Directory

University of California-Irvine School of Law

University of California-Irvine
School of Law
401 E. Peltason Drive
Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
www.law.uci.edu/

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Anna Strasburg Davis
Director of Public Interest Programs
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
www.law.uci.edu
P: (949) 824-2026
Fax: (949) 824-3175
E-mail

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by referral system with a Pro Bono Coordinator

Description of Programs

The Pro Bono Program at UC Irvine School of Law is a reflection of the school's deep commitment to experiential learning and public service. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the program, providing legal services to underserved communities and causes while supervised by an attorney or member of the law school faculty. Although the program is not mandatory, more than 90% of students participate. All students are encouraged to complete 120 hours of pro bono legal services on behalf of the underserved prior to graduation.

The program provides opportunities for UCI Law students to practice and expand skills learned in the classroom while experiencing the challenges and rewards of practicing law and assisting real clients. Opportunities exist for students to volunteer at many organizations during the academic year and school breaks. Students do not receive academic credit for their pro bono work.

In addition to the tremendous learning experiences offered by the program, students provide much-needed services to underserved communities and causes in Southern California and around the world. UC Irvine School of Law strives to ingrain a commitment to pro bono service in each student. Some students may be inspired to dedicate their careers to public service, while others will understand the importance of making pro bono work a substantial part of their work in private practice or government work.

For more information, please visit the UCI Law Pro Bono website at : http://law.uci.edu/pro_bono/index.html

Location of Programs

Location varies by project. Many projects allow student to volunteer in the community while others allow for work to be completed remotely. Pro bono hour tracking and project assignments are coordinated by the Director of Public Interest Programs, Anna Davis, and the Public Interest Coordinator, Katie Rohner.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Pro Bono Program is run by the Director of Public Interest Programs, Anna Davis, and the Public Interest Programs Coordinator, Katie Rohner. Ms. Davis reports directly to Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Service Learning, Carrie Hempel. Ms. Davis and Ms. Rohner coordinate all aspects of the Pro Bono Program, including the solicitation of pro bono projects, publicizing these opportunities to students and educating students about UCI Law's voluntary pro bono program and the importance of continuing to do pro bono work after graduation. Students are also strongly encouraged to create their own pro bono projects, which are provided with all necessary supports from the Pro Bono Program.

Funding

Funding for the Pro Bono Program is provided by UC Irvine School of Law.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

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
  • Guardianships
  • 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

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

The following policy was adopted by the UCI Law faculty on September 23, 2009:

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is deeply committed to the performance of public service work. We expect that our students and faculty will be regularly engaged in public service work throughout their careers.

Public service work, of course, can take many forms and reflect many values, including activities such as helping those who cannot afford legal services and working for public interest and government organizations. We encourage our students and faculty to set yearly public service goals similar to those expected of practicing attorneys.

Awards/Recognition

The UCI Law Awards Celebration honors students, faculty, and private attorneys that have participated in the Pro Bono Program and have demonstrated leadership skills. This event is held annually in the Spring and recognizes students for their pro bono achievements, especially those students who go above and beyond the recommended number of hours to be completed each year.

Awards given out at this event include: Pro Bono Independent Spirit Award, Most Pro Bono Hours, Pro Bono 50 & 100 (Hour) Clubs, Most Pro Bono Projects, Pro Bono Leadership Award and Pro Bono Achievement Awards (recognizing all students who met the recommended number of pro bono hours).

UCI Law graduates who complete more than 120 hours of pro bono service during their law school careers graduate with "Pro Bono Honors" and wear a cord over their graduation regalia. Those completing more than 200 hours of pro bono service graduate with "Pro Bono High Honors" and wear a gold stole over their graduation robes.

Community Service

Pre-Law Outreach Program (POP): POP is a "pipeline" program to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the practice of law, and give them the tools to be successful in their pursuit. The Program has three goals: 1) inspire students to enter the practice of law; 2) provide the tools necessary to be admitted into and flourish in law school; and 3) give them practical experiences in legal advocacy. In order to meet these goals, students attend six (6) Saturday classes during June and July, which includes a mentorship component. At the end of the Program, all of the students receive a free LSAT review course, donated by Kaplan Test Prep, Inc. UCI Law students are heavily involved with POP, serving as mentors, speakers, oral argument judges, negotiation supervisors, and much more.

Tutoring for Disadvantaged Children: Students provide tutoring to students living at a local motor inn.

Canned Food and Clothing Drive: Students, staff, and faculty collected canned goods prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, and all goods were donated to two local food banks. A clothing drive was also held, with donated items delivered to Isaiah House, a homeless shelter in Santa Ana.

