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

Gonzaga University School of Law

Gonzaga University
Gonzaga University School of Law
P.O. Box 3528
Spokane, WA 99220
www.law.gonzaga.edu

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Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

Catherine Brown
Assistant Director, Center for Law in Public Service
Moderate Means Program Staff Attorney
Thomas More Scholarship Program Advisory Committee
brownc@lawschool.gonzaga.edu (509) 313-3688

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Category Type

Formal Voluntary Program with Administrative Support for Student Group Projects

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Description of Program

Gonzaga University School of Law's Center for Law in Public Service (CLiPS) partners with students; faculty; local, regional and state-wide legal and social service providers; law schools; voluntary county bar associations; and the mandatory state bar association to coordinate pro bono opportunities for Gonzaga students.

The following pro bono and public service projects are administered through the Center for Law in Public Service:

Moderate Means Program: The Moderate Means Program is a state-wide, reduce-fee lawyer referral service formed through a collaborative effort between Washington's three law schools and the Washington State Bar Association. Designed to link moderate income households with private attorneys who offer reduced-fee legal assistance, the Moderate Means Program at Gonzaga Law engages student volunteers to screen applicants; conduct client intake; and refer housing, family and consumer law cases to participating attorneys. Moderate Means Program student volunteers at Gonzaga Law receive substantive and practice-oriented training as well as staff attorney supervision.

FLASH: Family Law Attorney Student Help (FLASH) is a partnership between Gonzaga Law and the Spokane County Bar Association's Volunteer Lawyers Program through which law student volunteers attend and assist at weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly family law clinics. FLASH student volunteers receive substantive, practice-oriented training from local family law practitioners.

Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic: In cooperation with legal services attorneys from the Northwest Justice Project, TeamChild and public defenders, law student volunteers assist pro se clients to complete and file petitions to seal records for juvenile adjudications in Spokane County.

Veterans Wills Clinic: Gonzaga Law partners with the Spokane Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and several veterans services organizations to host an annual one-day clinic which links attorney and law student volunteers with veterans to provide free estate planning documents.

1L Orientation Service Project: Incoming first year students join Gonzaga Law faculty, staff and public interest students to volunteer at a community-based non-profit organization during orientation or the first week of class. The Gonzaga Law community served at St. Joseph's Family Center, L'Arche, 2nd Harvest Food Bank, St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Grade School, and the Spokane Community Warehouse.

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Location of Program

Gonzaga's Center for Law in Public Service and Moderate Means Program offices are part of the law school's Center for Professional Development. The Center's placement within the Center for Professional Development highlights the importance of pro bono service as an integral component of a lawyer's professional obligation. Staff members from the Center for Law in Public Service and the Center for Professional Development collaborate to encourage student participation in pro bono and public interest work throughout their legal careers, beginning with their time in law school. The Center for Law in Public Service has its own suite of offices on the 3rd floor of the law school, where students collaborate with the CLiPS staff attorney on pro bono and public interest initiatives.

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Staffing/Management/Oversight

Gonzaga's Center for Law in Public Service is staffed by one full-time employee, half of whose time is dedicated to serving as the Center's Assistant Director and the other half of whose time is dedicated to serving as the Moderate Means Program staff attorney. The Center for Law in Public Service benefits from significant staff oversight, leadership, and administrative support from the Center for Professional Development.

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Funding

Gonzaga's Center for Law in Public Service is funded in part through the Washington State Bar Association for its participation in the statewide Moderate Means Program and in part by contributions from Gonzaga Law School's Foundation. The remainder of the Center for Law in Public Service's funding comes from the Gonzaga Law Foundation.

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Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Alliance for Social Justice: The Alliance for Social Justice is a student-led movement to connect public interest-oriented students with each other and with the legal aid and legal services community. The Alliance works closely with CLiPS to ensure that every student understands the importance of public interest law, so that they might continue Gonzaga's Jesuit mission for social justice throughout their legal career.

Gonzaga Public Interest Law Project (GPILP): GPILP is a student-led fundraising organization which focuses on removing financial obstacles that prevent students from pursuing careers in public interest law. GPILP students organize fundraising events, including an annual auction, to support summer grants for students working in public interest law positions that would otherwise be uncompensated.

Mission: Possible: Mission: Possible is a student-led organization that funds and leads spring break trips to complete service projects in poverty-stricken communities. Gonzaga Law's Mission: Possible students have served in Honduras, hurricane-stricken New Orleans, and the Dominican Republic.

Street Law: Street Law is a student-led organization that sends law students to local elementary, middle, and high schools to teach on legal topics such as the Bill of Rights and the history of the Constitution, mock trials, , and general discussions of what it means to be a lawyer. Teaching teams of 3-4 law students prepare, teach, and follow-up with seven 50-minute classes offered at local schools throughout the academic year.

