest Environmental Defense Center: NEDC is an independent non-profit organization located on the Lewis & Clark Law School campus. NEDC students work as members of one or more project groups, including: Lands and Wildlife, Water, and Air. The groups are coordinated by student Project Group Coordinators who are responsible for evaluating notices of proposed agency actions and requests for assistance from other environmental groups to determine whether NEDC should be involved in a given project.
OUTLAW: OUTLAW provides a forum for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, questioning students and their allies to meet, exchange ideas, share experiences, and bring pertinent legal and political issues of the LGBT community to campus. We are committed to creating a community for diverse voices through political activism and social interaction, and welcome all students to join us.
Public Interest Law Program: PILP's mission is to contribute to the public interest by financially supporting students and graduates who choose fulfilling careers working for the public good. Throughout the academic year the board and many hard-working volunteers hold fundraising events, culminating in the annual Auction. Annual events include Karaoke with professors and a Poker Tournament. The Auction takes place in March and preparation goes on all year. These fundraising efforts allow PILP to fund 10-15 students every summer to work in public interest. Summer stipend recipients have worked for a variety of organizations, dealing with issues such as children's rights, environmental protection, domestic violence, and civil rights.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF): The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) is a student group that strives to enhance the welfare and legal status of all nonhuman animals through education and advocacy. We provide opportunities for animal law pro bono work, community service, and activism, and we hold many informative and celebratory events throughout the year that promote critical thinking about animals' various relationship to humans—companion animals, food, research subjects, entertainers, elements of biodiversity, etc.—and exploration of our legal duties to the animals in those relationships.
Students for International Environmental Law (SIEL): The mission of Students for International Environmental Law (SIEL) at Lewis & Clark Law School is to promote education and collaboration on issues of international environmental law within the community at the local, national, and global levels. SIEL will accomplish these goals by: sharing developments and promoting discussion; coordinating projects both internally and with other groups; hosting international law focused events; facilitating networking opportunities; and sharing information on careers in the international environmental law field.
Women's Law Caucus: The purpose of the Women's Law Caucus is to bring together the community of Lewis and Clark Law students interested in exploring the wide spectrum of legal issues affecting women. The WLC promotes women in the law by providing support and encouragement to students, enhancing ties with the community, and empowering future female leaders who will work toward the advancement of women's legal rights. All who are interested in advancing women's legal rights and empowering females are welcome to join, regardless of gender.
Street Law is a student-run pro bono/law education program. During the academic year, law students teach lessons from the Street Law juvenile justice curriculum to youths in two locations—the Lynchburg Regional Detention Center and a residential group home. Approximately 30 detained youths participate each week at the Detention Center, and approximately 25 youths participate each week at the group home.
Students also hosted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) during the Springs of 2009 and 2010, where they assisted low-income and elderly citizens from the community by preparing and filing income tax reports. They intend to host this program annually.
Pro Bono Committee of the Student Bar Association- The Pro Bono Committee worked with Thirst for Justice, a legal clinic for the underprivileged sponsored by the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation. The Committee also assisted attorneys in Baton Rouge through the Bar Foundation by supplying students to help them with their pro bono work. The Pro Bono Committee is now part of the Public Interest Law Society. See http://students.law.lsu.edu/pils/index.htm
General Relief Advocacy Program (GRAP) (through Public Counsel) - The GRAP program aids Skid-Row individuals in receiving government benefits they have been denied.
Loyola Child Advocates- Loyola Child Advocates seeks to increase on-campus awareness of child advocacy issues, involve students and faculty in outreach efforts to neighborhood schools and strengthen ties to the legal child advocacy community. The organization identifies and helps coordinate pro bono opportunities in child and family law, runs a tutoring program for two local elementary schools and hosts speaker forums featuring family law professionals.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - Students assist low-income persons with income tax forms.
Young Lawyers Program – The Young Lawyers Program mentoring initiative was established in 2000 by Loyola's African American and Latino student organizations and is staffed by students of all races. Advised by professors, law students bring inner-city high school students to Loyola's campus to teach them about the law, legal advocacy and the importance of a college education. Loyola students plan the program, recruit the high school students, teach the lessons, select the trial problem and coach the trial teams. The goal is to expose at risk youth of color to the benefits of obtaining an advanced degree.
Fourth Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program - Volunteers from Loyola work with children from the Cabrini Green neighborhood in a tutoring program. They work with students throughout the academic year to enhance their reading, writing and math skills.
Law Related Education- Students work with juveniles in the local juvenile detention center to help educate them about their legal rights.
Street Law - Second- and third-year students teach about law and the legal system in Chicago area high schools. Students attend a weekly seminar and teach in the high schools three times a week. In the spring semester students are often involved in preparing high school students for the city mock trial competition.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program - Volunteer law students provide income tax assistance to low-income filers.
Every pro bono project has a student coordinator or a board of student advisors.
Mercer Pro Bono/Legal Aid Program: Student volunteers in this program provide research support for lawyers from Georgia Legal Services and for members of the Macon Bar Association engaged in pro bono representation.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) -- Students help the youth court make the best decision on where children who have been abused or neglected should live.
Mississippi Capital Post-Conviction Counsel -- Students assist in capital cases.
MJF Student Chapter - The Hamline Chapter sponsors activities that allow both students and practicing attorneys to meet, socialize, and discuss non-profit, pro bono, and public interest areas of law.
Hamline has numerous other student groups which regularly engage in pro bono activities for the benefit of the community, including the Children's Rights Association, the Hamline Women's Legal Caucus, the Student Bar Association, and the Hamline Veteran's Association.
The projects are subject to change from year to year. The list below describes projects available to students in the 2019-20 academic year.
Access to Justice, Rule of Law, and Transitional Justice Projects - Countries transitioning from violent conflict, repression, and other situations that cause massive human rights violations commonly adopt a transitional justice agenda that includes truth commissions, domestic and international criminal trials, reparations for victims, and institutional reform. The Center for International Law and Policy supports this work through assistance with litigation, reports and scholarship, course instruction, externships, and student-led research projects.
Examples of Project Work
- Transitional Justice Advising: Helping local partners advise a Minister of Justice on methodologies for community-business reconciliation as part of its post-conflict transitional justice process
- Business and Transitional Justice: Surveying post-conflict strategies that include a focus on business accountability
- Access to Remedy: Developing a briefing report to assist advocates involved in drafting a treaty on business and human rights
- Legal Support: Provide ongoing litigation support in the Inter-American Human Rights System
Alternative Spring Break - The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) participates in the Alternative Spring Break Program with the Volunteer Lawyer’s Project. Through this program, New England Law students have an opportunity to intern at Volunteer Lawyer's Project during their spring break in either the family law/guardianship unit, consumer/bankruptcy unit, or ERLI (Eastern Region Legal Intake).
Business and Human Rights Projects - The Center for International Law and Policy enables students to join the effort to hold corporations accountable for actions that negatively impact human rights. The center participates in the global dialogue fostered by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “Ruggie Principles”) and partners with NGOs and institutes working on these issues.
Examples of Project Work
- Human Rights Monitoring: Developing a database of operational grievance mechanisms from corporations around the world to analyze if and how they handle human rights claims by workers and communities
- Corporate Accountability Strategy: Surveying state tort law to identify avenues for holding corporations accountable for human rights violations
- Comparative Law: Conducting research of country laws that impose corporate responsibility regulations on multinational businesses
CORI Initiative - The CORI Initiative strives to assist indigent persons in the Greater Boston area with sealing their criminal record, so they can apply for better employment, obtain housing, and positively progress in society. The CORI Initiative connects New England Law student volunteers with qualified clients to determine if they have a Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) record that is eligible for sealing and need help in the process.
Human Rights and Immigration Law Project - The Human Rights and Immigration Law Project involves students in immigration, refugee and asylum, migration, and human rights–based work. The project’s areas of focus have included helping local law firms with their pro bono asylum cases and combating human trafficking. New England Law students have contributed to landmark pro bono cases on international human rights issues and refugee status. Students also have opportunities to participate in legal services immigration counseling.
Jail Lessons Initiative - The Jail Lessons Initiative provides students a chance to help inmates at the Nashua Street Jail by teaching them basic evidence and criminal procedure concepts. The goal is to help them learn more about the criminal justice process, which can then help people better understand their situation and meaningfully participate in the process.
Judicial Language Project - Members of the Women's Law Caucus monitor cases related to sexual violence for language that stereotypes, demeans, or otherwise inappropriately characterizes the victims of the violence.
Public Service Project - The Public Service Project allows students to observe and work with experienced attorneys in pro bono public service opportunities. Whether interviewing a client or making an argument in court, students see the impact of their efforts, while becoming skilled in legal procedures. They can receive a transcript notation that recognizes their public service contributions.
Public Interest Law Association (PILA) - The organization supports a range of Public Interest activities on campus. It raises funds through an annual auction used to fund summer public interest grants for students.
Sanctuary City Initiative - Informs and supports local communities, cities, counties, and states as they consider how best to protect all the residents within their communities, regardless of immigration status.
Women's Law Caucus - This group organizes student volunteers who work at the Domestic Violence Institute at the Boston Medical Center assisting clients with domestic violence issues.
Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project - Students in the Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Project have contributed to successful projects focused on the protection of victims of domestic and sexual violence, from keeping shelters and crisis centers up to date on current laws, to identifying and changing inappropriate language in media and judicial decisions, compiling children’s constitutional rights, and analyzing social science research to assess its methodological reliability and admissibility in legal proceedings.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program - Each spring, law students participate in an IRS program to serve the Boston Community by offering free tax help to people who cannot afford paid professional assistance. Students prepare tax returns for walk-in, low-income clients.
Domestic Violence Project - Through the Domestic Violence Project, students organize and provide training for participation in the Courtroom Advocates Program. The program gives students the opportunity to provide direct advocacy, education and services to domestic violence victims in New York City's Family Courts.
Unemployment Action Center - The UAC provides free representation to people in New York who are trying to claim their unemployment benefits. Students help claimants by presenting their cases in front of administrative law judges at the Department of Labor. This assistance includes researching unemployment insurance law and conducting direct and cross-examination. Students also appeal adverse decisions.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - In the VITA program, trained students assist low-income members of the community in preparing income tax returns.
LIFT- Legal Information for Families Today –LIFT provides information to needy families in NYC's family courts. Life helps give low-income families the opportunity to advocate for their rights and navigate the family court system with greater confidence. Students volunteer for LIFT through the Law School's Justice Action Center.
Street Law – Teaching Law to High School Students– Students in the Law School's Justice Action Center's Street Law Program team with Groundwork, Inc. and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson LLP to teach middle and high school students about the law and their legal rights.
The list below is a sampling of the law school's student organizations working directly to provide free legal services to the public. For a full listing, please see http://www.law.nyu.edu/students/studentorganizations/.
Alternative Winter/Spring Break
Alternative Break trips are run during Winter Break and Spring Break to such locations as New Orleans, Arizona, Newark, NJ, and Charlotte, NC, and expenses are subsidized by the Public Interest Law Center and Law Students for Human Rights.
Debtors' Rights Project
The Debtors' Rights Project provides vital volunteer support to the free legal clinic in the Bronx, which serves pro se defendants facing debt collection lawsuits filed in Bronx Civil Court.
Domestic Violence Advocacy Project
The Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP) works in various ways to help victims of domestic violence, as well as to raise awareness and support on domestic violence issues in the NYU Law community. The two main advocacy programs of DVAP, Courtroom Advocacy Project (CAP) and the Uncontested Divorce Project (UDP) are run with Sanctuary for Families, a New York organization that assists victims of domestic violence.
High School Law Institute/Legal Outreach
The High School Law Institute (H.S.L.I.) is a free, yearlong program serving high school students from under-resourced schools throughout New York City. High school students enrolled in the program come to NYU on Saturday mornings throughout the year. Students participate in hour-long classes on criminal law, constitutional law, and mock trial, taught by teams of N.Y.U. law and undergraduate students. Teachers are provided with a detailed curriculum, created by H.S.L.I.'s board members and targeted towards high school students in New York City.
HIV Law Society
HIV Law Society provides direct legal services to low income individuals infected with HIV/AIDS. Our primary pro bono activity is conducting intake for the Housing Works Legal Clinic.
Law Students for Human Rights
Law Students for Human Rights (LSHR) is a highly active student organization focused on global human rights. There are several ways to get involved with LSHR throughout the year. Approximately 120 LSHR members actively promote the advancement of human rights and gain practical legal experience each semester through LSHR's partnerships with NGOs and other human rights organizations. LSHR also organizes and leads the Alternate Winter Break and Alternative Spring Break programs.
NYU Mediation Organization
The NYU Mediation Organization is dedicated to spreading and implementing mediation as an effective tool of conflict resolution, both within New York University School of Law and the broader legal and general community. The NYU Mediation Organization is designed to offer students a hands on experience by mediating real disputes arising between real parties, while at the same time relieving the heavy load on overburdened courthouses.
The Prisoners' Rights and Education Project
The Prisoners' Rights and Education Project (PREP) is a student organization devoted to teaching inmates in New York state prisons legal research skills. Each semester we conduct a seven week course on site at prison classrooms and libraries. PREP instruction largely mirrors what students learn in Lawyering, making it the perfect activity for a 1L.
Research, Education & Advocacy to Combat Homelessness
Research, Education & Advocacy to Combat Homelessness (REACH) is the law school's primary student organization dedicated to directly serving the local homeless community and raising the profile of poverty law issues within the law school. REACH operates 2 weekly clinics in soup kitchens near NYU, where law students provide advice and referrals on a wide range of issues including housing, public benefits, and health-related matters. REACH also publishes a comprehensive manual and organizes speakers and panels on issues relevant to poverty law.
Suspension Representation Project
The Suspension Representation Project (SRP) is an advocacy group that trains law students to represent public school students in superintendent's suspension hearings and help safeguard their right to education. SRP pairs new law student advocates with experienced law student advocates in its attempt to provide excellent training for law students and excellent advocacy for clients. SRP enables law students to develop valuable legal skills including interviewing clients, conducting direct and cross examinations, and delivering closing arguments. SRP routinely helps to shorten the length of the suspension or eliminate the suspension, helping kids stay in school. SRP also participates in coalitions in NYC to try to improve the ways that schools respond to students' behavior.
Unemployment Action Center
The Unemployment Action Center (UAC) represents claimants at the New York Department of Labor (DoL) who are seeking to obtain unemployment benefits and whose claim has been contested by either their former employer or by the DoL. We provide free representation for these claimants. Students are free to sign up for clients as they become available through our call center, enabling them to choose hearing times that fit their schedule. We meet the claimants, conduct legal and factual research, file any necessary motions and provide representation at the hearing itself, raising objections, taking testimony, and performing cross-examination. When necessary, we also write appeals to the Appellate Board, either asking the Board for reconsideration or to deny an appeal from an employer.