Toiletries Drive: Students, staff, and faculty collected toiletries to be packaged and delivered to female inmates in a local prison.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Erin Han
Assistant Director of Career Development for Public Interest and Fellowships
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
P: (949) 824-3626
E-mail

Anna Davis
Director of Public Interest Programs
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
P: (949) 824-2026
E-mail

Katie Rohner
Public Interest Programs Coordinator
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
P: (949) 824-9312
E-mail

Nasreen Zia
Director of Financial Aid
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
P: (949) 824-0516
E-mail

Laura Fry
Director of Externships
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
P: (949) 824-4939
E-mail

Jennah Jones
Director of Student Life
University of California, Irvine School of Law
401 East Peltason Drive, Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-8000
P: (949) 824-1304
E-mail

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Instilling public service values is at the core of the UC Irvine School of Law's mission. All students will be taught about and have direct exposure to the gaps in our justice system. In the first year legal writing program, every student is required to conduct an intake with a real client at a public interest or government organization. Additionally, all UCI Law students are required to participate in a core legal clinic. Additional elective clinics are also offered. Experiential learning opportunities are also provided through pro bono projects and externships.

The offerings and required courses at UCI Law allow students to address gaps in our justice system and assist those with the greatest need in our community. All experiential opportunities are under the close supervision of faculty or practicing attorneys.

Public Interest Centers

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is devoted to the performance of public service work by faculty, students, and graduates. We expect that our students and faculty will be regularly engaged in public service work throughout their careers. One Center that fosters public service work is the Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources (CLEANR).

Public Interest Clinics

Students enjoy a variety of clinical experiences in which they have the opportunity to work with real clients in real-life settings. Clinical education is a cornerstone of the curriculum at UC Irvine School of Law. Prior to graduation, each student will complete at least one semester of clinical education, either in one of the Law School's core clinics or at a clinical field placement. Each student will work with an actual client or clients, under close supervision, in an environment designed to encourage reflection by students on their experiences and on the values and responsibilities of the legal profession, and the development of one's ability to assess his or her performance and level of competence. UCI Law students also have the opportunity to engage in additional clinical coursework through enrollment in one of the school's elective clinics.

Public Interest Clinics:

Core Clinics include the Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Environmental Law Clinic, Community and Economic Development (CED) Clinic, Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC), International Justice Clinic, Consumer Protection Clinic, and Family Violence Clinic.

Elective Clinics include the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Civil Rights Clinic (DFEH) and the International Human Rights Clinic. Additional elective clinics will likely be added.

For more information, please visit the UCI Law Clinics website at: http://law.uci.edu/clinics/index.html

Externships/Internships

UC Irvine School of Law also encourages students to provide legal services to the underserved through our Externship Program, which gives academic credit for hands-on legal experience. Among the externship opportunities offered is a full-semester program called UCDC, a collaboration among the UC law schools that helps place second- and third-year students in Washington D.C. for semester-long externships, including on Capitol Hill, in the Department of Justice and the White House, and with many other agencies and non-profit organizations.

For more information, please visit the UCI Law Externship website at: http://law.uci.edu/current/externships.html

Classes with a Public Service Component

Required Public Interest Classes:

Clinics: As described, each student will complete at least one semester of clinical education

Lawyering Skills: This course, which will be part of both semesters, will focus on teaching skills that all lawyers use, such as fact investigation, interviewing, legal writing and analysis, extensive legal research, negotiation and oral advocacy. Students are required to do an intake with a real client at a local public service or government organization.

Legal Profession: Required for all first-year students, and includes numerous attorney speakers, including many from the public interest and government fields.

Additional Public Interest Courses:
Access to Justice in China
Advanced Criminal Procedure
Advanced Criminal Law, Practice & Procedure
Administrative Law
Appellate Litigation
Cause Lawyers
Constitutional Law: First Amendment
Criminal Procedure
Critical Identity Theory
Economics and Management of Pro Bono Practice
Education Law & Policy
Election Law
Employment Discrimination
Environmental Law
Evidence
Family Law
Federal Courts
Federal Public Land and Natural Resources Law
Immigration Law & Policy
International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Labor Law
Land Use and Development Control Law
Law and Sexuality
Law and Social Movements
Organizations, Operations & Tax Aspects of Public Charities and Private Foundations
Regulatory Design & Innovation
Remedies
Sexual Orientation and the Law

Public Interest Journals

UCI Law Review: The UC Irvine Law Review was founded in the spring of 2010, during the inaugural year of the UC Irvine School of Law. The Law Review aims to promote exceptional legal scholarship by featuring contributions from a spectrum of academic, practical, and student perspectives. The Review launched its inaugural volume during the 2010-2011 academic year, and often includes public interest focused articles and notes.

