Directory

Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School

Brigham Young University
J. Reuben Clark Law School
Provo, UT 84602
www.law2.byu.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs 

Contact Information

Ms. MariLee Allred
On Campus Recruiting Manager
P: (801) 422.1857
Email

Professor James Backman
Public Interest/Pro Bono Faculty Advisor
P: (801) 422.2221
Email

Professor Steven E. Averett
Associate Law Librarian and Assistant Director of Externships
P: (801) 422.9023
Email

Professor Susan Griffith
Assistant Director, Externships
P: (801) 422.3947
Email

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Program Characterized by Administrative Support for in-house and Collaborative Student Group Projects.

Description of Programs

Many non-clinical public service opportunities are offered through Law Help seminars on topics including elder law, street/poverty law, mediation, domestic relations, and child advocacy. The seminars have service learning components. Several other courses including community lawyering also have service learning components. The law school also offers opportunities for students to volunteer as community mediators.

 

Staffing/Management/Oversight

Beth Hansen (director) and Mary Hoagland (assistant dean) oversee the public interest and pro bono projects affiliated with the school's Career Services office. There is no paid pro bono coordinator overseeing the several faculty members incorporating service learning in their courses. Students may be involved as research assistants to supervising faculty members within the various programs.

Funding

None listed

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

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.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

None listed

Awards/Recognition

The law school gives Distinguished Service Awards to recognize outstanding public interest, community, and pro bono service by students and faculty.

The Utah Bar Foundation also gives one or more Public Interest Awards on an annual basis to deserving law students.

The law school's student-run Public Interest Law Foundation gives three annual awards (one to a 1L, one to a 2L, one to a 3L) for public interest involvement.

The law school also gives a Public Service Award to each third year student that completes 50 hours of pro bono work during their time in law school.

Community Service

Timpanogos Legal Center: Second and third year law students have the opportunity to be paired with local attorneys to work on pro bono cases.

Document Review Clinic: Students can volunteer to assist Legal Aid attorneys at a monthly document review clinic.

Women's Law Forum: Annual "Stump the Professor" event raises funds to support the Center for Women and Children in Crisis.

Phi Alpha Delta: Read Across America Book Drive collects and/or purchases about 100 books. In addition, members read to students in local classrooms.

Sunset View Elementary School Fifth Grade Mentoring Program: Over 70 law students meet each week at the law school with fifth grade students to mentor them and help them with homework.

Phi Delta Phi: Canned Immunity Project collects food for the Utah Food Bank.

Rex E. Lee Run: Law students participate in this race, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society.

Boy Scout PowWow: Law students serve as merit badge counselors for this annual event, which is held at BYU.

 Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Ms. MariLee Allred
On Campus Recruiting Manager
Public Interest/Pro Bono Advisor
P: (801) 422-1857
Email

Professor James Backman
Public Interest/Pro Bono Faculty Advisor
P: (801) 422-2221
Email

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

Schooley Mediation Program: Funded by a private endowment of $600,000, the mediation program trains students in mediation skills through courses, workshops, externships and simulation laboratories. Students perform mediations in small claims court, with school truancy programs and juvenile court victim-offender mediations, in landlord-tenant disputes, etc.

The BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies: Founded in 2000, the Center promotes freedom of religion by studying and disseminating information on the laws, principles, and institutions affecting the interaction of state and religion throughout the world. Director: Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr P: (801) 422-6842.

Public Interest Clinics

Community-based Legal Research Seminar: Students work with a community service organization in developing a product related to access to legal services such as brochures, program development or grant proposals, presentations, white papers, etc. Professor James Backman, backmanj@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-2221.

LawHelp Child Advocacy Program: Students shadow attorneys from the Guardian ad Litem, Public Defender, and Attorney General offices, sit in court with a Juvenile Court Judge, and tour local service providers. Professor Susan Griffith, griffiths@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-3947.

LawHelp Elder Law Program: Students meet with elderly clients on a weekly basis at local senior citizen centers. Students have the opportunity to draft simple wills, medical directives, and deeds on behalf of elderly clients. Professor Susan Griffith, griffiths@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-3947.

Students have the opportunity to work under the direction of a licensed attorney in order to help pro se clients complete their divorce paperwork and answer questions about the divorce process.

Externships/Internships

BYU offers Public Interest externships with judges, government agencies, public defenders, prosecutors, legal services offices, etc. These programs have included up to 165 students each summer and 40 students each semester. Students can earn up to 6 credits by doing at least 50 hours of unpaid work per credit.

International externships: The past three years, more than 50 students have earned up to 6 externship credits in international positions. They are largely placed with legal counsel offices for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sponsors BYU, or with law offices in the countries involved with the legal counsel offices.

Also, BYU offers externships for students representing juveniles in the Ute Tribal Court.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Community Lawyering course: Students are involved in community projects affecting youth in the juvenile justice system. Students help to advocate for and provide legal due process for youth in the system, and explore how the problem-solving talents of local youth and their parents can be better recognized and utilized for the benefit of other youth and their parents. Professor David Dominguez, dominguezd@law.byu.edu P: (801) 422-3739.

Youth in Mediation course: Students teach concepts of dispute resolution and skills to at-risk youth in the local juvenile detention center and in Provo School District, provide Victim-Offender and Parent-Teen mediation services, and do other related projects. Professor Tamara Fackrell, fackrellt@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-9310.

Computer-Based Practice Systems course: Students learn to design and author practice systems using an extensively used practice system authoring program called HotDocs Pro. Students work on an authoring project that requires a minimum of 50 hours to complete in collaboration with cooperating law firms, legal service offices, government law offices, courts, and corporate legal departments. Professor Larry Farmer, farmerl@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-2423.

Public Interest Journals

Education and Law Journal: The journal focuses on education issues. Student editors have the option of participating in public school mentoring programs. Faculty Advisor: Professor Scott Ferrin, scott_ferrin@byu.edu, P: (801) 422-4804.

Journal of Public Law: This student-edited journal focuses on issues arising in public law. Faculty Advisor: Professor Lynn Wardle, wardlel@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-2617.

Public Interest Career Support Center

Public Interest law counseling: Assistant Dean Mary Hoagland & Director Beth Hansen, career_services@law.byu.edu, P: (801) 422-3685.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

BYU administers an interest forgiveness/deferral program for students who experience financial hardship. This program applies only to loans made from the law school and not to federal loans.

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Yes

Graduate Student Funded:

Yes

Other Funding Sources:

One of the student organizations, the Public Interest Law Forum, holds an auction to raise scholarship funds for summer externship students serving in low-income client placements. Typically, five to eight students receive Public Interest Law Forum stipends ranging from $500 to $3300 per student each summer.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public interest and government attorneys take part in a Professional Development Public Interest/Service Lecture Series which is available to students on a weekly basis.

Student Public Interest Groups

  • Public Interest Law Forum (Equal Justice Works group)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
  • American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
  • Government & Politics Legal Society
  • Natural Resources Law Society

Updated: August 6, 2018