NCCU Law Innocence Project – This project supports the work of the NC Center on Actual Innocence, a non-profit organization that assists North Carolina inmates with claims of wrongful conviction. The Center receives around 1,000 requests per year from inmates for review of their cases. Innocence Project students volunteer their time to evaluate prisoner claims of innocence and recommend whether further investigation or action should be taken. The Center accepts only those cases in which actual innocence may be proved; prisoner requests for assistance with legal or procedural errors at trial are not considered.
After an initial training, Innocence Project students review and evaluate an inmate's case file and present their recommendations at a case review session attended by project members, the Project's faculty advisers, and legal counsel for the Center. Where the initial review indicates the claim of innocence may have merit, students undertake further investigation, interviewing witnesses, recovering documents, and gathering evidence to establish the innocence claim.
In addition to conducting training sessions, case reviews and investigations, the Innocence Project sponsors speakers throughout the year on topics related to problems in the criminal justice system, investigative techniques, and remedies for wrongful conviction.
NCCU Law VITA Project - VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) volunteers provided free assistance with income tax returns to low-income taxpayers at the Law School every Saturday during from February to mid-April. In 2004-05 eighteen law students volunteered with VITA.
NCCU Law School Street Law – This program which started in 1999 is a partnership with the Durham Public Schools in which law students assist public school teachers in teaching legal topics to middle and high school students. Law students enrolled in the Street Law course teach law-related subjects for 6 to 8 weeks as part of a regular middle or high school social studies class, in cooperation with the regular teacher.
ACLU Chapter– Members of the law student ACLU chapter sponsored a presentation by a representative of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and joined in canvassing Alamance County on the proposed Death Penalty Moratorium Bill. (February 2005)
Hispanic Law Students Association – HLSA and the Student Bar Association (SBA) took the lead in recruiting volunteers for the Election Protection project, sponsored by the non-partisan, national law student organization Just Democracy. Thirty students attended a training on election law and voters' rights and on election day served as poll monitors or volunteered with a voter assistance hotline (November 2004).
Boston Medical Center Project - This project is part of the law school's Domestic Violence Institute. After completing a three-month training class, students conduct interviews in the emergency room at Boston Medical Center focusing on clients' experience with domestic violence. In addition, students provide referrals for legal and social services.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Street Law Clinic Project - Through the Northeastern law school chapter of the NLG, students work with community organizations conducting a variety of educational workshops on Fourth Amendment issues, tenants' rights and workers' rights.
Shelter Legal Services - This is a Boston-wide organization that provides legal services to homeless and near-homeless people. Working under the supervision of an attorney, students interview clients, assess their case and assist their client in resolving their issue. Issues include public housing, child support, welfare assistance, divorce and immigration.
Legal Skills in Social Context - Every first year student works on a community based social justice project as part of the year long Legal Skills in Social Context course.
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project - IRAP is a student-driven organization that matches law students with pro bono supervising attorneys to take on individual cases. Together they help refugee applicants successfully navigate the rules and processes for resettlement in a safe country.
Public Interest Law Society - promotes public interest and pro bono opportunities, raises funds for volunteer summer assistantships at public interest employers/organizations.
NKU Chase Street Law Program: This program was created in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Services Diversion Program and with the support of the Kentucky Bar Foundation. Chase students who participate in the program teach Street Law classes to juveniles who have been "diverted" of the court system and into a statewide program that promotes education and accountability. The Street Law program is offered in both the fall semester and the spring semester, with three Northern Kentucky counties participating.
Chase Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program: The Chase Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) trains Chase students and other volunteers to assist low-income individuals and families in completing their tax returns. Each year, a number of Chase students, alumni, and faculty assist members of the community in the preparation of their tax returns. Students are placed in VITA sites throughout Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati area in coordination with United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Brighton Center and the Center for Great Neighborhoods.
Chase students also participate in Wills Clinics and Divorce Clinics through the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and the Legal Aid of the Bluegrass. Wills for Cops, supervised by Lawrence & Associates, is a day-long clinic in both Ohio and Kentucky providing wills for first responders.
Black Law Students Association – Students provided opportunity tours to minority high school students to encourage law careers.
Public Interest Law Group – Students volunteered to prepare clemency petitions under the supervision of Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic.
St. Thomas More Society – Students volunteered with Catholic Charities Legal Referral Program.
Student Effort to Rejuvenate Volunteering – Provided Street Law training to at risk youth and constitutional rights foundation lessons to students at our adopted school.
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association – Students volunteered to assist lawyers with client intake at Asian Legal Services.
The Social Justice Forum exists to promote and encourage social responsibility within the Notre Dame Law School and to create and maintain a network of concerned individuals who are willing to work toward social justice. To those ends, students and faculty members sponsor regular community service projects.
Society of International Rights: This group is in the process of organizing an international volunteer program with various Notre Dame alumni working in the field of human rights.
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law has many student organizations dedicated to public service. For instance, the Public Interest Law Society is a student-run organization that promotes public interest opportunities, hosts an annual auction to raise money to fund summer public interest fellowships, and is involved in a number of public service and law school pro bono projects.
Street Law Society -- Law students go to local public schools on a weekly basis for 10 weeks to teach students basic law concepts and how the law affects the every day life. They also teach students to participate and compete in a mock trial competition, held at the end of the school year.
Dispute Resolution and Youth Program – This program strives to teach mediation, negotiation, and general conflict management skills to children in middle and high schools around Columbus. The main goal of the program is to show youth that there are constructive ways to solve problems through talking, listening, understanding, and collective problem solving.
Mediation and Youth – Law students teach Columbus Public School students how to be peer mediators. They also design the peer mediation program for the school and help the school to implement it.
Pro Bono Research Group (PBRG)– Endowed by an alumnus, this program provides research assistance to Legal Services and Legal Aid attorneys throughout Ohio. Second and third year Research Fellows conduct quality research and gain practical legal experience. In addition, PBRG sponsors events that promote public interest law, including the Frank Woodside III Speaker Series, an annual poverty law symposium.
Street Law Program– This program provides opportunities for law students to visit local high schools to teach classes in basic elements of the law which affects all citizens in daily life. Topics include contracts, landlord/tenant and criminal law. Law students also stage a mock trial in which high school students participate.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA is a program through which law students help lower-income residents and non-residents prepare their federal income tax returns. Training for the VITA program is done in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service and College of Law tax professors.
Environmental Law Association (ELA) offers students an opportunity to discuss issues in environmental law with area practitioners working for regulatory agencies, advocacy groups, and private practice.The ELA sponsors a series of speakers and regular outdoor activities, such as canoe trips. Additionally, the ELA aims to assist students in obtaining summer and career employment in the environmental law field, work with other university resources to promote environmental activities, and advocates for increased opportunities for the study of environmental law.
ABILITY both educating students and the community about disability discrimination and also getting out into the community and helping to reduce that discrimination in positive and meaningful ways: such as getting involved with local organizations that assist persons with disabilities within the law school and the greater community, as well as assisting with the upcoming election in a way that would enable those with disabilities to more easily vote.
Public Interest Law Group-This student organization sponsors informational and fundraising activities for outreach projects in the community, for student attendance at the Equal Justice Works annual career fair, and for summer fellowships for pro bono and public interest law service. The organization also sponsors legal service and outreach projects in the community.
The main public interest student organization, the Public Interest Law Fund (PILF), includes in its programming an Alternative Break coordinator who organizes pro bono trips such as hurricane relief efforts. In the fall of 2011, the PILF students coordinated a Citizenship Day service trip and well as student recruitment for Wills For Heroes.
Advocates for Public Interest Law – Silent and live auction put on by APRIL to raise scholarship money to encourage public interest work in the summer.
Constitutional Law Society – Students participate in law education program in a community middle school.
Family Law Society – Students partake in a law education mock trial for grade school children to illustrate problem solving through the court system.
Public Interest Law Project – Fundraising auction to fund students to work on pro bono projects throughout the summer
VITA – Students provide assistance to low income tax payers filing returns.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA provides a base of law students willing to help others with their federal income tax return preparation over a three-month period. Participating students visit libraries, prisons, military bases and urban communities.
Alternative Spring Break The Association for Public Interest Law sponsors a robust Alternative Spring Break program in which students spend their spring break providing legal assistance in conjunction with pro bono and legal services programs all over the country. In 2014, approximately 50 students traveled to 6 different states to work on 10 different projects. Students have traveled to the Gulf Coast, New Jersey, New York, and Pittsburgh in addition to working on environmental justice issues in Tennessee.
In the Bankruptcy Project, students are teamed with volunteer attorneys to interview clients and prepare bankruptcy petitions. Clients are given a fresh start while students learn from their attorney partners - who in turn are fulfilling their own pro bono obligation. The Law School provides comprehensive training, and program coordination, office space and computers with bankruptcy software to support this project. It is run under the auspices of the local federal Bankruptcy Court, which has been generous with its advice and assistance, and honors the participants each year with a reception at the Court. This project is open to all second and third year students who complete training in the fall.
The Pro Bono Mediation Project provides an opportunity for students who have completed an eighteen hour training course at the Law School - provided by court personnel, judges, law school professors and recent Law School graduates - to become Certified Mediators. This training will take place in late January and early February 2008. After completion of the training and observing two mediation sessions at the Camden County Superior or Camden Municipal Court, the students then put their mediation and conciliation skills to work on cases assigned by the respective courts. In teams of two, the students listen to both sides, and provide assistance to the parties to come up with their own resolution. This program is highly valued by the courts, as many parties are able to resolve their issues without litigation. Moreover, it provides valuable experience to students and demonstrates a successful alternative to litigation. This student-run program is open to all students who are selected from applications and participate in the required training.
Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, which provides materials for a one day January training session, to be scheduled for a Saturday in January 2008. Students subsequently provide assistance to low income Camden residents needing help to fill out their tax returns. For the three months prior to April 15th, students are at a local library two nights a week, and on campus Saturday mornings to staff this project. All students who complete training are eligible for this student-run project.
Students volunteering for the Domestic Violence Pro Bono Project provide basic legal assistance to victims of domestic violence seeking restraining orders in Camden County. Students participating in this program have the opportunity to develop interviewing and counseling skills while helping someone who may be facing a crisis. Project volunteers also partner with the Domestic Violence Clinic by identifying appropriate cases for referral to the Domestic Violence Clinic or other legal services that provide free legal representation. A student doing pro bono work in the Domestic Violence Project will typically spend one morning per week at the courthouse over the course of a semester or during the summer. Trainings covering domestic violence law take place in September and January each school year.
Through the Immigration Project, Rutgers law students have the opportunity to work on political asylum cases under the supervision of attorneys from the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice ("CCLSJ"). In addition to research, students will provide assistance by interviewing clients and witnesses. Students also assist immigrants at the Camden Public Library, which takes place one or two evenings each month. In addition, students can assist the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia with various cases, Students who have taken immigration law or who have immigration experience are eligible for immigration pro bono work after completing the first semester of law school.
The Pro Bono Research Project, developed and administered in conjunction with Prof. Sarah Ricks, provides free legal research services to public interest law practitioners. Limited to eight second and third year students, this project offers the opportunity to simultaneously improve legal research and writing skills under the supervision of a practicing attorney while providing much needed assistance to public interest organizations. This can be done at a time and place of the participants choosing, providing maximum flexibility.
Through the Defender Project, a very limited number of second or third year students will have the opportunity, after substantive training provided by the Federal Defenders Office in Philadelphia, to assist with investigation, brief writing and research in death penalty cases. *
During election years, the Election Protection Project trains students to monitor polling places, and organizes students to go out on election day and provide impartial monitoring.
The Childrens SSI Project provides representation to children whose SSI applications have been denied, and students are paired with volunteer attorneys to work on these cases, which will be referred from South Jersey Legal Services.
The Financial Literacy Project provides an opportunity for students to go into Camden high schools with Camden bankruptcy attorneys and teach students about credit, debt and budgeting.
Through the Street Law Project, students have the opportunity, after training, to go into the Camden community and talk to Camden youth about constitutional issues pertinent to their lives. The training for that project is scheduled for fall 2007. After completion of their first semester, all students are eligible for this project. Training will be repeated in January for first year students.
Rutgers School of Law - Newark offers several in-house pro bono opportunities for students:
STREET LAW: In the Spring of 2006, two first-year law students with an interest in working with young people and a desire to use their legal knowledge in a classroom setting founded Street Law at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. The students sought to bring proficiency in practical law to youth and adults and to empower them to use the law and become more active citizens. To this end, Street Law partners with community organizations and local schools to add a law-related component to their programs.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY PROJECT: Since January 2001, the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP) has been providing direct legal advocacy to domestic violence victims in Essex County, NJ. DVAP offers students the opportunity for hands-on experience working with victims of domestic violence. No prior experience is required and first-year law students are encouraged to participate. After completing an extensive training, law students volunteer at the Essex County Superior Court in the Domestic Violence Unit. Students provide domestic violence litigants with an overview of the legal process and assist in obtaining Temporary and Final Restraining Orders. Students trained by DVAP have helped thousands of victims of domestic violence seek restraining orders
IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS COLLECTIVE: Rutgers Immigrant Rights Collective (RUIRC) was created by Rutgers-Newark law students in 2003. RUIRC's mission is to educate the Rutgers-Newark community about immigration policy and law, as well as to actively participate in immigration policy discussion by lobbying representatives and working with immigration policy groups in New York and New Jersey. RUIRC is dedicated to promoting immigrants' rights and empowering immigrants.
Pro Bono Service Opportunities *The list below represents just some of the pro bono opportunities coordinated through the Law School.
CLARO Training (Civil Legal Advice and Referral Office) CLARO is a walk in advice clinic for people representing themselves in lawsuits involving consumer debt (primarily credit card debt). Lawsuits seeking recovery of consumer debt have burgeoned exponentially over the last decade, largely because the debts are sold for pennies on the dollar to debt buyers who then collect and sue on the debts. Often the debts are stale, the amount sued for is inaccurate, the plaintiff has sued the wrong person, or the plaintiff lacks proof of the debt.
Law students work with volunteer attorneys to advise individuals on self-representation strategies such as re-opening default judgments, objecting to defective service of processor, or releasing a frozen bank account. As CLARO interns, students will greet clients, gather basic intake information about their legal matter, accompany volunteer attorneys at litigant interviews, and assist with and review follow up tasks, such as completing and filing court papers with the litigants.
Service Day Project: This training program will prepare students to participate in the following LIFT volunteer activities:
- Staff Family Law Information Email Hotline: Provide legal information, support, and referrals to Hotline users. Under the supervision of a LIFT attorney, students will draft responses to family law questions that are submitted to the email hotline.
- Answer Questions on Family Law Information Telephone Hotline: Provide legal support, information, and referrals to Hotline users.
- Help Families Navigate NYC Family Courts: Work side-by-side with LIFT staff at Family Court-based sites to answer questions and address concerns about Court procedure and family law matters, and to distribute LIFT's Legal Resource Guides.
- Assist with Document Translation: Help non-English speakers navigate the court system by translating LIFT's Legal Resource Guides into languages other than English.