PI Career Support Center

The Career Development Office (CDO) promotes and coordinates employment opportunities in public service, the private sector and alternative careers. The CDO provides workshops, handbooks and extensive information and counseling on public interest careers, including summer jobs, fellowships, government jobs, career paths and financing of public interest careers. An Assistant Director of Career Development is dedicated to assisting students focused on a career in public interest, including Fellowship opportunities.

For more information, please visit the UCI Law Career Development Office website at: http://law.uci.edu/career_dev/index.html

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

A primary mission of UC Irvine School of Law is to inspire and support students and graduates who are dedicated to a career in public service law. To help achieve this goal, the Law School has created a Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) intended to expand the career options of UCI Law graduates by removing the financial burden created by federal education loans, including undergraduate and law school loans. Qualified students who are employed and paid for full-time law-related work at a nonprofit organization or government agency may participate in LRAP for up to 10 years.

For more information, please visit the LRAP webpage at: http://www.law.uci.edu/financial_aid/lrap.html

Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

UCI Law is deeply committed to helping interested graduates secure public interest and government employment. In 2012, the inaugural class was offered Bridge Fellowships for those volunteering in public interest and government organizations while searching for work in those fields. Continuing to provide Bridge Fellowships is a priority for the Law School.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

The Inaugural Class Fellowship is a gift from the Class of 2012 to sponsor a one-year public interest fellowship of at least $30,000 for a new graduate of UC Irvine School of Law. The mission of the fellowship is to establish a tradition of public service at UCI Law by assisting one graduate in developing a strong foundation for a career in public interest law. The first fellowship was awarded to a graduating student of the Class of 2013.

The Class of 2013 has committed to funding a public interest fellowship to a member of the Class of 2014, who will work in the School of Law clinics, providing access to justice for the underserved.

Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

None listed

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

None listed

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

The UC Irvine School of Law provides significant financial support to insure that each first and second year student doing public interest legal work for the summer receives a stipend. The School of Law provides these funds in addition to the student funded PILF Fellowships and the community supported Meyerhoff Fellowships.

Graduate Student Funded:

The UCI Public Interest Law Fund (PILF) is a non-profit student organization that provides financial support to UCI Law students working to address gaps in our justice system and to assist those with the greatest need in our community. PILF seeks to enable all interested UCI Law students to serve the public interest – a core mission of UC Irvine School of Law – by providing work stipends, networking opportunities and informational resources so that students gain hands-on experience and an understanding of how the law works, with real clients and real problems. PILF does extensive fundraising to provide summer fellowships for students doing public interest work.

Other Funding Sources:

The Al Meyerhoff Fellowships are financially supported by donations from the community. In conjunction with PILF, the Meyerhoff funds provide financial support for every student doing public interest legal work for the summer.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public Interest Law Fund Event: The PILF event is an annual fundraiser, which includes an evening event and auction. All proceeds from the event, which includes the local legal community, provide funding for summer stipends for students doing public interest legal work during the summer.

Al Meyerhoff Public Interest Lecture: Al Meyerhoff was a noted environmental and civil rights lawyer, in whose memory the lecture series was endowed. The first lecture was held on October 14, 2010 with a talk from civil right attorney Connie Rice. Each year a different renowned public interest speaker provides an inspirational talk to the students, faculty, staff, and community.

Lunchtime Speaker Series: Professor Henry Weinstein organizes weekly speakers, many of whom are significant public interest attorneys, to discuss the practice of law. Some lunchtime events include a mooting of attorneys prior to an appellate argument, while others focus on clients that have been victimized by the system. Each week UCI Law students have the opportunity to hear from leaders in the legal field, and be inspired by those that fight on behalf of the underserved.

Student Public Interest Groups

American Constitution Society (ACS)
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
Black Law Students Alliance (BLS Alliance)
Children's Advocacy Group
Criminal Law Society
Environmental law Society
Immigration and International Migration Law Society
Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project
Jewish Law Association
J. Reuben Clark Law Society
Latina/o Law Students Association (LLSA)
National Lawyers Guild
Orange County Human Rights Association (OCHRA)
OutLaw
Public Interest Law Fund (PILF)
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
Student Bar Association (SBA)
underrepresented Student Alliance (uRSA)
Women's Law Society (WLS)

August 7, 2018