Thomas More Service Project: Each 5-member cohort of Thomas More public interest scholars must plan and execute a service project during their third year of law school. Examples of ongoing projects launched by Thomas More service projects include Street Law, GPILP, Mission: Possible, Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic, and a cyberbullying and internet safety curriculum for elementary, middle and high school students.

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Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

The faculty at Gonzaga Law is dedicated to serving the public interest through a variety of volunteer activities. Members of the law school faculty contribute substantial volunteer time to local, regional, state-wide, national, and international organizations each year. For a full listing of faculty pro bono and public service contributions, please visit www.law.gonzaga.edu/faculty.

Gonzaga University encourages volunteerism among staff by providing a paid half day per year for staff to participate in community service projects.

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Awards/Recognition

The Center for Law in Public Service administers Gonzaga Law's Pro Bono Distinction program, which recognizes law student participation in pro bono service. Pro Bono Distinction is conferred upon first year students who complete 20 hours of community service, second year students who complete 30 hours of pro bono service, and third year students who complete 50 hours of pro bono service. The Pro Bono Distinction Platinum honor is awarded to the graduating law student who completes the highest number of volunteer hours during law school. Pro Bono Distinction offers progressive levels of recognition for those students who earn the Distinction for multiple and consecutive years. Students are recognized by the Dean for earning Pro Bono Distinction annually and at Commencement.

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Community Service

Gonzaga Law students are required to complete 30 hours of public service before graduation. Public service is broadly interpreted to include traditional legal pro bono work as well as a range of volunteer charitable and community work. Service hours used to fulfill the public service requirement must be uncompensated and must not be completed for academic credit or monetary value. Students are responsible for selecting their public service activity and may work with the law student Public Service Liaison, with the University's Service Learning website, or the University's Center for Community Action and Service Learning to identify volunteer opportunities.

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Law School Public Interest Programs

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Contact Information

Catherine Brown
Assistant Director, Center for Law in Public Service
Moderate Means Program Staff Attorney
Thomas More Scholarship Program Advisory Committee
brownc@lawschool.gonzaga.edu (509) 313-3688

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Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Gonzaga's Thomas More Scholars are required to take at least three public interest- or social justice-related courses. Students may satisfy this requirement with the following courses:

Civil Rights
Comparative Women's Rights
Consumer Law
Criminal Procedure
Directed Research (with consent of Thomas More Director)
Education Law
Elder Law
Employment Discrimination Seminar
Ethical Issues in Representing Children
Family Law
Federal Indian Law
Health Care Organization and Finance Law
Immigration Law
International Environmental Law
International Human Rights
International Law
Jurisprudence
Justice and Society
Juvenile Law
Labor Law I (Private Sector)
Landlord/Tenant Law
Law and Sexuality
Mental Disability Law
Non-Profit Organizations
Public Lands Law
Race and the Law
Water Law
Workers' Compensation
Zoning and Land Use Regulation

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Public Interest Centers

Gonzaga's Center for Law in Public Service (CLiPS) partners with students; faculty; local, regional and state-wide legal and social service providers; law schools; the voluntary county bar association; and the mandatory state bar association to coordinate pro bono opportunities for the Gonzaga Law School community. CLiPS is a branch of the law school's Center for Professional Development which results in additional career development and support for public interest-oriented students. CLiPS has its own suite of offices on the 3rd floor of the law school, where students collaborate with the CLiPS staff attorney.

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Public Interest Clinics

The Gonzaga Center for Law and Justice is home to University Legal Assistance (ULA), a not-for-profit clinical law program. The Clinic is modeled after a general-practice law firm. Managed by faculty members, the ULA provides students the opportunity to apply academics to legal practice. ULA is separated into seven individual clinics, each focusing on a different area of legal practice, including: Business Law, Federal Tax Law, Consumer Law (including mortgage foreclosure mediation), General Practice, Elder Law, Indian Law, and Environmental Law.

Beginning 2014-15, Gonzaga Law students are required to take at least six credits (maximum of 15 credits) of experiential learning during their second and/or third years in law school (up from three required credits in prior years.) Accelerated JD students are required to take 12 credits of experiential learnings. Students may earn a maximum of 15 total clinical law credits, which fulfill this experiential learning requirement.

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Externships/Internships

Externships: Gonzaga Law's Externship program places students with non-profit legal services organizations and local, state, and federal opportunities with the public defenders, prosecutors, Attorney General, U.S. Attorney, and judicial officers. Student field placements are located within the local community, across the state, and around the country. Extern students earn academic credit for completing field placement work in addition to concurrent seminar coursework.

Beginning 2014-15, Gonzaga Law students are required to take at least six credits of experiential learning during their second and/or third years in law school. Students may earn a maximum of fifteen externship credits, which fulfill this experiential learning requirement.

