Directory

University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law

University of Florida
Fredric G. Levin College of Law
P.O. Box 117635
Gainesville, FL 32611
www.law.ufl.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Christie E. Kelley, J.D.
Assistant Director – Center for Career Development
E-mail
P: (352) 273-0860

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

The mission of the Pro Bono Project is "to help students develop an awareness of their future ethical and professional responsibilities to provide service to their community. Participation in the program gives students the opportunity to perform valuable community service while learning about the legal needs of the underserved and developing the legal skills necessary to help meet those needs." The College recommends that students aspire to perform 35 hours of pro bono legal work during law school. See www.law.ufl.edu/career/probono.

In order to participate in the Pro Bono Project, students are required to complete a Commitment Form which is returned to the Center for Career Services. The Public Interest Coordinator provides a list of approved organizations and also encourages students to find placements that cater to their specific interests either through PSLawNet or in their hometowns. The work must benefit an underserved population in the community and be performed without either compensation or academic credit. Students agree to perform all assignments in a professionally responsible manner which includes maintaining client confidentiality and refraining from giving legal advice to clients.

The Public Interest Coordinator makes site visits to each of the Pro Bono placements every summer to check on the placements as well as the students. The Pro Bono Liaison Committee is responsible for keeping up with the assigned placements and notifying the Public Interest Coordinator of the activities on a regular basis.

Pro Bono Opportunities are posted on the Career Services Board and the Project holds Pro Bono small groups each semester to introduce incoming students to the Pro Bono Project. In addition, to promote the Pro Bono Project, the Project holds an annual Pro Bono Symposium attended by representatives from approved pro bono placements. After a panel discussion, there is a networking luncheon for students to meet the employers and discuss their interests further.

Students are encouraged to participate in the Pro Bono Project during the Winter, Spring, and Summer breaks. In particular, the College's Spring entering class has a four-week break between the Summer and Fall semesters during which finding employment is difficult. It is the Project's policy to encourage students to perform pro bono work during that period.

Location of Programs

Office of Career Services. See www.law.ufl.edu/career/probono.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The Public Interest Coordinator position is currently a full-time position in the Center for Career Services and one of the responsibilities of this position is running the Pro Bono Project.

There are two Pro Bono Committees (Liaison and Development) which are involved in creating new projects as well as keeping up with our current placements and student population. To become a member of one of the committees, students submit resumes and, upon recommendations from the Director, are selected by the Dean.

Funding

The Center for Career Services supports the Pro Bono Project through its annual budget.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

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.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

Professor Joseph Little is the faculty advisor for the Pro Bono Project.

Awards/Recognition

We have an Annual Recognition event where students receive certificates for their service, student groups are recognized for their contributions and the the pro bono student of the year is named.

Pro bono students are listed in the Commencement Program

Community Service

Community service is primarily encouraged and promoted through student groups, although faculty members have organized projects in the past. Examples include the collection of toiletries for the local homeless shelter or abused women's shelter; volunteering to serve meals at the homeless shelter, volunteering with the homeless van that provides outreach services to homeless individuals in the woods, parks and alleys; and serving breakfast to the homeless on the downtown plaza.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Christie E. Kelley, J.D.
Assistant Director – Center for Career Development
E-mail
P: (352) 273-0860

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

Center for Governmental Responsibilityhttp://www.law.ufl.edu/cgr/

Center for the Study of Race and Race Relationshttp://www.law.ufl.edu/centers/csrrr/

Center for Children and the Familyhttp://www.law.ufl.edu/centers/childlaw/

Institute for Human Rights, Peace and Development – The Institute of Human Rights, Peace and Development is under the direction of Winston P. Nagan, Sam T. Dell Research Scholar and Professor of Law. The Institute works to develop and deepen the interdisciplinary understanding and policy foundations of human rights, peace and development. The Institute facilitates a curriculum on human rights and peace related courses. The Institute has been involved in various activities including the creation of a human rights and peace center in Makerere University, Uganda, organizing the 50th Anniversary seminar of the International Court of Justice in Cape Town, South Africa, and co-founding the East African Journal of Human Rights. The Institute also has developmental ties with the Shuar Indigenous Nation of the Republic of Ecuador. The Institute has fraternal ties with important human rights non-governmental actors including the Policy Sciences Center in New Haven, and the Weeramantry Foundation in Sri Lanka.

Public Interest Clinics

Child Welfare Legal Clinichttp://www.law.ufl.edu/centers/welfare/

Conservationhttp://www.law.ufl.edu/conservation/

Criminal Clinics – State Attorney and Public Defender

Virgil Hawkins Civil Clinics

  • Full Representation Clinic
  • Family Law Pro Se Clinic
  • Gator TeamChild Juvenile Advocacy Clinic
  • County Court Mediation Clinic

http://www.law.ufl.edu/centers/

Externships/Internships

Every year the Center for Career Services offers for-credit externships in areas such as: family law, domestic violence, civil rights law, consumer protection, human rights, prisoner rights, state and local government law with all levels of the judiciary and various agencies.

Classes with a Public Service Component

Poverty Law– Students enrolled in the Poverty Law course are strongly encouraged to become involved in pro bono work.

Public Interest Journals

The Journal of Law and Public Policy - http://www.law.ufl.edu/news/publications.shtml

PI Career Support Center

The Center for Career Services provides counseling and resources to students exploring and/or committed to public interest careers. We manage the Pro Bono Project, the Community Service Project, the Externship Program, and fellowships.

Our students can attend the Equal Justice Works Conference & Career Fair, www.equaljusticeworks.org.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

None listed

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:

The Florida Bar Foundation funds fellowships.

The Center for Governmental Responsibility awards approximately five to ten Public Service Law Fellowship (depending on funding).

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

The College of Law matches funds to support summer fellowships for students working in public interest positions.

Graduate Student Funded:

None listed

Other Funding Sources:

Students, through the Association for Public Interest Summer Fellowship Program, provide funding to support summer fellowships for students working in public interest positions (number and amount of each fellowship is determined by the amount of money raised by the students through fundraising activities). The College of Law matches these funds.

Public Service Partners (a program for law firms who volunteer donations to the support the Association for Public Interest Summer Fellowship Program). The number and amount of each fellowship is determined by the amount of money raised by the students through fundraising activities.

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

The Center for Career Services holds several Public Interest Information sessions that all students are welcome to attend.

Both the Association for Public Interest student group and the Center for Governmental Responsibility Public Service Law Fellows hold Public Interest Programs open to all students. Also, our Environmental and Land Use Planning Law Society holds a yearly Public Interest Environmental Law Conference which is open to all students.

Student Public Interest Groups

ABA-Law Student Division

Amilie Poulion

Association for Public Interest Law

Caribbean Law Student Association

Christian Legal Society

Environmental and Land Use Society

Family Law Society

John Marshall Bar Association

Law Association for Women

Military Law Students Association

National Lawyers Guild

Phi Alpha Delta

August 6, 2018