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American Bar Association
Directory of Law School Public Interest and Pro Bono Programs

Florida Coastal School of Law

Florida Coastal School of Law
8787 Baypine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32256
www.fcsl.edu

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Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Karen E. Millard
Associate Professor of Lawyering Process
8787 Baypine Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
(904) 680-7672
kmillard@fcsl.edu

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Category Type

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

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Description of Program

It is a voluntary program. The mission of the Pro Bono Program is to help law students develop an awareness of their ethical and professional responsibilities to provide service to their community. Participation in the program provides students with the opportunity to perform valuable community service while learning about the legal needs of the underserved and developing the legal skills and gaining the experience necessary to help meet those needs.

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Location of Program

With Faculty

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Staffing/Management/Oversight

There is one faculty member who staffs the pro bono program. The faculty member is paid, and approximately one-third of her time is dedicated to running the program.

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Funding

The program is funded through the law school’s operating budget.

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Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Each student organization at the law school has a service project for the school year.

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Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

The school has a formal policy recommending that full-time faculty members engage in law-related pro bono work annually. Pro bono activities are considered when tenure decisions are being made, and professors are required to report this information on an annual basis.

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Awards/Recognition

Students who participate and complete at least 50 hours of work (a minimum of 25 hours must be legal work) receive a certificate signed by the Dean and are recognized during an annual Honors Reception. Students who participate and complete at least 125 hours of pro bono work (a minimum of 75 hours must be legal work) receive a certificate signed by the Dean, recognition during an annual Honors Reception, recognition at graduation, an honor cord to wear during the graduation ceremony, and a transcript notation as a Pro Bono Honors student.

The Jerome Kermit Coble, Jr. Award for Distinguished Public Service recognizes a student at each twice-a-year graduation ceremonies who has demonstrated a significant commitment to public service. It is anticipated that students participating in the pro bono program will be recognized during a reception, be distinguished at graduation, and receive a certificate.

The Barbara McCalla Memorial Award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated compassion, commitment to both the community and FCSL, and a strong interest in the support of justice for the less fortunate.

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Community Service

The pro bono program promotes student involvement in both legal and non-legal work in the community. Each student group must complete at least thirty hours of community service each year.

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Law School Public Interest Programs

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Contact Information

Karen E. Millard
Associate Professor of Lawyering Process
8787 Baypine Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
(904) 680-7672
kmillard@fcsl.edu

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Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Florida Coastal offers five certificate programs including: Environmental Law, Sports Law, Family Law, International & Comparative Law, and Research, Writing & Drafting. See http://www.fcsl.edu/academics/certificate-programs for a description of these programs.

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Public Interest Centers

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Public Interest Clinics

The law school offers live client clinics in which the students may participate. These clinics include: family law, consumer law, immigrant rights, housing rights, disability & benefits, and Caribbean law. See http://www.fcsl.edu/clinic/live-client-clinicsand http://www.fcsl.edu/clinic/caribbean-law-clinic for information about these clinics.

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Externships/Internships

The law school offers judicial externships with several courts including the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida First District Court of Appeal, the Federal District Court and state courts. Through these placements, students can earn credits towards graduation and their skills requirement.

Other externshipprograms are offered and they allow students to earn credits towards graduation and their skills requirement by working under the supervision of an attorney in an approved public or governmental agency, not-for-profit corporation, or in-house legal department of a corporation. See http://www.fcsl.edu/academics/internships-and-externships, http://www.fcsl.edu/academics/externships, and http://www.fcsl.edu/academics/judicial-internships for additional information about the law school’s externship and internship programs.

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Classes with a Public Service Component

  • Children & The Law
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Domestic Violence
  • Education Law
  • Elder Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employment Law
  • Environmental Law & Toxic Tort Law
  • Family Law
  • Gender, Sexuality & the Law
  • Immigration Law
  • International Health & Human Rights of Children Seminar
  • International Human Rights
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Poverty Law
  • Race, Identity, & Public Policy
  • and Worker's Compensation

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Public Interest Journals

No journals. Information about the law school clinics can be found at http://www.fcsl.edu/clinic/clinical-programs.

