Directory

University of Kansas School of Law

University of Kansas
School of Law
1535 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045
www.law.ku.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Todd Rogers
Assistant Dean, Career Services
E-mail
P: (785) 864-9257

Category Type

Independent Student Pro Bono Group Projects with no school-wide program

Description of Programs

These opportunities are promoted through announcements, newsletter and the website.

Placements are evaluated by student and employer input.

These opportunities are encouraged through the award of scholarships.

Location of Programs

The pro bono program is within the office of career services.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

Todd Rogers, Assistant Dean for Career Services provides oversight to the program with assistance from other staff members in Career Services and Student Affairs.

Funding

This program is included in the budget of the Office of Career Services, and goes back at least as far as 1996.

VITA is given office space, administrative and secretarial support, computers, telephones, and supplies

.

Each faculty member receives an annual Professional Development Account, which may be used to help fund pro bono activities related to the faculty member's professional research and interests. Administrative assistance is provided as needed.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

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.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

Faculty members are active and enthusiastic participants in every student group pro bono project, from providing items to be auctioned at Pub Night (including gourmet meals and windsurfing lessons) and participating in the SBA Fun Run to serving as celebrity dealers at Casino Night and making monetary donations.

The Law School Mission Statement provides: "A final major component of the School of Law's mission is to provide valuable service to the legal profession, the university, the city and state, the nation, and the international community. The School of Law supports the public service activities of its faculty, staff, and students and encourages them to explore the opportunities that are available for them to contribute to their profession and society."

Faculty members serve as advisors to all student groups. Faculty members serve as advisors and participants in each of the activities.

Awards/Recognition

The following awards are presented to graduates at the Hooding Ceremony. The Walter Hiersteiner Outstanding Service Award is given to the 3L student whose service to his or her fellow students in the school of law or the university community demonstrates the greatest promise for contribution to the legal profession and to society. The Justice Lloyd Kagey Leadership Award is also awarded to a 3L student who has most distinguished himself or herself through leadership in the School of Law. The Samuel Mellinger Scholarship, Leadership, and Service Award is given to the 3L student who has most distinguished himself or herself in the combined areas of scholarship, leadership and service. The Robert F. Bennett Award is given to the 3L whose undergraduate degree is from a Kansas University or college, and who has demonstrated leadership qualities through public service. The Janean Meigs Memorial Award is given to the graduate who has demonstrated a caring spirit in service to the students of the university and/or the community at large.

Community Service

Many of our student organizations are involved in community service projects. BLSA (Black Law Students Association) annually sponsors a Thanksgiving food drive. The Non-Traditional Students in Law sponsor an annual clothing drive to collect business attire clothing for low-income persons wanting to get back into the workforce. The International Law Society hosts an annual wine tasting to raise funds for various worthy causes, including (more recently) Haiti earthquake relief and refugee relief in the Darfur Region of Sudan and for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Women in Law sponsor an annual Pub Night event to raise money for local women's charities. NALSA holds an annual toy drive for children from the Haskell Indian Nations University. Other student organizations conduct various fundraising activities that provide support to worthy causes as well as to the Public Interest Stipend Program.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Todd Rogers
Assistant Dean, Career Services
E-mail
P: (785) 864-9257

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Elder Law Certificate Program - This Certificate Program includes courses in Poverty Law, Administrative Law, and Elder Law, including a live client clinic requirement. The Tribal Law Certificate Program includes courses in tribal law and process and an internship with a tribal legal department or a private or public interest law firm specializing in Indian Law.

Media, Law and Policy Certificate Program - This Certificate Program includes courses in First Amendment Freedoms, Administrative Law and Public Policy Clinics (Media, Public Policy, Legislative).

JD/MSW Joint Degree Program - This Program allows students with an undergraduate degree in social work to earn a law degree and an MSW in a combined program. Similar joint degree programs are available in the areas of Philosophy, Urban Planning, Health Policy and Management, and Public Administration.

Public Interest Centers

Elder Law Certificate Program - This Certificate Program includes courses in Poverty Law, Administrative Law, and Elder Law, including a live client clinic requirement.

The Tribal Law Certificate Program includes courses in tribal law and process and an internship with a tribal legal department or a private or public interest law firm specializing in Indian Law.

Media, Law and Policy Certificate Program - This Certificate Program includes courses in First Amendment Freedoms, Administrative Law and Public Policy Clinics (Media, Public Policy, Legislative).

JD/MSW Joint Degree Program - This Program allows students with an undergraduate degree in social work to earn a law degree and an MSW in a combined program. Similar joint degree programs are available in the areas of Philosophy, Urban Planning, Health Policy and Management, and Public Administration.

Public Interest Clinics

Criminal Prosecution Clinic - The program assigns students to work at various local prosecutors' offices, the state attorney general's office and offices of the United States Attorney. Student interns assist prosecutors in virtually all phases of the criminal process, including criminal trials and appeals.

Elder Law Externship - Students work under the supervision of experienced attorneys representing clients in matters such as income maintenance, social security, Medicare/Medicaid, and consumer protection.

Externship Clinic - This clinic provides students an opportunity to perform legal work under the supervision of a practicing attorney at pre-approved governmental agencies and public international organizations.

Family Health Care Legal Services Clinic - Students provide legal assistance to clients referred from the Southwest Boulevard Family Health Care Clinic in Kansas City, Kan. Cases may include health law, family law and immigration.

Immigration/Asylum Law Clinic - Students collaborate with the instructor on appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The clinic is designed to acquaint students with issues and procedures in immigration cases and to provide instruction in legal writing, research and analysis.