New York State Access to Justice Program: Consumer Debt Volunteer Lawyer for the Day (VLFD) This program provides limited representation to pro se defendants in consumer debt cases in Queens Civil Court at pre-trial conferences. Under the supervision of an attorney, you will represent defendants in court, work to negotiate favorable settlements with opposing counsel, conference with court attorneys, argue before a judge, and advise clients on trial strategies.
New York State Access to Justice Program: Uncontested Divorce Program Through this pro bono opportunity, you will assist unrepresented litigants with the preparation of uncontested divorce forms under the supervision of an attorney. (Students do not represent litigants in court or file papers on their behalf.)
Courtroom Advocates Project CAP is a joint project of Sanctuary for Families' Center for Battered Women's Legal Services and the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG). CAP trains and supervises advocates who assist domestic violence victims seeking protective orders in New York City's family courts. Under the supervision of an attorney, CAP Advocates help victims of domestic violence draft their petitions for protective orders, advocate for them at their initial appearance and at the next court date before Family Court judges, educate them about the Family Court process, and provide them with safety planning and referrals to needed resources.
Bankruptcy Assistance Program Student volunteers would meet with clients and provide initial interview and screening to determine eligibility for bankruptcy filing.
Alternative Spring Break – Students organized a trip to Nicaragua over Spring break for a cultural immersion with a legal emphasis. Students learn about social, political, and legal issues and meet with local attorneys.
Angel Tree – Students collect gifts for underprivileged children.
Hurrican Katrina Relief – Student Bar Association and Women Law Students Association spearheaded various relief efforts for Katrina victims.
Light the Night Walk – Each September, the School of Law and the law library sponsor a team to walk in the Light the Night Walk, an event which pays tribute to those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Law students, faculty and staff raise funds and carry balloons in the walk. The funds raised from the walk go to support research and treatment and work toward a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma.
Stand Down for Homeless Vets – Law students and faculty provide free legal services to homeless veterans at the annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans. Several hundred veterans attend the event, which takes place on a Saturday in April, and receive a variety of free services, from haircuts to job counseling. Students and faculty primarily assist those veterans with outstanding warrants on minor criminal matters. Along with the various judges, prosecutors and clerks in attendance, students are usually able to resolve veterans' cases that same day.
Tax Assistance Program – Students prepare tax assistance returns for elderly and low income clients.
Public Interest Law Association
VITA Tax Program - Students assist in filling out tax forms for low-income persons of the community. The Tax Clinic Professor supervises this program.
Specialized Projects - Requests for pro bono projects not already on the pre-approved list in the Pro Bono Handbook, including opportunities with private attorneys doing pro bono work must be pre-approved. Individual students or student organizations may apply for project approval. Time spent on the project may count toward the pro bono graduation requirement only if work complies with the requirements set forth in the Pro Bono Handbook and the project is approved by the Assistant Dean for the Office for Career Development.
Street Law - Law student volunteers each semester receive special training in practical law for youth, pair with a local teacher, and meet with that teacher's students one hour a week for six weeks. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, "Juvenile Rights & Responsibilities, "Who is a Juvenile," "Guns & Violence," Alcohol & Drugs." Priority is given to schools and alternative settings working with "at risk" youth.
Volunteers In Tax Assistance (VITA)
DNA Legislation Project – Law students and recent graduates serve as fellows to determine whether Alabama prison inmates serving sentences of life without parole are eligible to have their cases reviewed by the appellate-level courts based on new DNA evidence.
Beagle Aid Project – This student run project works collaboratively with faculty advisors and the Corrections Committee of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information to prisoners incarcerated in Washington State, Volunteers with this project provide legal information through JusticeWorks, a monthly newsletter, which is distributed to state prisons.
Center for Human Rights and Justice – Under faculty supervision the Center provides opportunities for students to work on research and advocacy projects for a wide variety of local and international human rights organizations. The Center solicits and screens projects from outside organizations. Students sign up for projects each semester, generally working in teams of two or three with faculty supervision. In addition, the Center promotes human rights activism and awareness by organizing or sponsoring forums, debates, films and inviting guest speakers to the Law School.
Language Bank – This project takes advantage of the multilingual skills of the law school's diverse student body by assigning qualified students to offer translation and interpretation skills to legal service providers involved in pro bono cases. The LB volunteers are current law students and paralegals from private law firms. To date, 54 volunteer law students representing 24 languages are the assets of the LB. These languages are available to Legal Service Providers and Private Law Firms. These bilingual students and paralegals are trained by Martha Cohen, Office of Interpreter Services, King County Superior Court, in basic interpreting skills, and ethics involved in interpreting.
The Access to Justice Institute maintains the databases, online attorney evaluation, and a password-protected Web site through which legal service providers and private pro bono attorneys can reach students. Partners with the Institute include the Seattle Area Pro Bono Coordinators of forty private firms, the King County Bar Association, and legal service agencies.
Real Change Homeless Newspaper Project – Through this innovative partnership, volunteer students write a legal information column for a local newspaper serving the homeless community in Seattle. Teams of volunteer attorneys from local firms and faculty advisors provide oversight and edit the articles written by the students. The articles address common legal problems experienced by the homeless community such as property law, public benefits, health care and landlord/tenant law. For more information and examples of articles, visit the Real Change Project website at http://www.law.seattleu.edu/accesstojustice/projects/realchange
Courtroom Advocate Project – Law students represented victims of domestic violence in New York City courts.
Street Law Project – Law students taught elementary and high school students in East Orange, N.J., about criminal law and their rights and responsibilities.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts – The students of the VLA helped with the provision of free legal aid to artists with limited means.
As a condition of school support, each student organization is expected to perform at least one major pro bono or public interest project a year. Alternatively, student organizations may engage in a number of smaller projects spread throughout the year. Examples of larger projects include community justice education events such as the Hate Crimes Symposium or the Death Penalty Symposium both hosted by the Black Law Students Association and open to the public. This service requirement is overseen by Assistant Dean Wanda Morrow. The campus tradition of volunteerism is long standing.
Additionally, all students are members of the Student Bar Association, which has a designated officer serving as liaison to the Pro Bono Honors Program. This student helps coordinate campus awareness of special pro bono projects and direct individual student organizations to pro bono activities which may of particular interest or significance to members of that group.
Equal Justice Works– Free legal classes for the public taught by law school faculty on Law Day.
The Association for Public Interest Law, a student organization at SMU, holds an auction each year to fund raise for public interest stipends for the students seeking unpaid summer internships in public interest. Each year, APIL helps fund between 12 and 17 summer public interest stipends.
GRAP - The General Relief Advocacy Program works with a local nonprofit law firm, Public Counsel, and its Staff attorneys to serve individuals at multiple offices of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), where impoverished, hungry and homeless individuals are in need of advice and advocacy assistance. Each year, hundreds of volunteer law students and attorneys assist clients with obtaining shelter, food, health, transportation and social services. Without these volunteer advocates, many individuals would not receive the benefits and services to which they are legally entitled, and which play a vital role in preventing chronic homelessness by helping people stay off the streets and move towards self-sufficiency.
Tax Law Society - The Tax Law Society is comprised of students, professors, and practitioners interested in the law of taxation. It sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that provides free income tax return preparation assistance for the elderly and low-income taxpayers of the Los Angeles area.
Teen Court Student Association - The Teen Court Student Association participates with the Los Angeles Teen Court juvenile diversion and prevention program to reduce recidivism of first time offenders. Law student members volunteer at local high school Teen Court programs to assist with jury instructions and deliberations, and to help hearing officers, probation officers and youth offenders. In addition the Teen Court Student Association hosts diversity pipeline programs on campus for inner city high schools to encourage high school students to pursue higher education and a legal career.
Public Interest Clearinghouse Justice Bus - Law students participate on a weekend service-learning trip with PIC staff to provide legal services to a rural community as part of their REAL Project, Rural Education and Access to the Law. This trip is of no cost to the law student volunteers, as it is a supported partnership between PIC and Southwestern Law School.
Asian and Pacific Islander Law Students Association (APILSA): Members of APILSA established and staff the Asian Community Immigration Clinic, which provides free advice to Asians in the San Francisco Bay Area.
StreetLaw:Law students volunteer their time to teach youth about their legal rights in one-hour classes, held once a week for eight weeks in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall or in one of five alternative high schools.
Public Interest Fellows, a student organization which is open to all students and has historically served as a clearinghouse for non-legal community service opportunities. Stetson has many public service-oriented student organizations, including the Innocence Initiative, ACLU, Amnesty International, and the Florida Association of Women Lawyers. Student organizations receive limited funding from the Student Bar Association, and are overseen by the office of Student Affairs.
American Civil Liberties Union – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Black Law Students Association – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Environmental Law Society – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Latin American Law Students Association – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
National Lawyers Guild - http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Shelter Legal Services – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Suffolk Public Interest Law Group – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Domestic Violence Task Force - The Domestic Violence Task Force, a student-run group, provides advocacy through the Niagara County Family Court Resource Project to assist victims of domestic violence in obtaining temporary and permanent orders of protection. The Task Force also provides weekly legal services for Haven House residents and their outreach program participants in conjunction with the Bar Association of Erie County, Volunteer Lawyers Project, and the Western New York Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of New York State. See http://www.law.buffalo.edu/current/studentOrgs.html#dvtf . Clinical Professors Suzanne Tomkins and Catherine Cerulli, who were the founders of the Family Violence Task Force in 1990 when they were students, supervise the Domestic Violence Task Force in some of its efforts.
Prison Law Task Force - The Prison Law Task Force is a student-run group that travels to certain area prisons to provide legal research and writing training to inmates seeking to represent themselves in legal matters. Professor Teresa A. Miller supervises the Prison Task Force and its pro bono efforts.
Syracuse Law has a Pro Bono Advisory Board (PBAB) consisting of 5-7 students. The PBAB coordinates with students, faculty and staff, as well as local public interest organizations, to train and oversee pro bono projects. A Pro Bono Fellow is selected yearly from the PBAB to organize student participation in pro bono.
Temple operates an extensive law-related education project Temple-LEAP (Law Education and Participation). LEAP is a multi-facted law related and civic education program which teaches non-lawyers about the law. LEAP directs the John S. Bradway Programs which include the Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition, Trial Advocacy Day, Juror Experiences, and Elementary Scripted Mock Trial Programs. Through Temple--LEAP, law students can become involved in Teen Court, an alternative disciplinary program currently operating in seven Philadelphia public high schools, The North Philadelphia Firearms Reduction Initiative, an after-school program that trains youth to become peer educators on the issue of gun violence reduction, and the PULSE Project (Philadelphia Urban Law Student Experience), a collaboration between Temple and the University of Pennsylvania Law School designed to encourage students from both law schools to help meet the legal needs of underserved populations in Philadelphia and implement law-related education programs in local schools.
Philadelphia Futures Law Camp - Program begins in July as full-time summer school and continues part-time during the school year. Curriculum is focused on basic language arts skills (reading, writing and critical thinking) in the context of high-interest legal concepts and current issues. Program is staffed by law students.
World Court - Law students work with high school students to examine a current high profile issue in a simulated World Court proceeding.
Holocaust Victims Asset Litigation Settlement Project - Law students review initial questionnaires in a class action settlement brought on behalf of Holocaust victims who deposited their money, insurance assets and art work in Swiss banks before and during the Holocaust and who have never been repaid their deposits.
Prevention Point - Prevention Point is a community health program working with clients at risk for HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases. Law students work with the Defenders Association of Philadelphia to operate a legal clinic whose goal is to eliminate outstanding bench warrants so clients can qualify for public health benefits.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project - Law students provide free income tax return preparation to people with low or limited income, disabilities, and non-English speakers.
Process: The Director of the Office for Public Interest Law Programs is available to assist students in developing new projects.
P.L.A.Y - Providing legal activities for youth is a student run program which provides legal education and mock trial experience for area school children. This program also includes the national Street Law Program which provides law-related education in a high-risk middle school.
Wesleyan Innocence Project - Student group that supports the national initiative of The Innocence Project and performs investigations on claims of actual innocence from prisoners.
Let Someone Know - Law students provide advanced directives to the community under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
National Adoption Day - Each November, students assist local attorneys to represent foster families who are adopting children. The students are involved in the case from the beginning, drafting and filing the initial applications for adoption, and participate in the final court hearing to finalize the adoptions.
Veteran's Court and Veteran's Clinic - Student participate in two community programs designed to assist veterans in the diversion court program for veterans with criminal legal charges as with the local bar association's initiative to assist veterans with civil legal problems.
During the spring of 2016, Texas Tech Law formed its inaugural Pro Bono Student Board of Directors. The Board grew from three to six members for the 2016-17 school year. These students work under the Director of Pro Bono Projects to oversee projects and serve as the voice of the student body for pro bono initiatives.
Family Law Society assists Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas with its evening pro bono legal clinics held at St. John’s United Methodist Church by providing volunteer students to conduct initial intake application interviews.
Students participating in Texas Tech Law’s Regional Externship Program must satisfy a pro bono/community service requirement. Likewise, students participating in Texas Tech Law’s Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession (ALLP) program often initiate and implement an innovative pro bono project before becoming inducted into the academy. A number of student organizations organize both legal and non-legal community service projects and encourage their members to participate.
Many opportunities take the form of ongoing placements in which students will assist a supervising attorney at a legal services organization’s office with legal issues. Some examples are:
- Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
- Legal Aid Society
- Innocence Project of Texas
- Disability Rights of Texas
- Catholic Charities Diocese of Lubbock
- Office of Dispute Resolution
Other opportunities for students to perform pro bono work include shorter-duration special projects or events. Some examples are:
- Wills Clinic (partnership with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas)
- Immigration Clinic
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
- Research Projects (students have worked remotely for different legal aid offices on interesting research projects)
- Pro Bono Spring Break
- Mentor Project (students are paired with a practicing attorney to help work on a pro bono case from beginning to end)
- Patent Law Project
- National Adoption Day
- DVAP Clinic (students and alumni staff an evening DVAP clinic this past summer)
- Student-initiated pro bono projects through Texas Tech Law’s Academy for Leadership in the Legal Profession program
Cooley student organizations, working with faculty and community professionals, coordinate many volunteer, public service, and pro bono projects.
Cooley students have been the catalysts for introducing elementary and high school peer-mediation projects across the state. Student groups volunteer to be trained in mediation and conflict resolution skills and then to bring those skills into the classroom. They have even used the training to teach conflict resolution to undergraduate students from Michigan State University's College of Education.
Students active in Cooley's Tax Law Society have become certified volunteers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and offer free tax help to low- to moderate-income individuals who cannot prepare their own tax returns.
Chapters of The Disaster Relief Legal Association were formed by students in Lansing and Grand Rapids. They coordinate pro bono opportunities for Cooley students by working with organizations assisting victims of disasters facing legal issues. Most of their work is done during term breaks when trips are made to areas of need.
Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids chapters of the Student Bar Association organized and conducted "Operation Hurricane Hope" to provide monetary assistance, pro bono services and physical rebuilding aid to those affected by storms in the southern United States.
