Directory

George Washington University Law School

George Washington University Law School
2000 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
www.law.gwu.edu

Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Tamara Devieux-Adams, Esq.
Public Interest Counselor and Pro Bono Liaison
The George Washington University Law School
716 20th Street, NW, Suite 310
Washington, DC 20052
P: (202) 994-7340
Fax: (202)994-7352
E-mail

Alan Morrison
Assoc. Dean for Public Service & Public Interest
P: 202 274 4236
E-mail

Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by a Referral System with Coordinator

Description of Programs

The Pro Bono Program, formally initiated in Fall 2001, is organized through a faculty-student Pro Bono Subcommittee of the Law School's Public Interest Committee. The Committee acts as a clearinghouse for active pro bono projects. The Committee also works with the Student Bar Association, which sponsors a program that recognizes students who perform a certain amount of pro bono work by graduation.

The subcommittee members contact organizations that are most likely to have "quality" volunteer projects for law students. Approved placements are listed on the Law School's "Public Interest & Pro Bono" webpage. See http://www.law.gwu.edu/pubint. Hard copies of hours sheets and the pro bono program's description are provided in the Law School's Records Office, as well as on the webpage.

Students are asked to complete hours sheets and describe the nature of their work. One of the Pro Bono subcommittee members reviews these hours and work descriptions before they are credited to the student.

The Program sponsors an annual Pro Bono Fair, where local organizations come to the law school and meet interested students.

Location of Programs

With Faculty – The Pro Bono Program is organized through the Pro Bono Subcommittee of the Law School's faculty-student Public Interest Committee.

Staffing/Management/Oversight

The program is run by the student-faculty Pro Bono Subcommittee of the Law School's Public Interest Committee. There is no paid staff.

'The Career Development Office's Pro Bono Liaison assists the Public Interest Committee in the administration of the Pro Bono Program. In part, the Pro Bono Liaison maintains a database of participating students, the number of hours volunteered, and the organizations at which students donate legal services.

Funding

The program does not have a budget. The Law School provides the administrative support necessary for pro bono-related activities such as 1) creating and maintaining the "Public Interest and Pro Bono" webpage on the law school's website, 2) maintaining the records for students who participate in the pro bono program, and 3) assisting with the Pro Bono Fairs. There are no computers or office space "devoted" to the pro bono program.

Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Organizations devoted to performing pro bono services in the community include:

  • Amnesty International Legal Support Group - The Legal Support Group sponsors activities that include working for the release of imprisoned lawyers and other prisoners of conscience with legal concerns. This involves distributing human rights information at the law school and coordinating student letter-writing to government officials for the release of prisoners of conscience and to members of Congress for passage of laws supporting human rights.
  • The National Lawyers Guild Chapter - Among other activities, students act as legal observers at demonstrations held in the Washington, DC area.
  • Street Law - Law students teach classes about legal topics at a local high school or middle school during the academic year. The group may engage in other activities, such as organizing an after school program or an end-of-semester mock trial in which local students will take an active part.
  • Project for Older Prisoners -- Students assist low-risk prisoners over the age of 55 to help them obtain paroles, pardons, or alternative forms of incarceration. Students can also volunteer to work on a project to introduce recycling and environmental industries in prisons.

Other student organizations have worked with various organizations in town. As examples,

  • Members of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and the South Asian Law Student Association have performed "hotline" phone intake and other tasks for the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, which serves members of the Asian population in Washington, DC.
  • Members of the Equal Justice Foundation have recently been involved in a statutory research project for the Juvenile Justice Advisory Group for the District of Columbia.

For more information, see http://www.law.gwu.edu/Resources/Student+Organizations.htm.

If students want to create a "formal" pro bono group project such as "Street Law," there are channels through which groups gain "formalized" status that is recognized by the Law School and the Student Bar Association. Currently, however, the pro bono program does not place a particular emphasis on having students form "new pro bono group projects." Rather, students are encouraged to perform pro bono on their own or as part of pre-existing student groups, such as the Equal Justice Foundation.

Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is no general faculty pro bono policy in effect. For clinical law faculty, however, commitment to community service is a factor considered for appointment and promotion purposes.

Faculty members have been particularly involved in helping to staff the District of Columbia's Advice and Referral Clinic. Faculty members also supervise student groups that are involved in pro bono activities, including the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and Street Law. One professor supervises students involved in the Project for Older Prisoners, which has involved student volunteers (as well as students receiving credit).

Awards/Recognition

The Law School hosts a Pro Bono Breakfast and Reception for law students and their families during graduation weekend. At the ceremony, the Dean presents the students with awards and highlights the significant contributions students made to their communities.

Students who perform 60 or more hours of pro bono legal work and turn in the required forms are listed in the commencement program Honors and Awards section.