Judicial Clerkship Clinic - Students serve as law clerks for state and federal trial judges in the area. The clinic introduces students to the practice of law from a judge's perspective and gives students a practical understanding of the operation of the courts in which they serve.

Legal Aid Clinic - Students represent indigent citizens of Douglas County in settings including domestic relations, landlord-tenant disputes, and other civil actions. They also serve as public defenders in municipal court and juvenile court.

Legislative Clinic - Students are assigned as interns to state legislators during the spring legislative session.

Media Law Clinic - Students, under the supervision of the clinic director, respond to questions presented by lawyers, policy-makers, publishers, and others concerned with media law issues.

Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence and Post-Conviction Remedies - Students counsel and represent state and federal prisoners in appellate and post-conviction litigation in state and federal prisons.

Public Policy Clinic - Students in this clinic undertake policy studies in response to requests from public officials.

Tribal Judicial Support Clinic - Students provide research assistance in an array of projects ranging from tribal code development to drafting memoranda and orders.

Externships/Internships

Field placements are offered through five of our clinics. In the Criminal Prosecution Clinic students are assigned to work in various local prosecutors' offices, the state attorney general's office and offices of the United States Attorney. In addition to Lawrence, placements are available in Kansas City, Olathe, Topeka, Ottawa, and Lenexa. Field placements with the Externship clinic must be approved, but may vary from year to year. The Elder Law Externship places students in Kansas Legal Services field offices in Olathe, Topeka or Kansas City. Students in the Legislative clinic are placed with individual legislators in Topeka. Students in the Judicial Clerkship clinic are placed with trial judges in state and federal district courts, including bankruptcy courts and federal magistrate courts. Locations include Lawrence, Kansas City, Topeka, and Olathe.

Classes with a Public Service Component

The Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program is staffed on a volunteer, pro bono basis by students enrolled in the tax classes and supervised and guided by a faculty member, also a volunteer, who teaches the various tax classes offered.

Public Interest Journals

The Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy www.law.ku.edu/publications/journal/issues/.

PI Career Support Center

  1. 1L Mentor Program includes attorneys practicing public interest law;
  2. Annual Legal Career Options Day includes attorneys practicing public interest law, such as attorneys with local, state and federal government agencies, prosecutors and public defenders, and several members of the judiciary;
  3. "Meet the Attorneys" Speaker Series sponsors at least five public interest-related panel discussions each year;
  4. Mock Interview program includes representatives of public interest law;
  5. Office of Career Services authored a Public Interest Directory that focuses on local and regional opportunities, and;
  6. Government Agencies Career Fair held every March.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

This type of program is under consideration.

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

The grant funded Medical-Legal Partnership Post-Graduate Fellowship allows a recent law graduate to further his/her career in health law and public service. The Fellow works with the Law School's Family Health Care Legal Services Clinic and other Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) sites in Kansas and Missouri representing clients and supervising students.

Other Funding Sources:

The Office of Career Services assists students in identifying and applying for various post-graduate fellowships and awards, including the Equal Justice Works fellowships, Public Citizen and others.

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Two endowed, named law school scholarships, the Karen Nordheden and Michael J. Hoeflich Scholarship Fund and Hon. Kay Royce Scholarship Fund are examples of scholarship support provided to students with proven interest in public interest careers. The expendable Suzanne Valdez and Stephen McAllister Scholarshipalso has a service component.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

The Kansas Bar Association awards an annual scholarship to students of promise in this area, as does the Rice Foundation, which provides significant scholarships funds for law students. Careers for the Common Good provides awards to participating students who complete 300 service hours. The Wal-Mart Diversity Scholarships also provide support to students with a strong service record

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Generous alumni, faculty and student organization support allows the law school to award a record number of stipends. More than $26,000 was awarded to 21 students serving underrepresented populations during the summer of 2010. These fellowships include Board of Governors Public Interest Fellowships, Davenport Public Interest Fellowships, Jana Mackey Public Interest Fellowships, Lyons Public Interest Fellowships, Public Interest Law Society (PILS) Public Interest Fellowships, Women in Law (WIL) Public Interest Fellowship, Brown/Giffin Public Interest Fellowship and the ILS Public Interest Fellowship.

Graduate Student Funded:

Educational Opportunity Fund scholarships are awarded to 2-3 students who volunteer their entire summer to work in public interest law or pro bono work. Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) monies are distributed by the University of Kansas Student Senate. To be considered, requests for EOF funding must meet at least one of several criteria, including that the monies be awarded to students participating in public and community service programs.

Other Funding Sources:

The KU Law Public Interest Law Society (PILS) sponsors an annual Casino Night to raise money to fund summer stipends for students working for public interest organizations. In both 2004 and 2005, PILS raised over $2000 at the Casino Night.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public Interest Law Casino Night - The KU Law Public Interest Law Society (PILS) sponsors an annual Casino Night to raise money to fund summer stipends for students working for public interest organizations.

Women in Law Pub Night – This auction/variety show fundraiser sponsored by Women in Law helps raise money for summer stipends and organizations to assist women.

PILS also sponsors a "Pledge a Day's Wage" campaign, an annual fundraiser to support public interest summer stipends.

Student Public Interest Groups

Advocates for Life

American Constitution Society

Animal Legal Defense Fund Chapter

Asian Law Students Association (ALSA)

Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

Christian Legal Society

Federalist Society

Global Lawyers Society

Green Law Society

Health Law Society

Hispanic American Law Students Association (HALSA)

International Law Society

Islamic Law Students Association

J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Jewish Law Students Association

Law Students for Reproductive Justice

Native American Law Students Association

Non-Traditionals in Law Association

OUTLaws & Allies

Public Interest Law Society (PILS)

St. Thomas More Society

Traffic Court

VITA

August 7, 2018