PILOT – Hosted 2005 Cover Retreat, Fundraiser for Loan Forgiveness
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) Tulane Law students staff the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which provides tax assistance on most Saturdays in the spring term through April 15. Since 1991, almost 14,000 hours have been donated to this program by Tulane Law students. Through the VITA program, students assist individuals who cannot otherwise afford assistance in filing their income tax returns.
Other student-run projects include an international pro bono program over winter break in Panama, which was conducted in coordination with Global Brigades. This year's project, which will again be overseen by students of the International Law Society, is TBA.
Street Law is a joint endeavor between the Akron Bar Association, Akron Law, and local public schools to teach students law and citizenship. Street Law brings local attorneys and law students into area classrooms in partnership with high school and middle school teachers. Street Law has a summer component for elementary students (camp law school), middle school and high school students (the minority pipeline program).
Public Interest Student Board - The Public Interest Student Board (PISB) is a student organization dedicated and committed to the idea that the privilege of being an attorney includes service to one's community. PISB members provide guidance to the Public Interest Institute and help implement public service programs. PISB members are leaders within the Law School, and the community. Each spring semester, members are inducted onto the Board at a reception in their honor.
SaveFirst -students provide free tax preparation services and opportunities for savings and economic improvement to low-income, working families – especially targeting those eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit refund.
Class Action Project – a high school alcohol use prevention program.
Volunteer Ombudsman – law students are advocates for residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and specialty care facilities who work to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of Alabama's senior citizens.
Mentoring - Students are able to make a huge impact in the lives of children who are needy. There are multiple opportunities available to students to accommodate their schedule.
Soup Bowl - Law students prepare and serve food to about 500 homeless persons at a facility operated by First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa.
Alternative Break - Alternative Break gives UA students the opportunity to participate in volunteer projects in communities outside the Tuscaloosa area. The program, held during UA's spring break week helps the community with tangible work and service while giving students the life-changing experience of serving others and getting a broader understanding of the world around them.
Public Interest Institute – http://www.law.ua.edu/pubinterest/
Wills for Heroes
Habitat for Humanity Wills Project – The Habitat for Humanity Wills Project is a non-credit, pro bono project housed in the Legal Clinic. Under the supervision of volunteer faculty, student attorneys provide basic estate planning services for families who are recipients of Washington, and Benton Counties Habitat for Humanity homes. Students review the manner in which the client holds title to the home and other assets. They prepare simple wills, advance health care directives (living wills), powers of attorney, and other related documents. The project affords students the opportunity for pro bono service in a context that mirrors an estate-planning practice for clients of modest means.
To participate in the Wills Project, students must qualify for certification under Rule XV( to see complete information on how a student qualifies visit: http://courts.state.ar.us/opinions/1998a/980115/rule-xv.txt of the Arkansas Supreme Court and must have the approval of the faculty supervisor for the project. The anticipated level of demand for services determines the number of students who may participate at any given time.
Bowen Public Interest Law Society
VITA - an income tax return preparation assistance program.
Student-Initiated Legal Services Projects (SLPS) are a vital part of the student experience at Berkeley Law. Most students join at least one SLP during their first year and many join two or more. Still others continue SLPS work throughout law school. Through SLPS work, students and their organizations have formed long-lasting partnerships with a variety of prominent public interest organizations, law firms, and government agencies including the Accountability Counsel of San Francisco, the Asian Law Caucus, Centro Legal de la Raza, Disability Rights California, the East Bay Community Law Center, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Legal Services for Children, Morrison & Foerster LLP, National Center for Youth Law, Reed Smith LLP, and the San Francisco Legal Aid Society's Employment Law Center. For more information contact the SLPS coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
The current SLPS Projects are:
Advocates for Youth Justice (AYJ) is a community of advocates committed to youth justice issues. AYJ operates three youth-oriented legal services projects and provides peer mentorship and networking opportunities for interested law students.
- Berkeley High Student Court trains high school students to act as attorneys for their peers during trials to resolve disciplinary problems.
- Education Advocacy Clinic works with the National Center for Youth Law and Disability Rights to train law students to be court-appointed educational rights holders for children in foster care who have special education needs.
- Expulsion Representation Clinic offers participating law students an opportunity to act as non-attorney advocates for students facing expulsion.
Berkeley Immigration Law Clinic (BILC) works with the Asian Law Caucus and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association to provide free consultation and document preparation for low income immigrants.
Berkeley Tax Law Project (BTLP) provides free income tax preparation assistance to low-to-moderate income taxpayers, and is affiliated with the IRS' Stakeholder Partnerships, Education and Communications Division.
Boalt Anti-Trafficking Project provides legal services to survivors of human trafficking through partnerships with local anti-trafficking organizations.
California Asylum Representation Clinic (CARC) works with attorneys from the East Bay Sanctuary and Reed Smith to assist refugees throughout the asylum process.
Civil Rights Outreach Project (CROP) collaborates with the Asian Law Caucus to provide assistance to individuals and communities impacted by post-9/11 profiling and discrimination.
Community Legal Outreach (CLO) is affiliated with the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) and engages first-year students in assisting low-income communities in Oakland and Berkeley. It has two SLPS groups:
- Housing & Tenants' Rights Workshop helps protect the legal rights and remedies of tenants.
- Public Benefits and Justice (PBJ) assists Alameda County residents with issues related to obtaining public benefits.
Environmental Justice Workshop (EJW) provides an opportunity for 1Ls to work with 2- and 3Ls to provide pro bono assistance to local grassroots environmental justice and international watchdog organizations.
- Accountability Counsel Project provides legal assistance on environmental and environmental justice issues related to international finance and development.
- Community Food Enterprise works with attorneys to provide legal support and counseling to small-scale food enterprises serving low-income communities.
Environmental Conservation Outreach works with Earthjustice and tribal communities to research a Clean Water Act loophole that allows discharge of wastewater produced by fracking, and to pursue a legal solution to the problem fracking poses for tribal lands.
Health Law Imitative partners with medical institutions to target social determinants of health through legal intervention. Students explore the interaction between health and legal fields through a variety of trainings and direct engagement with community members, medical providers, and practicing attorneys.
International Human Rights Workshop (IHRW) partners with the Sexual Violence & Accountability project at UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center to support the revision and modernization of Liberian laws on sexual and gender based violence.
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is affiliated with the national IRA project, Morrison & Foerster, and Lewis & Roca, and provides legal assistance to Iraqi refugees applying for asylum in the U.S., and to Afghanis who face persecution because of their work for the U.S. military.
Juvenile Hall Outreach (JHO) is a Street Law program that empowers incarcerated and detained youth by teaching them their legal rights.
Karuk-Berkeley Collaborative -- Suction Dredge Mining Litigation Project (KBC) is a collaboration among law students and students from the Environmental Science, Policy & Management school (ESPM) to work with the Karuk Tribe, lawyers, and activists to protect the Klamath River Basin from suction dredge mining.
La Raza Workers Rights Clinic, sponsored by Centro Legal de La Raza, serves low income, immigrant and Latino communities by providing bi-lingual legal representation, education, and advocacy.
Post-Conviction Advocacy Project (P-CAP) trains Berkeley Law students to assist inmates with the parole process.
Workers' Rights Clinic (WRC) partners with San Francisco's Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center to provide free legal information to low-income workers with employment-related problems.
Workers' Rights Disability Law Clinic (WRDLC) also partners with the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center and addresses the full range of employment-related issues for low-income clients, with a special focus on the needs of workers with disabilities.
UC Hastings students, faculty and staff are engaged in a wide variety of pro bono activities with legal services organizations locally, nationally and internationally. Student run pro bono opportunities include:
- Center for Gender and Refugee Studies: CGRS's core mission is to protect the basic human rights of refugee women and girls by advancing gender-sensitive asylum laws, helping advocates successfully represent women in need of protection, and preventing these refugees from being forcibly returned to the countries from which they have fled. Students not enrolled in the clinic serve as translators and interpreters and may also do research.
- General Assistance Advocacy Project (GAAP) :) - Students assist homeless clients to navigate the public benefits systems including general assistance, social security, unemployment, etc.
- Hastings to Haiti: to help strengthen the rule of law in Haiti, students engage with Haitian law students as well as bringing supplies and materials on human rights issues.
- Hastings Prisoner Outreach: - A student run program which provides support to incarcerated persons through correspondence, fundraising, education, and social and legal services.
- Hastings Association of Youth Advocates: – a student run program which promotes better educational outcomes for youth in foster care in the city and county of San Francisco.
- Homeless Legal Services Program: law students, supervised by a large local law firm, partner with medical students from UCSF to provide services to residents of a local homeless shelter one evening per week.
- LARC @ Hastings - Legal Advice and Referral Clinic: This walk-in clinic is open to the general public with the purpose of assisting individuals with legal questions and concerns. Some clients have a particular legal question they need answered, while others have both legal and/or social service concerns.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): students provide tax filing assistance to Tenderloin residents one evening a week during tax season.
Specialized Law Education Projects which students are involved with include:
- Diversity Day
- Day at Law School
- CA Constitutional Literacy Project
UC Irvine School of Law students engaged in more than 100 pro bono projects during the 2012-13 academic year. The Pro Bono Program coordinates pre-approved projects, and also provides support for student-initiated projects.
List of Pre-Approved Pro Bono Projects Offered Spring 2013 (Project Descriptions provided here http://www.law.uci.edu/about/public-service/public-interest/probono/project-list.html)
- ACLU Jails Project
- Animal Legal Defense Project
- Armory Intake Clinics for the Homeless
- Bankruptcy Applications
- Bankruptcy Courthouse Volunteer
- Bet Tzedek Client Intake
- Camp Pendleton Legal Assistance Office
- Community Economic Development Project
- Conservatorship Project (1)— Assisting Families at Special Education Schools
- Conservatorship Project (2)— Courthouse Volunteers
- Consumer Law Project
- Criminal Law Projects:
- District Attorney's Office
- Public Defender's Office
- Alternate Public Defender's Office
- Disabled and Elderly Benefits (SSI)—Intake Clinic & Follow-up
- Domestic Violence Declarations
- Domestic Violence Clinic in Long Beach
- Education Rights Clinic
- Education Rights Project—In Office Volunteers
- Elder Abuse Legal-Medical Partnership Project
- Esperanza Immigrant Rights Projects
- Expungement Projects
- Family Law Clinics & Low Income Civil Assistance
- Foreclosure Mitigation Unit
- General Legal Services for the Poor
- Health Consumer Action Center
- Homeless Benefits Project
- Homeless Food Stamps Records Requests
- Homelessness Prevention Project
- Housing Project with LASOC
- Immigration Detention Project
- Impact Litigation
- Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association—Legal Aid Project
- Innocence Project Collaboration
- Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project
- Korean Legal Services and Outreach
- Litigation Assistance
- Litigation Assistance for Koreatown Redistricting Case
- Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition Research
- Self Help Center (Long Beach)
- Senior Citizen Legal Advocacy Program
- Services for Homeless and those on the Verge (CARES)
- Transactional and Intellectual Property Project
- Veteran's Expungement Clinic
- Victims of Crime Special Visas (U-Visa )
- Workers' Rights Clinic—Orange County
- Workers' Rights Clinic—Los Angeles
- Writing and Analysis for Legal Newspaper
- Youth Health Care and Education Policy Research
Partnership with Public Counsel (Volunteer Lawyer Program) - Places students with attorneys who have pro bono cases.
Adoptions Project -- The Director of Public Interest Programs supervises 40-50 students a semester on adoption cases. The Project runs over the course of a semester and advanced students serve as intermediate supervisors. Many first year students participate.
El Centro Legal - This student group coordinates three legal clinics for Hispanic populations: homeless youth, working in conjunction with Public Counsel; landlord-tenant, working in conjunction with the Legal Aid Society; and an HIV legal clinic, working in partnership with HOLSA. Over 100 first year students participated in 1998.
Worker Justice Project -- Seeks to provide an essential link between existing community organizations and increasing legal access to low-wage workers. Working through any of several community organizations, students can find a variety of volunteer opportunities, from intakes, case management, and representing workers through administrative hearings, to developing employment law and administrative hearing
The Pro Bono Service Initiative works with students and student groups to develop and participate in pro bono service projects in the legal community.
HOME - Local fair housing organization that collects data and advocates for racial, economic and social equality.
ProKids - Provides advocacy for children in the juvenile system and recently partnered with the College of Law to create accelerated training to allow our students to become court-appointed special advocates.
ICLAP: Immigrant Community Legal Advocacy Project - is a student organization that partners with local organizations to provide immigration services to our growing Latino population.
Tenant Information Project - Provides information about Ohio landlord-tenant law to the community.
Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) - Assists low- and middle-income and elderly persons with tax return preparation.
Volunteer Lawyers Project - A joint project with the Cincinnati Bar Association that allows our students to assist local attorneys with cases accepted on a pro bono basis through this program. Administered by the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati.
The Christian Legal Society is engaged in pro bono work by participating in a legal aid program put on by Christian lawyers in the Denver area.
The National Lawyers Guild is engaged in pro bono work by helping to represent people that were arrested during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
[Students have the option of getting credit for some of these opportunities.]
The Center for Children's Advocacy - Students represent abused and neglected children and on class action litigation as well as testimony to be given to the state legislature. An adjunct faculty member supervises the students.
Hartford Superior Court (Family Court) - Students assist with domestic violence restraining orders.
Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative (CULI) - Students work on community economic development and revitalization projects and assist in advising non-profit groups in Hartford and Waterbury. An adjunct faculty member supervises the students.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - Students volunteer to assist low-income taxpayers with preparing their income tax returns.
Connecticut Unemployment Action Center - Students represent unemployment insurance claimants in the greater Hartford area. Faculty members supervise.
VLSP – Students, with oversight of faculty members and local attorneys, provided variety legal services for indigent clients.
The law school has over 50 student organizations; each year, the organization's activity level is subject to change. Applicable groups include:
- Public Interest Law Group (PILG) aims to encourage law students to devote their careers to the struggle for social justice, expose students to the broad range of work being done to advance progressive legal goals, provide a forum for discussion and an information base, and inspire students to follow their hearts. PILG encourages involvement in the community through its tutoring program, educates and provides a forum for discussion by bringing in and co-sponsoring speaker panels, raises its own funds via the Annual Auction to allow students to work for non-profit organizations during the summer through the clerkship program. PILG attempts to encourage law students (and the legal community) to devote time, energy, and intellect to helping disadvantaged individuals obtain access to our legal system. Public interest law addresses the political, social, and economic welfare of communities, with an emphasis on society's underrepresented issues and groups. PILG is dedicated to issues within, but not limited to, the substantive areas of constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights law, gay and lesbian law, elder law, environmental law, family law, immigration law, labor law, urban law, poverty law, Native American law, and legal ethics.
- Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a program that gives law students the opportunity to participate in meaningful legal service. Student participants will spend their spring break working in public interest-based legal settings, and the program is an excellent way for law students to serve underprivileged communities. Currently, students travel to Texas and New Mexico.