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Public Interest Career Assistance

The Career Services Department (CSD) at Florida Coastal takes a proactive role in promoting government and public interest opportunities for students and alumni. In addition to counseling students, each of the CSD counselors has the responsibility of business development. The business development portion of the government and public interest counselor position includes networking with local, state, and national agencies to develop relationships and educate employers about Florida Coastal and our students. Agencies include legal aid offices, public defender offices, state attorney offices, and other non-profit agencies. The dedicated counselor responsible for business development in the areas of government and public interest also attends many national conferences focused on expanding knowledge of recruitment efforts and meeting representatives from various agencies. Conferences in the past have included the ABA Equal Justice Conference, Equal Justice Works, NALP/PSLawNet Public Service Mini-Conference, and Federal Advisor training through the Partnership For Public Service.

Along with our national recruitment efforts, the CSD also internally markets to students about the benefits of government and public interest service. Through one-on-one counseling sessions, group training sessions, and the development of a curriculum discussing how to network and find positions of interest, the CSD strives to encourage each student to consider government or public service as a way to gain experience while working towards a public good. We actively promote clinic, externship, and pro bono opportunities offered through the school at entities including the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the city legal department, and various other non-profit agencies. Other efforts for inspiring our students comes from utilizing the talent of practicing attorneys we invite on campus each semester to talk about their work in government and public interest positions. We have held panel presentations on subjects including Exploring Criminal Law, Public Interest Careers, Military Recruitment, and Judicial Clerkships. Employers are additionally invited on campus to conduct interviews of our students as well as to CSD sponsored events such as “The Starting Line” designed to introduce our first year class to the myriad of job opportunities for a law school graduate.

Encouraging exploration in government and public interest is a daily focus of the CSD. In order to keep our law school community aware of news, information, and opportunities available, the CSD maintains a Blog focusing solely on the government and public interest sectors. Updated daily, the Blog has proven to be an excellent vehicle for reaching our students and alumni and maintains a strong, dedicated following. In addition to the Blog, students have access to many resources dedicated to government and public interest including handouts, guides, books, reference material, and an alumni database of individuals working in these public sector arenas.

Florida Coastal’s commitment to promoting public service extends to our alumni community as well. After graduation and admission to a state bar, Florida Coastal alumni have the opportunity to apply for a school-sponsored fellowship through the Post-Graduate Public Interest Employment Program. In this Program, selected alumni are matched with legal aid offices across the country taking positions as staff attorneys. In their role as a public interest attorney, Florida Coastal alumni are in a position to provide much needed legal services to members of the community who often go unrepresented. The benefit is not only for the clients of legal aid offices but also extends to the underfunded and often understaffed legal aid providers. Directors at legal aid offices provide excellent feedback on the contributions Florida Coastal alumni are making through their involvement with the Post-Graduate Public Interest Employment Program.

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Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

Not yet.

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Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

In the past, Coastal Association of Public Interest Law has provided scholarships for bar preparation to a limited number of students who have shown a dedication to public interest law.

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Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

In the past, the law school has received a Public Service Fellows Grant from the Florida Bar Foundation. The grant is provided to allow law students the opportunity to work in public service agencies.

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Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. provides an annual paid Summer Public Service Fellowship.

The Florida Bar Foundation-sponsored 2002 Legal Services Summer Fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend for a FCSL student to work at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid during summer 2002.

Other Funding Sources:

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc. provides an annual paid Summer Public Service Fellowship.

The Florida Bar Foundation-sponsored 2002 Legal Services Summer Fellowship provides a $5,000 stipend for a FCSL student to work at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid during summer 2002.

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Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

There is an annual public interest career panel and the law school hosts periodic speakers on public interest issues (school and student sponsored).

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Student Public Interest Groups

Every student group at Florida Coastal performs pro bono work. These student groups include:
  • American Association for Justice
  • American Bar Association – Law Student Division
  • Animal Law Society
  • Asian Pacific American Law Student Association
  • Black Law Student Association
  • Coastal Association of Public Interest Law
  • Caribbean Law Student Association
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Entertainment Law Association
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Federalists Society
  • Hispanic American Law Students Association
  • International Law Society
  • Irish American Law Society
  • Italian American Law Students Association
  • J. Reuben Clark Society
  • Jewish Law Students Associations
  • Lambda Legal Society
  • Law Students Against Violence
  • Military Law Society
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • Pro Bono
  • Public Speaking for Lawyers
  • Real Property
  • Probate & Trust Law Club
  • South Asian American Legal Society
  • Sports Law Society
  • Women Law Students’ Association.

Updated: 1/7/2010

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