Community Service

Within the Student Bar Association (SBA), a student serves as director of community service projects. Also, the Equal Justice Foundation student chapter historically has engaged in community service projects.

During the Fall orientation session for incoming first-year students, the SBA organizes events through which the new students can perform community service activities. Moreover, the SBA organizes similar events for all interested students throughout the school year, often on Saturdays.

Law School Public Interest Programs

Contact Information

Tamara Devieux-Adams, Esq.
Public Interest Counselor and Pro Bono Liaison
The George Washington University Law School
716 20th Street, NW, Suite 310
Washington, DC 20052
P: (202) 994-7340
Fax: (202)994-7352
E-mail

Certificate/Curriculum Programs

None listed

Public Interest Centers

None listed

Public Interest Clinics

  • Civil Litigation
  • Consumer Mediation
  • Domestic Violence Litigation
  • Domestic Violence Emergency Department
  • Environmental Law
  • Federal, Criminal, and Appellate
  • Health Law Rights
  • Immigration
  • Law Students in Court
  • Project for Older Prisoners
  • Public Justice Advocacy
  • Small Business/Community Economic Development
  • Vaccine Injury

For more details, see http://www.law.gwu.edu/Academics/Clinical+Programs/.

Externships/Internships

Field Placement Program

The George Washington University Law School Field Placement Program provides students with the opportunity to work closely with judges or practicing lawyers as legal externs in governmental, public interest and private non-profit organizations while earning academic credit. The program is designed to enhance the educational experience of its students through exposure to the actual practice of law.

During the fall and spring semesters, the placement must be located in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Students may earn credit for externships outside of the DC metropolitan area, including international externships, during the summer session only.

For more information, please see www.law.gwu.edu/fpp or email fieldplacement@law.gwu.edu.

Classes with a Public Service Component

None listed

Public Interest Journals

None listed

PI Career Support Center

The Career Development Office (CDO) coordinates a number of career-related services for students exploring public interest: interview programs (including an interview program held every February that is jointly sponsored by George Washington and Georgetown law schools); job-related announcements through the Public Interest listserv, regular columns in the CDO's newsletter, and eAttorney job postings; programming featuring public interest practitioners; and individual counseling. Jim Lovelace, who is the CDO's Assistant Director, also functions as the Public Interest Liaison.

Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

The Law School's Loan Reimbursement Assistance Program (LRAP) assists recent graduates (1990 and later) by providing "forgivable" loans to those graduates whose annual income --after taking into consideration their annual law school loan payments -- falls below a certain target income. For more details, see http://www.law.gwu.edu/Resources/Public+Interest+and+Pro+Bono/Financial+Assistance/Loan+Reimbursement+Assistance+Program.htm

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 Law School's J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Public Service Fellowship Program annually provides financial aid for as many as three third-year students (and evening students who have completed at least 56 credits) who agree to work 20 hours per week at public interest organizations in the Washington, D.C. area during the school year. Awardees can receive as much as $10,000 per year in tuition remission. Awardees are also eligible to receive up to four academic credits for their work experience through the Law School's Outside Placement program. Preference is given to employers who represent, directly or indirectly, indigent individuals or populations, interests that would not otherwise be adequately represented, and environmental organizations. For more details, see http://www.law.gwu.edu/Resources/Public+Interest+and+Pro+Bono/Financial+Assistance/Third+Year+Fellowships.htm.

With the Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation Scholarship, each year a third-year student is chosen by the clinical faculty to serve as student director, performing administrative duties in connection with the Public Justice Advocacy and Civil Litigation Clinics. The student director assigns and supervises student caseloads, controls client intake, and acts as a liaison between law students and staff attorneys. The student director receives a partial scholarship.

Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

The Law School awards approximately 30 stipends, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in cash or tuition remission. Yearly funding totals nearly $100,000, and funds come from a combination of school and private funds.

Graduate Student Funded:

The Law School's Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) Chapter holds an auction each Spring to provide funding for summer public interest subsidies. In 2001, EJF provided a total of $20,000 to 10 students.

Other Funding Sources:

The J.B. & Maurice C. Shapiro Public Service Awards are offered through the University Office of Fellowships and Graduate Student Support. These awards, for which law student are eligible, are for $5,000 in tuition remission. Six or seven of these awards are provided each year. In 2001, two law students received awards.

For further information, see www.law.gwu.edu/Resources/Public+Interest+and+Pro+Bono/Financial+Assistance/Summer+Subsidies.htm

Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

None listed

Student Public Interest Groups

  • Amnesty International Legal Support Group
  • Criminal Law Society
  • Domestic Violence Coalition
  • Environmental Law Association
  • Equal Justice Foundation (the Equal Justice Works student chapter)
  • Lambda Law
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • Street Law.

For a complete listing of student organizations, see http://www.law.gwu.edu/Resources/Student+Organizations.htm.

August 6, 2018