- The Tribal Wills Project is organized by Prof. Lucy Marsh. During spring break, students write wills for Native American tribes. Students attend training sessions prior to the trip and work with members of the Ute Mountain and Southern Ute tribes.
- The Ralph Timothy Potter Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Membership is open to all in the University of Denver law school community who support our mission of promoting and protecting civil rights. Activities include intake, case investigation, and research at the Colorado Affiliate Office, presentations on civil liberties issues, publication of a civil liberties newsletter and internet update, participation on ACLU legal panel and board, and promotion of civil liberties on campus and in the community.
- The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy is a group of students concerned about American law and politics. They believe deeply in the importance of law as the mechanism that governs the relationships between and among the individuals and institutions that form our society, and recognize the direct relationship between legal theory and the broader political debate about the kind of society in which we live.
- Amnesty International is an international human rights organization that works impartially for the release of all prisoners of conscience, fair and prompt trials for political prisoners, and the end to torture, and executions. The Chapter at the College of Law presents several speakers on these and related topics throughout the year. It also initiates campaigns by writing letters to government officials and prisoners, and participates in Legal Support Network, a program recently initiated for lawyers and law students.
- Children's Legal Advocacy Group (CLAG) is a student organization focused on legal issues involving children and families. CLAG goals include increasing student awareness of legal issues involving children and families, and having an active influence in the community.
Florida Bar Foundation Public Interest Law Fellows – One of the students' requirements to fulfill the fellowship is coordinating events to bring poverty law issues to the law school community. These students coordinate service projects, substantive public interst law panels and community education events.
Although it is a requirement of the fellowship, the students decide on the projects, coordinate, advertise, and staff the events.
Restoration of Civil Rights Project – Students teamed up with the Martin Luther King Commission, the student chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the Association for Public Interest Law and the ACLU to assist ex-felons with the application to request the restoration of their voting rights.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Students volunteer to assist other students (particularly international students) and the general community with filing their income tax returns.
- VITA (volunteer income tax assistance) program - aids low- to moderate-income earners, the elderly, handicapped individuals and non-English speaking people with their state and federal income tax returns.
- Annual Red Clay Conference - increases public awareness of environmental issues on regional, national and international levels through a series of educational presentations and open forum discussions.
- Legal Educational Programs in Local Schools - exposes local school children to various aspects of the law and how it relates to their own lives.
Environmental Law Society -- Members have the opportunity to provide legal research assistance to attorneys representing individuals and organizations concerned with protection of the environment, take direct action for the protection and enhancement of the environment (e.g., testifying to the Legislature regarding environmental bills), and participate in forums for the exchange of information and the promotion of a better understanding of environmental law and policy issues.
Law Students for Alternative Dispute Resolution – Law Students for Alternative Dispute Resolution has members that volunteer regularly to do a variety of mediations including small claims, civil mediations, and family mediations.
Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) – VITA provides free tax assistance for low-income people.
Prisoners' Rights Research Project - Indigent prisoners incarcerated across the country write to the Project requesting answers to specific legal problems. Working under a student supervisor and faculty adviser, volunteers hone their research skills and gain significant insight into our corrections system by answering these complex questions.
The Society for Legal Assistance to Abused Women -- This is a community service based organization established to provide legal support for people in abusive relationships.
Welfare Rights Clinic -- Clinic volunteers represent public aid applicants and recipients having disputes with the Illinois Department of Public Aid. The clinic maintains an office staffed by student volunteers who provide advice to people about public aid generally. Volunteers interview clients, research the law, gather evidence, and negotiate with caseworkers.
Process: Requests for new pro bono organizations and projects are considered by the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, who in conjunction with the Student Bar Association, will assess the feasibility of the proposal and will assist in the creation of the program or project.
The Philanthropy Committee of the Iowa Student Bar Association consists of representatives from each of the student organizations at the College of Law, as well as designates from the Iowa Student Bar Association. Its purpose is to serve as a platform for communicating among the student groups individual group plans for philanthropy and service projects; coordinating service projects of the various student organizations, as appropriate, to avoid duplication and to maximize community impact; providing information about opportunities for service projects, as well as facilitating assistance from the Citizen Lawyer Program, as needed, to groups' service activities; and, informally advising the Citizen Lawyer Program on its mission and activities.
The Equal Justice Foundation, a student group within the College of Law, raises money for access to justice initiatives and public interest stipends, and has sponsored alternative spring break trips in the past.
Other student groups at the University of Iowa College of Law sponsor various volunteer projects throughout the year.
Public Interest Law Society/Lawrence Worker Justice Coalition – PILS members will be volunteering to assist with monthly worker justice clinics designed to help low-wage workers, including undocumented immigrants, understand their rights. The clinics will also serve as an entry point for worker rights complaints.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - The VITA program has been in existence since at least 1996. Volunteers prepare an average of 50 tax returns per week. Appointment hours are scheduled at the Law School three days per week, and at several low-income community service centers. Faculty members who teach the tax curriculum provided guidance and oversight.
Pro Bono Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) – The Public Interest Law Student Organization (PILS) organizes student volunteers to assist with creating guardianships for Wichita, KS area families through this program. The program is a partnership between The Arc of Sedgwick County, the Wichita Bar, the law firm of Hinkle Elkouri, the 18th Judicial Court and a local financial planner. Referrals come directly from the case managers at The Arc, which serves people with developmental disabilities. Students travel to Wichita to conduct interviews, gather data, and help prepare initial drafts of pleadings.
Universities of Kansas Court of Parking Appeals (Traffic Court) - All appeals of parking citations are handled by the Court of Parking Appeals, which is a court of equity. KU Law students serve as both attorneys and judges. Traffic Court offers students the opportunity to research and argue traffic court tickets on behalf of both the University and the party receiving the parking ticket. Students gain court-room experience and legal research skills. Court authority is final except for appeals made from this court to the Court En Banc.
Pro Bono Wills Clinics - These clinics have been held at various sites in the Louisville area over the past several years.
Pro Se Divorce Clinics – These clinics, in conjunction with the Louisville Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of Louisville, have been held at various sites in the Louisville area over the past several years.
Central High School Partnership
Student Bar Foundation
Maryland Law Service Corps
Maryland Public Interest Law Project
Maryland Education Law Program
- ADA Note-Taker/Scribe Program: selected students serve as note-takers/scribes in any course offered by the law school for students with documented disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Alternative Spring Break: students traveled to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to investigate human rights violations in the border regions
- Dean's Fellow Program: selected students volunteer 2-3 hours per week for a semester to provide tutoring and peer mentoring to law students in academic difficulty
- Durfee High School Pilot Program: students introduced high schoolers to basic legal concepts
- Street Law Clinics: student led workshops in Brockton, New Bedford, and Taunton
The Public Action Law Society (PALS) is a student-run, public interest organization that promotes pro bono service to the student body and the community-at-large. PALS hosts monthly meetings, bringing in national experts such as the Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, D.C., as well as local practitioners from organizations such as Memphis Area Legal Services, Community Legal Center, Shelby County Juvenile Court, Legal Aid of Arkansas, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, etc.
Along with meeting monthly, PALS also coordinates and promotes pro bono opportunities for students. PALS hosts an annual Volunteer Fair to match students with area pro bono organizations. PALS also plans group projects such as Alternative Spring Break, a week- long, national service project, a monthly Pro Se Divorce Project, DACA projects, etc.
The Public Interest Leadership Board is comprised of HOPE Fellows, Miami Scholars, project leaders and volunteers who play an instrumental role in the programming and policy setting for public interest initiatives.
The Miami STREET Law Program is an educational, legal outreach program that trains current law students to teach law, public policy and ethics throughout Miami-Dade County public schools.
Wolverine Street Law -- This is a practical program of law-related education aimed at engaging high school students in a critical examination of their rights and responsibilities. Michigan Law students lead discussions related to practical legal problems, contemporary legal issues, and the ramifications of breaking the law. The underlying goal of the program is for high school students to understand how laws enhance society and how their actions affect society.
Washtenaw Workers' Rights Center: Students from the Labor Law Roundtable volunteer with the WWRC on a variety of issues related to workers' rights. Michigan Law students co-founded the WWRC.
Family Law Project ("FLP"): is a joint effort between Legal Services of South Central Michigan, a non-profit organization that provides legal services to indigent residents of its multi-county service area and the University of Michigan Law School. The mission of FLP is domestic violence prevention by providing safety to domestic violence survivors and their children through the law. FLP provides survivors with a full range of legal services, including protection orders, custody orders, and divorces as well as ancillary legal matters. After completing a training, first year students are assigned a protection order case and will interview the client, draft and file pleadings, assist with and attend any court hearings and otherwise monitor the case. Second and third year students who have previous experience at FLP may work on more complex cases, including divorce and custody matters.
The Food Stamp Advocacy Project is a law student organization working to reduce hunger by increasing participation in the food stamp program among eligible individuals in Washtenaw County. Working closely with Legal Services of South Central Michigan, student volunteers provide eligibility screenings to low-income individuals who may be eligible for food stamps, assist individuals in filling out food stamp applications, and provide individuals with information about their rights in the Food Stamp program.
Student Network for Asylum and Refugee Law (SNARL)- SNARL has an established relationship to provide pro bono assistance with Freedom House. Additionally, SNARL members have been involved in the creation of an asylum handbook for the Sixth Circuit and country conditions research and brief-writing for upcoming cases.
Asylum Law Project: First-year students organize trips during the winter and spring breaks to work on asylum cases for immigrants throughout the country. Students do their own fundraising, set up training sessions, and work with a variety of non-profit organizations.
Numerous other student groups include public service within their groups' missions.
The Kansas City Tax Clinic - A project of the UMKC Graduate Tax Law Foundation with support from the UMKC School of Law. UMKC School of Law students in the LL.M. in Taxation program, the combined J.D./LL.M. in Taxation program, or other students with the permission of the director of the tax program, represent clients in tax controversy matters, under the supervision of the director and volunteer tax practitioners.
The Public Interest Litigation Clinic - The PILC is an independent organization located on the campus. It litigates and provides advice and research assistance to Missouri defense attorneys in capital punishment cases. The School's Death Penalty Clinic and the "Problems and Issues in the Death Penalty" course are taught in conjunction with the PILC, and the center's staff provides valuable resources for the students in those classes.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - Students volunteer to help low income Kansas City Citizen's file their income taxes.
Midwestern Innocence Project Student Organization - The mission of the project is to support the efforts of the Midwestern Innocence Project through support and fundraising efforts.
Family Law Advice Clinic – Montana Legal Services organizes and runs this non-credit opportunity for students to assist the legal services attorney in helping families.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Students with an interest in tax law arrange income tax preparation assistance for low income and elderly individuals during tax season.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program -- VITA students receive training on tax return requirements. They then provide help on filling out federal and state income tax returns at various sites around Lincoln, including retirement homes, community centers, and shopping malls.
Community Legal Education Project (CLEP) -- CLEP coordinates a variety of activities through which the College promotes legal education for non-lawyers. Law students assist elementary, middle and secondary school teachers in helping pupils understand fundamental legal issues, appreciate the legal system, and learn about the law as it affects their daily lives.
La Voz (student group); Huellas (Project) – A national award-winning four-level mentoring program matching attorneys, law students, college students, and high school students.
Minority Law Student Association and Phi Alpha Delta (student groups) – Street Law Program at local high school.
Nevada Reading Week – Law students read to elementary school students during the annual Nevada Reading Week.
Parking Arbitration Program – Law students arbitrate parking appeals cases on the UNLV campus.
The University of New Hampshire School of Law community actively develops, coordinates and runs student pro bono groups and specialized pro bono project. Recent groups and projects have included:
Public Interest Coalition (PIC):
The Public Interest Coalition (PIC) is a student organization that promotes awareness of public interest law and issues. PIC organizes programs, develops public interest projects, and works closely with the Social Justice Institute. PIC sponsors events like the Bruce Freidman Community Service Day and works together with the Social Justice Institute to send law students to national and regional public interest conferences.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA):
University of New Hampshire School of Law students help area New Hampshire residents with their tax forms on a walk-in basis. Law students, interested in tax law, attend an initial training session and then volunteer their time to meet with local residents about their tax returns. Members of the law school's clinical and non-clinical faculty provide supervision.
Recognizing the importance of teaching the local community about civil, criminal and constitutional democracy in a practical way, the University of New Hampshire School of Law students venture into the New Hampshire high schools to teach students about human rights and democratic values. UNH law students prepare reading and lesson plans, and keep a reflective journal about their experiences.
Wills for Heroes:
Recognizing the need to give back to a community of brave men and women who protect our country, University of New Hampshire law students are actively involved in the Wills for Heroes program—a program providing essential legal documents to our nation's first responders. UNH law students, working under the direction of UNH School of Law faculty, draft wills, living wills, and powers of attorney for first responders to ensure their family's legal affairs are in order. Law students are giving back to the community and "protecting those who protect us."
There are numerous student-run pro-bono initiatives at UNM in addition to the first year pro bono program. The Women's Law Caucus supports initiatives to assist victims of domestic violence. Interested students can support Innocence projects designed to help incarcerated clients. Students also teach Constitutional law to local public school students as a part of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. Members of the Association of Public Interest Law raise funds to offer stipends for students doing pubic interest work in the summer.
American Constitutional Society
Asian American Law Students Association
Black Law Students Association
Carolina Health Law Organization
Carolina Intellectual Property Law Association
Carolina Real Estate Law Association
Carolina Teen Court Assistance Program
Community Legal Project (The Compass Center)
Death Penalty Project
Education Law and Policy Society
Environmental Law Project
Hispanic/Latino Law Student Association
Lambda Law Students Association
Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Viole
nce Media Law Society
National Lawyers Guild
Native American Law Students Association
Veterans Advocacy Legal Organization
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
Women in Law
Oregon Law student groups run a variety of pro bono groups and projects. Below are examples of ongoing efforts that groups have been ongoing successful efforts.
- St. Vincent de Paul’s Second Chance Program : students coordinate student instructors who teach law-related classes in a series that is designed to help low-income individuals to become successful renters who understand their rights and responsibilities.
- Student led trips to assist asylum seekers: during the week before spring semester starts, students coordinate trips to the US-Mexico border to volunteer with legal nonprofits assisting asylum seekers.
- Community Action Public Service: student group that helps promote existing pro bono programs and cultivate new pro bono options for students. This group also organizes community service projects for students.
- Monthly Clinic with Sponsors: students work in cooperation with a local nonprofit to provide a legal clinic for individuals leaving Oregon correctional facilities. Students provide interviewing and intake support for volunteer attorneys.
- National Lawyers Guild: annually organizes educational programs including Know Your Rights trainings.
Our array of student pro bono projects represents the entrepreneurial spirit of Penn Law Students. These projects form the core of Penn Law's pro bono experience by offering opportunities for students to create, lead, and engage in initiatives that impact underserved populations. Many of the projects also incorporate a cross-disciplinary focus as Penn Law students work with graduate students across campus. Click here for more information about our Student Pro Bono Projects.
Pitt Legal Income Sharing Foundation (PLISF) is the student public interest organization.
Public Interest Law Association (PILA)
Child Health Advocacy Program (CHAP)
Family Law Society
Veterans and Friends of Veterans Legal Association
American Constitutional Society
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
Christian Legal Society
Criminal Law Association (CLA)
Delta Theta Phi
Elder Law Society
Environmental Law Society (ELS)
Family Law Society
Health Law Society
Immigration Law Society
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA)
Journal of Law and Public Policy (JLPP)
Latino Law Student Association
Lawyer's Council on Social Justice (LCSJ)
Military Law Society
Minnesota Justice Foundation
Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society
Native American Law Student Association
St. Thomas More Society
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
AIDS Clinic - Students work through the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. (SDVLP). AIDS Legal Clinic Volunteers have a unique opportunity to gain legal experience and help the community. Every Monday night the clinic provides free legal services to anyone with HIV/AIDS.
Working through the SDVLP, AIDS Clinic Volunteers have a unique opportunity to gain legal experience and help the community. These services are vital to a community that may not otherwise have access to competent legal assistance. Students are given the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in the legal community and really make a difference in people's lives. Volunteers will work under the supervision of staff attorney, Kendra Rupe Esq., and will have the responsibilities of aiding local pro bono lawyers in interviewing clients on issues spanning from landlord/ tenant, MediCal/ MedicAid, wrongful termination, estate planning, debtor/creditor, disclosure, and social security issues. Student volunteers will devote 2 hours every week assisting either at the Monday Night Clinic in Hillcrest or at the downtown location.
Domestic Violence – The Domestic Violence Prevention Clinic is a part of SDVLP. SDVLP trains students to staff the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic; this Clinic runs out of the Family Court in downtown San Diego. Students assist clients to obtain temporary restraining orders and complete related pleadings, explanation the legal system and provide referrals to social support agencies. In addition to assisting clients directly, students also have the opportunity to observe Family Court proceedings.
Elder Law – The Elder Law Clinic places USD law students with Elder Law and Advocacy, a non-profit legal organization assisting seniors. Students assist in areas such as general legal services, litigation, nursing home rights and health insurance law. General legal services include wills, power of attorney, landlord tenant, real estate and other issues affecting seniors. Students volunteering in the litigation area assist staff attorneys to draft court documents and trial preparation. All areas give students the opportunity to draft memoranda, prepare legal documents and interview clients.
Guardianship Clinic – Through SDVLP's Guardianship Clinic, students assist caretakers prepare the court filings necessary to obtain legal guardianship. In one afternoon, students fulfill an important role in creating the legal relationship that dramatically improves the life of a child who has been abused, neglected or abandoned by his/ her parent(s). The clinic is held biweekly in the SDVLP offices from 3:00 until 6:00pm. Minimum commitment is 1 session, every other week.
Mentoring Clinic – The Mentoring Clinic pairs USD law students with students from John Marshall Elementary School in east San Diego. USD volunteers spend 1 hour a week (minimum) serving as role models for these students, helping with homework and playing games.
Monarch Debate Clinic – The Monarch Debate Clinic is a partnership between USD and Monarch School, a school for San Diego indigent youth. Volunteers go to Monarch School for 1 hour a week for 2-3 months to meet with the youth, help them conduct research and teach them to formulate legal arguments. Volunteers also teach the youth oral advocacy skills. This clinic culminates with a formal debate in the USD courtroom.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that offers basic tax return preparation training for volunteers to assist people whose incomes are $36,000 or less. Volunteers are trained by the IRS and receive certification in the Link & Learn computer program and undergo 16 hours of computer training. Training occurs season in early January. Students are then asked to give a 3 hour a week commitment during from late January to April 15th. Students provide basic tax return preparation for San Diego residents throughout the county.
The Law School's Student Bar Association has community service and pro bono student liaisons who work with the law school administration and the Law Student Pro Bono Project on specialized legal education projects at the law school, including Diversity Week and National Celebrate Pro Bono Week
CAROLINA CLERKS: Pro Bono Clerks for Pro Bono Lawyers Carolina Clerks matches volunteer law students with SC lawyers who have agreed to pro bono client representation. Students will perform traditional law clerking tasks including research and drafting. Time requirement is on a case by case basis. Wide variety of cases. Foreign language skills may be needed.
Training: On the job
COMMISSION ON LAWYER CONDUCT: Office of Disciplinary Counsel This office is charged by the SC Supreme Court to investigate and prosecute allegations of misconduct of lawyers in SC. Volunteers will assist the office on a range of projects including research and file organization. Students must be willing to be flexible in their duties yet provide assistance on a regular basis. Knowledge and adherence to confidentiality is extremely important.
Training: On the job
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGAL ADVOCATES Volunteers will assist with providing Orders of Protection to victims of domestic violence. Working with Sexual Trauma Services and Sistercare atttorneys volunteers will help guide the victims through the legal process. This is a fairly new project and continues to evolve and is dependent on access to supervisory attorneys.
Training: Criminal record check, training and in-service required.
FREE MEDICAL CLINIC Volunteers will assist with administrative duties such as interviewing new patients, gathering financial information, preparing new files, and converting patient charts to a new system. Spanish translators are also needed. If you are a medical doctor, nurse or pharmacist there are opportunities to fit those skills. In the future there will be special projects with this organizations that provides health care to low-income clients with no medical insurance.
Training: 1 hour orientation and application; volunteers are asked to select a regular time and date to serve.
FRIDAY BLITZ The Friday Blitz is held once a month with a goal of responding to questions posted online by the public. Lsw students will work directly with a lawyer in determining the issues to be addressed, asking what is the possible answer and drafting a response. This is all done in a group setting often with a designated law firm taking the lead. Available to 1L’s in the Spring
Training: On the job, curiosity and problem solving skills recommended.
HARVEST HOPE FOOD BANK Volunteer law students may assist in two manners; one is in a variety of positions with the semi- annual food drives and another can be as a regular volunteer at the Food Bank. Regular volunteers may explore a range of tasks from sorting food or packing bags to assisting with data entry or helping Hispanic clients.
Training: On the job.
HELP-Homeless Legal Clinic Collaboration between a number of community organizations and the Richland County Bar Association has resulted in this effort to assist the homeless population in the Greater Columbia area. Legal clinics will be held twice a month. Law student volunteers may serve in several positions: law clerk for the on-site volunteer attorneys and translators on an as needed basis. An online sign up site allows for flexible connecting to lawyers and for receipt of reminders.
Training: Law clerks will be on-site for two hours and may have follow up work.
LAWYERS 4 VETS Held on the 3rd Thursday of each month this clinic is a collaboration between the SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center and the VA. The Clinic offers services to screened veterans with legal issues such as expungements. wills, child support. NO VA Benefits services provided. Students will assist with intake and processing.
Training: Observation and on the job
LEXINGTON COUNTY JUVENILE ARBITRATION PROGRAM Permits the first time offender to purge their record from the system by completing a set of requirements set forth by a volunteer arbitrator. Law Students will serve as arbitrators conducting hearings for juveniles and will monitor their progress in meeting the requirements set forth in the arbitration. Usually assigned one case at a time requiring approximately a total of 8 hours. Fall Training ONLY- limited space
Training: 18 hours; application; criminal record check
MY WILL PROJECT This collaborative effort of the SC Bar, the Central Midlands Area on Aging and the Pro Bono Program will provide free simple wills to local senior citizens. At once a month clinics law students may serve as witnesses and will assist attorneys with the gathering of information and the actual preparation and execution of wills.
Training: Review of will template and interview forms will be required but otherwise on the job training.
PROJECT AYUDA: Law Students Helping the Hispanic Community Volunteers assist the Hispanic community by providing information about legal and non-legal issues, connecting with attorneys, and locating resources where Spanish is spoken. Volunteers also translate a limited number of documents. Many volunteer students use this opportunity to practice their Spanish; although fluency is not a requirement.
Training: Research skills needed
PUBLIC DEFENDERS’ OFFICES Law students provide research, monitor court proceedings and assist in case preparation with attorneys who represent SC’s indigent population in criminal matters. Volunteering may take place in the Richland or Lexington County offices.
Training: Research skills omust have completed one year of Law School
RICHLAND COUNTY CASA- Court Appointed Special Advocates Volunteers are appointed to appear in Family Court on behalf of children in abuse and neglect cases. Working with the Richland County CASA Project, students act as unbiased representatives for the child; conduct confidential investigations; assist in preparing a plan of action; with the aid of the child’s attorney see that all pertinent information is heard by the court; help coordinate suitable social services and ensure educational continuity.
Training: 15 hours of initial training, ongoing in-service, observation of a Family Court hearing; criminal record check
SC ACCESS TO JUSTICE COMMISSION The mission of the SC Access to Justice Commission is to expand access to civil legal representation for South Carolinians with low or moderate means. Law student volunteers will assist with research, intake and on special projects. The Rural Justice Project is a public education outreach project where law students develop and present legal information to the public.
Training: Research skills; on the job training
SC APPLESEED LEGAL JUSTICE CENTER Assistance in the research and preparation of material for attorney training and case litigation. Issues are those affecting the indigent population and range from bankruptcy, adoption, divorce, Social Security, Medicaid, landlord-tenant, consumer debt, to housing. Research on specific cases may also be available with local Legal Services offices.
Training: Research skills needed.
SC BAR- PRO BONO PROGRAM Students will be involved in research on specific pro bono cases as they are assigned directly to a pro bono attorney. Research requests may also result from questions posed by Committees or Sections. Skilled speakers and readers of a foreign language may also volunteer to be part of a language bank. This bank is available to attorneys working on pro bono cases.
Training: Research skills needed. Foreign language option
SC BAR- PRO BONO PROGRAM- Prisioner Correspondence Team Students will be involved in research and drafting responses to pisoner correspondence received by the SC Bar. Student must have good writing skills and be willing to learn about legal resources.Occassional request will be recieved in Spanish
Training: On the Job. Research and ability skills needed. Foreign language option
SC DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS Volunteers will conduct research and assist the Departments staff attorneys on emerging issues that affect SC’s consumer population. These issues include identity theft, mortgage fraud, debt collection, vehicle sales & service, credit problems. Another service opportunity includes interviewing consumers who have requested assistance from the Department.
Training: On the job
SC OFFICE OF INDIGENT DEFENSE- APPELLATE DIVISION The Appellate Division represents indigent criminal defendants who seek appellate review of their convictions from the Court of General Sessions. Student activities include research, field interviewing and legal drafting. This Office provides a unique opportunity to obtain hands on experience for those students interested in criminal law or post conviction relief.
Training: Individual, supervision by SC attorney
S.C. PROBATE COURT SPECIAL VISITORS Trained volunteers working under the direction of the local Probate Judge will interview and visit with guardians and wards. They will make detailed reports and recommendations so the Court can make more informed decisions. Volunteers work in teams of two on most cases. This is a collaborative project with the Richland County Probate Court.
Training:Application and criminal record check; 10 hours of training and observation of a guardianship hearing
SC VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS Law students will screen online applicants who have arts related issues and refer them to either the Non Profit Law Clinic or the SC Bar Pro Bono Program for further assistance. In addition students will be able to conduct research on a wide variety of arts related legal issues, prepare answers to FAQ and assist with a new online arts and the law listserv
Training: on the job.
SC VULNERABLE ADULT GUARDIAN AD LITEM PROGRAM Volunteers are appointed to appear in Family Court on behalf of adults in abuse and neglect and exploitation cases. Working with the SC Vulnerable Adult GAL Program students act as unbiased advocates. They conduct confidential investigations; interview parties, consider the wishes of the adult, write a report for the court and attend hearings.
Training: 10 hours of initial trainingn(6 in person/4 online), observation of two Family Court hearing
TEAM ADVOCACY Team Advocacy is a project of Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. (P& A) Trained volunteers, working with staff from P & A, conduct unannounced inspections of SC community residential care facilities. During these inspections volunteers will interview residents seeking information about care, possible abuse and neglect or financial exploitation and available services. The Team report is filed with the appropriate authorities for follow up action. Volunteers can assist anywhere in SC.
Training: individual basis; application
VOTO LATINO and U VISA PROJECT The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is for victims of certain violent crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity Under the direction of a local immigration attorney the U Visa Project team members will interview and assist the client in the completion of the U Visa application. Of special focus will be the affidavit of the victim as this is the heart of their application for relief. Each team will need at least one member able to speak Spanish. Attention to detail and comprehensive interviewing is necessary. Volunteers with Voto Latino will start by working on voter registration efforts. Additional services to the Latino community are possible.
Training: 4 hours of classroom instruction; Spanish speaking not required
VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service to help older, disabled, non-English speaking or low income taxpayers who need assistance and for whom professional tax preparation may be out of reach. Volunteers prepare basic tax returns using online software. A tax coordinator is available to handle difficult questions or returns. Law School tax courses are NOT requiredFor those not ready to assist with tax preparation there is a less demanding but equally imporant role with Intake and Interview
Training: Self-study course and online exam
OTHER PROJECTS This list of projects is ever evolving. For up-to-date information contact the Director, any Board member or check on the Pro Bono Program homepage, the TWEN Pro Bono Opportunities and News link or the 386* View blog
R.D. Hurd Volunteer Law School Society - Second- and third-year law students have the opportunity to provide pro bono legal services to low-income persons in collaboration with East River Legal Services and Dakota Plains Legal Services. The students interview selected clients off-campus at Legal Services locations, perform research, prepare documents and, in some instances, make court appearances. Students are assigned an attorney supervisor who offers assistance to the students throughout the cases. All law students have an opportunity to perform client intake at the Law School through the use of telephone and specialized intake software. Students can then conference via polycom units with Legal Services attorneys on the issues presented by the client.
La Raza Teen Court and Teen Mentoring
PILF Pro Bono Clinics
Street Law Program - Utilizes 25-50 law student volunteers who teach about the law and serve as mentors to hundreds of public high school students.
The University of Tennessee has an active and involved student body. By volunteering their time and expertise to student organizations, our students learn as much as they help. The students gain invaluable "hands-on" experience and individuals and groups obtain invaluable legal assistance. There are a variety of opportunities available at the College of Law for students who are interested in volunteering while in law school. Some of the organizations that provide legal service opportunities are listed below. Other groups such as the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and Law Women also regularly work in the local community to provide not only legal assistance, but community service as well. Student organizations and projects are subject to change depending on student interest and initiative.
Homeless Project - The goals of this project are to provide practical experiences for students and to assist the homeless with their administrative or legal problems. A law professor or a local practicing attorney supervises the students on-site. The students are allowed to assist in the legal representation of individuals who are temporarily or permanently displaced and provide education about the law on such topics as minor criminal offenses, food stamps, Social Security benefits, and subsidized housing. Volunteers must attend several training sessions.
Innocence Project - The Tennessee Innocence Project, sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is based at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Students review innocence applications from Tennessee prisoners, investigate cases, and provide research assistance to Tennessee Innocence Project/TACDL volunteer attorneys. An intensive student training program is held each semester.
Saturday Bar - This program provides student volunteer assistance to attorneys working with the various offices of Legal Aid of East Tennessee and Legal Aid of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, including offices in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, and Maryville. Students perform intake and assist with interviewing clients. Students generally may follow through on the cases with the assigned pro bono attorney.
Animal Law Project - The Animal Law Project's current missions are: (1) Compile a complete reference detailing the law relating to all animal laws in Tennessee, outlining some of the pertinent federal laws, and interpreting applicable acts of Congress such as the Animal Welfare Act; (2) Create appendices to increase utility of our reference to people not familiar with or literate in legal terminology including sentencing guidelines and definitions; (3) Discuss with the Tennessee Judiciary their interpretation of animal laws especially the applicable criminal statutes.
Immigrant Assistance Project - This project allows students to participate in the process of completing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and U-Visa applications. The project also helps inform the local Hispanic community about changes in certain aspects of immigration law. Another related project has been to provide income tax assistance to Spanish-speaking taxpayers in Tennessee.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - VITA is a volunteer outreach program funded and managed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The VITA mission is to help disabled, elderly, and low-income taxpayers file their returns electronically. Electronic filing helps the IRS achieve the fastest possible turnaround time to get tax refund checks to those who need them as quickly as possible. The College of Law VITA site is run completely by student volunteers trained in basic tax law and mechanics, and in the use of tax preparation software at the beginning of each tax season.
Street Law - This project, which is sponsored by the Black Law Student Association, allows students the opportunity to prepare lessons to present to high schooled aged youth in urban schools. The focus of these presentations is to introduce students to legal topics of interest and acquaint the students with various aspects of the justice system that they may encounter in their lives.
Debt Clinic - This project is very similar to Saturday Bar in that students work with local Legal Aid organizations to assist with client intake and triage. The setting is General Sessions Court (small claims court) on days when debtor/creditor matters are heard. The students interview clients, direct them to Legal Aid attorneys, and under appropriate supervision provide materials and forms related consumer law and which are intended to assist self-represented litigants in such matters.
CASA's VOLunteers - This project was developed in partnership with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an entity that seeks to provide resources and guardian ad litem services for juveniles. Through this project student volunteers assist CASA in file management and oversight.
VOLS for Vets - This project allows students to participate in projects related to serving military service personnel and their families. Specifically this project sponsors a yearly Alternative Spring Break trip to Fort Campbell, KY to assist the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps with its mission, as well as providing information to veterans and their families about laws of interest to that community (e.g., Veterans' Benefits laws, Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act).
Gay Straight Alliance - This project allows students to participate in making presentations to Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) groups at high schools in the greater Knoxville area where topics related to public access rights, free speech, and bullying are addressed.
Voter Rights Restoration - This project allows students to work with individuals that are seeking to have their voting rights restored. Students work through client intake to identify eligible individuals, and then assist these individuals in completing the necessary paperwork.
Alternative Spring Break – Each Spring the College provides opportunities for students to engage in significant, substantial, and concentrated pro bono service during spring break. Opportunities range from visiting Fort Campbell's JAG Corps, to placements with Legal Aid societies, to Habitat for Humanity service projects, to working on immigration issues such as DACA or U-Visa applications.
Another project under the UT Pro Bono umbrella is the Tennessee Association for Public Interest Law (TAPIL). TAPIL promotes and supports lawyering in the public interest and helps law students find public interest career opportunities. It has presented educational programs about current issues in law and public policy, sponsored delegations to public interest career fairs and conferences, initiated pro bono projects for law students and raises money to fund public interest summer jobs for UT law students.
There are many student run pro bono opportunities at UT Law. Below is just a sampling of some of these:
Street Law Street Law sends law students into local schools to teach practical, participatory lessons about law, democracy, and human rights.
Pro Bono in January (PB in J)-Winter Break Service Trips PB in J works in concert with the Pro Bono program to organize and facilitate a service trip during the winter break to provide legal assistance to underserved communities. PB in J's vision is that through these trips, UT Law students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful pro bono work.
Texas Law Veteran's Association-Helpers for Heroes Law Clinics TLVA strives to be an advocate for veterans, disseminate information on veterans' benefits, and create a networking forum for students who support veterans. As part of its work, TLVA co-sponsors periodic "Helpers for Heroes" veterans law clinics with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. TLVA members assist volunteer attorneys at these clinics by interviewing veterans and helping veterans complete their intake forms.
Law Students for the Arts- "Ask An Attorney Law Clinics" Law Students for the Arts was founded in 2009 with the primary goal of aiding Austin-area artists, arts organizations and pro-bono legal referral service groups. LSftA is currently working on plans to hold an "Ask An Attorney" clinic where local artists can receive free legal advice.
J. Sutton Society – Earned Income Tax Credit Project In past years, students have been trained by the IRS and assisted low income families complete their tax returns.
Students have formed a Chapter of the Innocence Project of the National Capital Region. Its purpose is to seek the exoneration and release from incarceration of persons who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit and who are serving prison terms or awaiting execution of sentences of death in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.
Pacific McGeorge Street Law International Education Project and Course: Under the administration and supervision of professor, Fred Galves, Pacific McGeorge Street Law allow students to enrich the local high school community by allowing Sacramento's youth to gain a deeper understanding of the legal issues and challenges they face. Law students learn various substantive aspects of U.S. and international law at a sufficiently sophisticated level so as to lead classroom discussion, write and grade exams, instruct students, and coach students in their mock trial, negotiations and other lawyer skills simulations, as well as coordinate and manage teaching partnerships with local judges and attorneys and high school personnel. By having the responsibility to teach these legal subjects to non-lawyers, law students come to deeply understand and even begin to master those legal subjects. As a result of substantive law study, repeated preparation, actual teaching, and the handling of their high school students' questions, law students increase their substantive legal knowledge and lawyering skills, strengthen their analytical abilities, develop new intellectual perspectives, serve as important mentors and role models, and enrich the depth of their law school experience.
Street Law International brings global legal issues to Sacramento youth. The curriculum reflects the increasingly internationally integrated nature of the legal practice in the 21st century.
Lambda Law Students Association Referral Clinic: Twice per month, Pacific McGeorge students partner with students from U.C. Davis to run the LGBT Legal Referral Clinic at the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center. Students meet with clients and assist in connecting them with community services and LGBT-friendly practitioners in the greater Sacramento area. This gives students the opportunity to stay at the forefront of legal challenges that face gays and lesbians in Sacramento, develop client interviewing skills, and foster a sense of community through assistance.
Pacific McGeorge Education Pipeline Initiative: The Education Pipeline Initiative at Pacific McGeorge gives law students an opportunity to directly influence the lives of Sacramento area youth through mentoring and experiential learning experiences. Those involved in the Education Pipeline Initiative are paired with K-12 minority and low-income students from participating Sacramento area schools based on the student's interests. Each Wednesday, the mentees arrive by bus at the Pacific McGeorge Campus and meet their respective mentors for tutoring, games, food, and drinks.
Pacific McGeorge also arranges for the mentees to visit top legal practitioners in a variety of settings, including a trip to the California State Capitol. Both mentors and mentees are attend on-campus seminars, and mentors provided experiential learning opportunities in the form of Sacramento Youth Court, Peer Courts, and the Gordon D. Shaber Mock Trial and Moot Court competitions.
Pacific McGeorge Business and Tax Law Society Tax Assistance Clinic: Each spring, the Pacific McGeorge Business and Tax Law Society partners with the IRS VITA program to assist moderate to low-income individuals in the Sacramento community in filing taxes for free. Participants need only make $40,000 per year, or less, and meet a few other requirements. Students provide the community with invaluable assistance with what can often be a stressful and confusing process.
Public Interest Law Association (PILA): The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) was founded by law students interested in public law careers and experiences. Founding members shared a commitment to serve judicial, legal aid, and public service organizations while in law school and beyond. Members believe that an important part of legal training involves practical experience with judges, lawyers, and clients. Through its activities and programs, PILA supports a lifelong dedication to pro bono and community service contributions. PILA has assisted with organizing group pro bono activities and helping students stay up to date on other volunteer opportunities.
PILA aspires to foster a greater understanding of the role of law in society and openness to non-profit, governmental, and community service careers among law students. PILA accordingly advocates for these goals within the College of Law and provides an important bridge to the Toledo public interest law community.
The Christian Legal Society partners with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma on monthly Homeless legal clinics.
The ABA Law Student Group presents the ABA's Separation of Powers program to local elementary schools on an annual basis.
Phi Delta Phi presents Kendall Court, a mock trial based on a fairy tale, to local elementary school children on an annual basis.
Students take part in Constitution Day; they pair up with a local attorney to discuss the Constitution with 6th graders at elementary schools.
Specialized Pro Bono Initiative Law Projects:
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice American Indian Legal Clinic
Area of Law: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Tribal Land, Family Claim issues, etc.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Debtor's Counseling Legal Clinic
Areas of Law: Bankruptcy, collections, credit issues.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Expungement Law Clinic
Area of Law: Impediments to employment, such as expungements and issues related to outstanding warrants only.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Layton Family Law Clinic
Areas of Law: Family Law, child custody, divorce, protective orders.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Family Law Clinic
Areas of Law: Family Law, child custody, divorce, protective orders.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Immigration Clinic
Areas of Law: Immigration, citizenship, documentation status, deportation, visa, etc.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Medical-Legal Clinic
Areas of Law: Landlord-Tenant issues related to healthcare and accommodations, etc.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Rainbow Law Free Clinic
Areas of Law: LGBT legal issues related to employment, estate planning, family law, etc.
Pro Bono Initiative's Free Brief Advice Street Law Legal Clinic
Areas of Law: Consumer, employment, housing, discrimination, etc.
Domestic Violence Project (DVP) - The Domestic Violence Project is a law student pro bono project organized under the Legal Assistance Society. DVP addresses the problem of domestic violence both directly (through pro bono service) and indirectly (through educational efforts to raise awareness and understanding of the issue). DVP educates the Law School community about issues of domestic violence through speakers, discussion panels, films and other events. DVP volunteers also monitor domestic violence-related criminal justice proceedings in Charlottesville, Albemarle and several other surrounding jurisdictions through the Shelter for Help in Emergency's Court Monitoring Program, and assist the Commonwealth's Attorney Offices of Charlottesville and of Albemarle in their prosecution of domestic violence cases by interviewing victims of domestic violence through the Commonwealth's Attorney's Project (CAP). In addition, DVP participants volunteer for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Domestic Violence Project (PDVP), organize police ride-alongs and more.
Migrant Farmworkers Project – Run by the Latin American Law Organization, MFP works with the Virginia Justice Center for Immigrant and Farmworkers (a program of the Legal Aid Justice Center) to assist an isolated population in great need of legal assistance. The Virginia Justice Center represents immigrant workers and farmworkers throughout the state of Virginia. Although the Center handles mostly employment law cases, it also takes housing and discrimination cases. Members of the Migrant Farmworkers Project at U.Va. are trained and supervised by a LAJC attorney and visit migrant farm labor camps to inform workers about their rights. The project also seeks to increase awareness about the substandard treatment and conditions in which immigrant workers live and work in the state of Virginia.
Street Law - Through Street Law, law students write lesson plans and teach substantive legal issues to 12th-grade students at local high schools. The program introduces high school students to the law and legal professions, educates high school students on their rights and responsibilities under the law, provides a connection between law students and the Charlottesville community, and encourages the professional development of law students by emphasizing communication and teaching skills.
Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) - Since 2007, VITA at Virginia Law, in cooperation with CASH at Madison House, has assisted lower-income taxpayers in the greater Charlottesville community with preparing their federal and state income tax returns. Volunteers also ensure that taxpayers receive all tax credits to which they are entitled. Services are provided for free and are provided in conjunction with the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Students receive training on how to provide tax assistance and are encouraged to come as often as their schedules allow.
Center for Labor and Employment Justice – This student group is focused on student involvement with two main projects: 1) the innovative Worker Defense Committee at the day labor worker center, Casa Latina; and 2) the Unemployment Law Project, a member of the Alliance for Equal Justice.
Immigrant Families Advocacy Project – These students work with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and pro bono attorneys to assist immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence to get their permanent residency in the United States. Students gain valuable real-life legal experience working directly with clients and attorneys. All students are encouraged to apply.
Innocence Project Northwest ("IPNW") – The Innocence Project Northwest Clinic represents prisoners convicted in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana who offer credible post-conviction claims of actual innocence. The IPNW-SC supports the IPNW Clinic through fundraising, prisoner support projects, and by promoting discussion of actual innocence and other important topics in criminal law.
Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington – Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington (SYLAW) – Working in conjunction with SYLAW, a non-profit organization started by an alum, volunteer law students participate in training and orientation sessions conducted by local child advocacy attorneys. They then educate street youth about their legal rights and responsibilities through scheduled presentations and at two weekly drop-in clinics in the University District, where they do client intakes and make referrals to SYLAW's staff attorney.. Students also volunteer at a monthly Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic, where they help people of all ages complete the paperwork to seal their juvenile criminal records from public view, under the supervision of pro bono attorneys.
Unemployment Appeals Clinic
The Unemployment Appeals Clinic is a volunteer organization staffed by Law School students and supervising attorneys. The purpose of the clinic is to help provide representation to the unemployed in the local community, most of whom cannot find legal help elsewhere.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
The mission of the VITA program is to provide free tax preparation to low to moderate income individuals and families. Students will completely prepare and file the tax return of each client.
Student Hurricane Network (SHN)
The Student Hurricane Network is a law student organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to low-income and indigent victims of major natural disasters. As least once a year, students travel to a location in the United States that has recently suffered from a major natural disaster. During this trip, students clerk full-time for local non-profits assisting direct and indirect victims of the disaster with legal issues arising out of the disaster, including access to public benefits, employment, housing, patient dumping, and discharge of pre-disaster financial obligations.
National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Detention Facility Trips
Undocumented individuals from around the country are apprehended by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and detained at the Dodge County Detention Facility, where they await a hearing on their deportation. The UW Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) coordinates a group of student volunteers to visit the Dodge County facility to spend four hours conducting intake interviews with detainees. Each student conducts one-on-one interviews with several detainees, gaining exposure to a variety of immigration-related issues and the removal process. Student volunteers provide a valuable service to these detainees and NIJC by screening them for possible relief from deportation, and also contribute to NIJC's program for tracking facility conditions and detainee treatment.
Community Immigration Law Clinic
CILC provides legal information regarding immigration to individuals and groups who might otherwise not have access to the legal system. CILC does this through walk-in legal clinics, know-your-rights presentations, and other community education and outreach activities. The UW Latino Law Students Association coordinates student volunteering at CILC twice per month. At CILC, students conduct intakes on behalf of CILC attorneys with walk-in immigrant clients. Students also have the opportunity to observe attorney-client meetings following the intake.
Amnesty International – AI is an international human rights organization that seeks the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, fair trials for all properly charged with legitimate criminal offenses, and the complete abolition of torture, disappearance, and state-sanctioned killing world wide. The Law School chapter takes up cases of individual prisoners on a regular basis, using letter-writing campaigns and telex-petition drives. The chapter also sponsors educational forums on major international human rights treaties and campaigns for their U.S. ratification.
Animal Law Society – This group of students focus on the nexus between animals and the law. Some of the organization's goals and activities include: conducting a Holiday Pet Food Drive to benefit a local Humane Society; sponsoring an Animal Law Lunchtime Discussion Series; participating in Nashville Cares PAWS, an organization which helps HIV+ individuals care for their pets; assisting a local county in establishing an animal control organization; and building a resource center that students and faculty can use to learn about the current state of animal laws on a local, national, and global level.
Ayuda Legal Independiente A Nashville (ALIANza) – Through this project, students assist public defenders with cases involving Spanish-speaking clients. ALIANza was created to provide Vanderbilt students with the opportunity to help serve the needs of Nashville's quite large Hispanic population.
The Rutherford Institute – The Rutherford Institute at Vanderbilt Law School is a student organization dedicated to the protection of First Amendment rights and the preservation of religious liberty in this country and abroad. In addition to sponsoring educational and social events, the Institute gives student members the opportunity to acquire hands-on legal experience by providing legal research for First Amendment cases tried by the national Rutherford Institute. The group has a faculty sponsor.
Guardians ad Litem – Guardians ad Litem are appointed by the court to protect and promote the interests of children and mentally incompetent adults who find themselves involved in judicial proceedings. Students may join the Vermont Law School chapter, which provides training, informational meetings, referrals, and opportunities to exchange experiences. Student guardians experience the legal process first-hand while providing a valuable service to the community.
Legal Education & Empowerment Program (L.E.E.P.) – Students of the Legal Education & Empowerment Program at Vermont Law School have committed themselves to bringing legal knowledge to secondary level students in local and regional schools in Vermont.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund – Animal Law League supports the passage of current Animal Advocacy Group legislation, drafts new legislation, spreads awareness of the plight of animals and provides information useful in improving their situation. Students have also participated in litigation to save animals.
Volunteer Income Tax Association Program (VITA) – The Vermont Law School VITA program provides federal and state tax assistance to elderly, low-income, and disadvantaged taxpayers living in the communities surrounding the law school. Training is provided by the Internal Revenue Service and the Vermont State Tax Department. Designed to meet a community need, the program also gives second- and third-year students the opportunity to develop their skills in interviewing and counseling clients.
Amnesty International – Amnesty International coordinated several law-related projects, including an advocacy campaign on behalf of Sudanese child soldiers.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association – APALSA developed and implemented a collaborative pro bono project with St. Rita's Clinic in West Philadelphia to provide intake and legal representation to indigent, immigrant clients in a variety of civil matters.
Black Law Students Association – BLSA sponsors several pro bono and law-related projects, including legal workshops at local schools and coordinating advocacy around the No Child Left Behind Act.
Criminal Law Society – The Criminal Law Society coordinated several law education projects, including a project with a local non-profit group "Books through Bars."
Family Law Society– The Family Law Society coordinated a number of law education projects, including a debate on gay marriage.
Gay/Straight Alliance – The Gay/Straight Alliance works with the Center for Lesbian & Gay Civil Rights to train law students and then match them with indigent clients in a variety of civil matters, including protection from abuse, housing discrimination and estate planning. In addition, the Gay/Straight Alliance sponsors a number of public interest community forums throughout the year.
Latin American Law Students Association – LALSA worked in conjunction with clinical faculty member (and LALSA advisor) to bring the Lat/Crit Symposium to Villanova Law School.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund – The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund coordinated an advocacy campaign focused on improving conditions at local and national animal shelters. In addition, they presented a symposium on animal law.
Tax Law Society – Tax Projects: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) assists low-income taxpayers in the Philadelphia area to prepare their returns. In addition, Tax Law Society students also offer "Know Your Rights" presentations to indigent taxpayers. Finally, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP) trains and supervises volunteer lawyers and law students who staff a tax clinic for migrant farm workers. http://www.law.villanova.edu/studentservices/studentlife/studentorganizations.asp#Tax%20Law%20Society
The Pro Bono Society (PBS) – The Pro Bono Society (PBS), email@example.com, sponsors several pro bono and law-related projects, including presenting workshops about tenants' rights at a domestic violence shelter and participating in a program with the Chester City School District, in which law students create and present workshops on various aspects of the law.
United Front – United Front students worked with Philadelphia non-profit organizations to coordinate a voter registration drive and voter education project.
Women's Law Caucus – WLC coordinated several law education events, including a forum on workplace and gender issues.
Affordable Care Act Navigators
Ban the Box
Domestic Violence Advocacy Clinic
Know Your Rights
Lawyer on the Line
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Youth and Government
VALOR Veterans Clinic
Southwest Virginia Innocence Project
Public Interest Law Students Association
National Lawyers Guild
American Constitution Society
Phi Delta Phi
Phi Alpha Delta
Women Law Students Organization
Black Law Students Association
- International Humanitarian Law Teaching Project (IHLTP): In conjunction with the American Red Cross, law students educate high school students about international humanitarian law on topics like the Geneva Conventions and Protocols.
- Criminal Law Society Conflict Resolution Project: Law students use Street Law curriculum to teach conflict resolution skills to area elementary and secondary students.
- Know Your Rights: The student chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) facilitate workshops for high school students to educate them about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement officials.
- Family Court Mentoring Project: Members of the Women's Law Caucus mentor adolescent girls through the St. Louis City Family Court - Juvenile Division. Each session focuses on a different topic (e.g., finding a job, life after high school, studying).
- Law Related Education: Law students teach basic legal concepts to 4th and 5th grade students, and the program ends with a mock trial.
In addition, the Public Service Coordinator and the Public Service Advisory Board provide assistance to students and student organizations interested in implementing public service projects.
At least three student groups (the Student Board of Governors, the St. Thomas More Society, and the Hurricane Relief Network) provide pro bono programs. In addition, Dean of Students Michele Miller runs a program in which law students teach about the law in Detroit high schools (for academic credit).
Student Bar Association – The SBA conducted a race ("The Ambulance Chase") to raise funds for legal services for the elderly.
ACLU Hotline. Student group operates intake hotline for the Western Regional Law Office of the ACLU of Massachusetts.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
Center for Children's Rights – A volunteer effort among CCR fellows to collect books for low income children, prom dresses for girls in shelters, other. Visit and provide entertainment at shelters and children's home.
WPILF – Numerous community involvement opportunities including Wet Weather Shelter, Homeless Shelter Project, Thanksgiving Dinner Project, Halloween for Abused, Neglected and Abandoned children, food bank food drive, other
Chadwick Fellows - Each year, several students are selected to teach principles of constitutional law to area high school students.
Youth Court - Youth courts provide an alternative intervention to the regular school disciplinary system through which respondents be heard and judged by their peers. Working in 4 schools in Chester, PA and in Wilmington, DE, the Delaware Law School students train middle school students to serve as jurors, youth advocates, judge, bailiff, or other officers of the court. After the 7-week training, the Youth Court hears real cases referred by the school’s disciplinary officer.
Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA) – PILA is a student organization dedicated to promoting interest and participation in the field of public interest law. PILA provides summer grants to law students working in public interest positions which offer little or no pay. An auction is held annually to raise funds for the for the summer grants.
Chadwick Fellows - Each year, several students on the Wilmington campus are selected to teach principles of constitutional law to area high school students.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - In the spring semester, large groups of students on both campuses provide income tax assistance to low income individuals.
Street Law provides law student volunteers the chance to increase legal knowledge, as well as develop new perspectives on that knowledge. Student volunteers use a national curriculum to teach practical lessons about law to local high school students. The lessons encourage participation and positive youth development. In preparing and delivering the lessons, student volunteers improve their communication, substantive knowledge, and analytical ability. Street Law fosters community involvement by offering student volunteers opportunities ranging from one afternoon to regular participation throughout the semester.
A list of student run groups, including those focusing on pro bono and specialized law education projects, is at http://law.wm.edu/studentlife/studentorganizations/index.php.
Groups Providing Direct Pro Bono Assistance
- The Lowenstein Human Rights Project enables students to get direct experience in human rights legal work beginning in their first. A student-run organization, the Lowenstein Project matches volunteers with attorneys at non-profit organizations engaged in international human rights. Students are assigned a project from a wide range of opportunities—including assisting with pending litigation, doing policy-related research, and drafting training material—and work in teams under the supervision of the attorney. Students hone their legal skills while making a direct contribution to human rights work internationally. More information can be found here
- The Capital Assistance Project (CAP) matches YLS students with public defenders from around the country to provide research support for capital defense work. CAP also raises public awareness about death penalty and indigent defense related issues. More information can be found here.
- International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes law students and attorneys to provide legal representation to those who have none. They help refugees navigate the rules and processes of resettlement in the US. Their work helps families escape from harm and persecution. IRAP was started by graduate students at Yale Law School in 2008 to provide legal representation and policy advocacy on behalf of refugees seeking resettlement, and to assist those who have resettled. Twenty nine other law schools and over five hundred volunteers including students, lawyers and advocates have joined the effort to deal with this humanitarian crisis. More information can be found here.
- The Temporary Restraining Order Project, in conjunction with the Clerk's Office of the Connecticut Superior Court (New Haven County Family Division) and the Family Division of New Haven Legal Assistance, staffs an office at the courthouse to assist individuals seeking temporary restraining orders (TROs). More information can be found here.
- The Yale Environmental Law Association (YELA) draws attention to all aspects of environmental law and related fields. It hosts YLS community events, speakers and reading groups, and opportunities to connect and collaborate with other campus. It also works to promote sustainability in the use of law school facilities. YELA places special emphasis on the interdisciplinary, multifaceted character of environmental law and its relevance to a wide range of legal and policy issues. Activities include assisting in multi-school research initiatives (such as efforts to investigate the environmental records of judicial nominees); presenting an annual panel on careers in environmental law and policy; raising awareness of, and organizing campaigns to reduce, the Law School's environmental impact; and educating the Law School community about environmental issues. More information can be found here.
- The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project supports women and children who fled persecution in their home countries and are now at risk of deportation. The project uses its remote representation model—originally developed to represent families while detained—to represent families in immigration courts nationwide. It focuses on regions with few or no legal aid lawyers, using innovative methods and harnessing the talent of law student volunteers to scale efforts and expand pro bono capacity. More information can be found here.
Groups Providing Law Related Education Services
- The Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Projectis a national civics education program that sends law students into public high schools to teach courses in constitutional law and oral advocacy. These courses focus primarily on educating high school students about their constitutional rights. In addition, these courses train students in appellate advocacy and prepare them for moot court competitions with other schools. Law students run all aspects of the program, including curriculum design, lesson planning, and classroom teaching. More information can be found here.
Other Law-Related Projects
- The Green Haven Prison Project functions on two basic premises: 1) that those who aspire to work in the field of law, and those whose lives are most intimately impacted by those laws, have much to learn from each other, and 2) that all law students should visit a prison at least once. Yale law students and Green Haven prisoners meet regularly to share their knowledge, thoughts and experiences through discussions on wide-ranging and sometimes controversial subjects. The exchange continues a tradition between the Law School and the prison which is over 40 years long; one of helping break down the barriers of communication between the prisoners and the outside world. There are many participants who attend every session and then there are some who are only able to drop-in on one or two sessions a year. The continuing dialogue is both frank and challenging for everyone involved. More information can be found here.
- OutLaws is an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members of the Law School community. The goal of OutLaws is to educate the Yale Law School community and beyond about legal issues affecting LGBT persons. Outlaws members have also become involved in litigation affecting the rights of LGBT individuals, such as drafting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court for Lawrence v. Texas challenging Texas' sodomy law and bringing suit against the Solomon Amendment. More information can be found here.
Cardozo Advocates for Battered Women
CABW is a student-run club that brings to the Cardozo community a variety of domestic violence advocacy programs. Programs include the Courtroom Advocates Project, the Uncontested Divorce Program, and the CONNECTing Survivors to Citizenship Program. CABW hosts several community events, including a holiday toy drive and the Valentine's Day/National Condom Week Condoms & Candy fundraiser. The group also hosts several panel discussions each year on issues like incorporating domestic violence advocacy into a legal career, the rights of incarcerated women who fought back against their abusers, and other issues that are important to raising awareness.
Courtroom Advocates Project
Students receive training to provide legal assistance to battered women seeking protective orders. Student advocates interview domestic violence victims and then help them draft and file their petitions, advocate for them during court appearances, educate them about their legal rights and remedies, and provide them with safety planning and referrals to community resources such as shelters and counseling.
Uncontested Divorce Program
Students receive training to provide legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence seeking uncontested divorces throughout New York City.
Cardozo F.I.R.E. (For Immigration Rights and Equality)
Students assist immigrants who can apply for the new Deferred Action Childhood Arrival Program (DACA).
Unemployment Action Center
Students receive training to help laid-off workers navigate the regulatory maze of unemployment benefits and to advocate on behalf of their clients before administrative hearing officers.
Cardozo Youth Advocates
Students visit Washington Irving High School, a public school near Cardozo, to teach a weekly class to high school students called Law Talk. The class covers a variety of topics—law students facilitate conversations about such legal issues as the death penalty, same-sex marriage, the First Amendment and children's rights. This program is intended to get young people thinking and talking about the law.
National Lawyers Guild
The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. The organization seeks to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers of America in an organization that functions as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.
Cardozo NLG represents the Cardozo School of Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Prisoner's Rights Projects
Through the Volunteers of Legal Service (VOLS) Incarcerated Mothers Law Project, students are trained to counsel incarcerated mothers on Riker's Island. Students provide one-on-one legal counseling to mothers on child custody and visiting issues and help conduct legal information sessions for groups of mothers on their rights and responsibilities as to their children while incarcerated.
Resolution Assistance Program
Students receive training to assist unrepresented tenants and owners/landlords who are appearing in the Resolution Part of Housing Court as parties to nonpayment proceedings.
Disaster Relief Projects
Students provide legal assistance to residents in areas affected by natural disasters. For example, following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, many students participated in the Student Hurricane Network, traveling over spring break to areas along the Gulf Coast to assist residents with storm-related legal issues. The Cardozo Sandy Relief Network is a current project that trains students to work with clinics and other legal organizations established throughout the metro area to assist those affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Suspension Representation Project
Students advocate for New York City public school students in superintendents' suspension hearings and help safeguard their right to education. Students are trained and supervised by experienced student mentors.
Veteran's Rights League
Students assist military veterans with general legal issues.
See more at: http://www.cardozo.yu.edu/academics/public-service-law/pro-bono-and-volunteer-opportunities#sthash.5UP1GOJQ.dpuf