Internships: The Center for Professional Development and the Center for Law in Public Service assist students to identify volunteer internship opportunities with government and non-profit organizations. Gonzaga's Public Interest Law Project awards between five and ten full or partial grants each summer for students working in in public interest law positions that would otherwise be uncompensated.

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Classes with a Public Service Component

Women and the Law (Professor Mary Pat Truethart)

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Public Interest Journals

The Gonzaga Journal of International Law (GJIL)is an on-line law journal that is practice-oriented and edited by students in compliance with law review editorial standards. The journal includes articles, essays, comments, and notes from practicing attorneys, law professors, law students, business professionals, and government officials. GJIL is located at www.gonzagajil.org.

Founded in 1997, GJIL seeks to expand its influence beyond the pages of the Journal by actively addressing pertinent issues affecting the legal and political communities both in the United States and abroad. The Journal is equally committed to public service and holds events dedicated to public service each year. The GJIL annual Symposium, which addresses various international legal, political and social issues, draws highly respected legal scholars from local, national, and international communities.

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Public Interest Career Assistance

As part of Gonzaga Law School's Center for Professional Development, the Center for Law in Public Service offers professional development and career counseling opportunities for public interest-oriented students.

The Center for Professional Development and the Center for Law in Public Service offer several presentations about public interest career opportunities throughout the year. Both Centers participate and coordinate Gonzaga law student involvement in the annual Northwest Public Interest Career Fair, the Northwest Minority Career Fair, and host an on-campus career fair at which more than half of participating employers represent public interest organizations.

The Center for Law in Public Service coordinates Gonzaga's law student involvement in statewide Access to Justice Board Committees and related events with the state and local legal services delivery system. This participation creates formal and informal networking opportunities among law students, legal services staff, and public interest leaders around the state. Gonzaga Law sponsors a number of students to attend the annual Goldmark public service luncheon in Seattle, as well as similar events in Spokane.

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Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

The Gonzaga Loan Repayment Assistance Program is available for Gonzaga Law graduates working in public service across the country and around the world. The program loans selected graduates up to $4,000 annually to help repay specified law school loans. If a graduate remains in qualifying public interest employment for at least one year after receipt of a loan under this program, the loan made by the law school will be forgiven. Graduates may apply annually for a total of five years of LRAP funding.

The John R. Clark endowed Loan Repayment Assistance Program offers loan repayment for Spokane-area public defenders. The program provides recipients with a loan to help meet repayment of law school loans. If the recipient remains in public service for at least one year after receipt of the loan, it will be forgiven by the law school. Graduates may apply annually for the John R. Clark program.

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Post-Graduate Fellowships/Awards

Law School Funded:

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

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Term Time Fellowships/Scholarships

Law School Funded:

Gonzaga Law's Thomas More Scholarship Program provides 5 entering 1L students with an award of full tuition so that they may pursue careers in public service unencumbered by substantial law school debt. The scholarships are awarded for one academic year and may be renewed for successive years based on satisfactory academic performance and full participation in all required Thomas More activities. Scholars are expected to serve as leaders within the law school community both academically and by taking leadership roles in extracurricular and public service projects. Thomas More scholars work with program directors to create goals which assist each Scholar to realize his or her public service career aspirations. Scholars work toward their goals individually and collaboratively within a supportive community of similarly dedicated scholars designed to foster leadership and legal skills as well as academic excellence.

Graduate Student Funded:

Yes

Other Funding Sources:

Thomas More Scholarship Program This program provides approximately 15 students with full tuition waivers and a supportive community to enable students to realize their commitment to serving the public interest through law. Please visit the Thomas More Scholarship Program web site though www.law.gonzaga.edu.

The Gonzaga Center for Law and Justice, "The Clinic," makes work study stipends (paid at a rate of $12.00/hour)available to students who are work study qualified and who commit to a two semester sequence in the General Public Interest Practice Clinic.

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Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

Gonzaga's Public Interest Law Project (GPILP) is a student-led fundraising organization which focuses on removing the financial obstacles that prevent students from pursuing careers in public interest law. GPILP students organize fundraising events, including an annual auction, to support between five and ten grants each summer for students working in public interest law positions that would otherwise be uncompensated.

Gonzaga Law routinely partners with Washington State Bar Association sections, minority bar associations and other organizations to offer matching funds for summer grants that support law students working in public interest law positions that would otherwise be uncompensated.

Graduate Student Funded:

Yes.

Other Funding Sources:

The Gonzaga Center for Law and Justice, "The Clinic," makes work study stipends (paid at a rate of $12.00/hour)available to students who are work study qualified and who commit to a two semester sequence in the General Public Interest Practice Clinic.

Gonzaga Public Interest Law Project awards summer stipends to students working in public service projects in the U.S. and abroad.

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Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

Public Service Brown Bag & Justice (PBJ) Forum: The Center for Law in Public Service partners with the law student Alliance for Social Justice and various student organizations to offer weekly Public Service Brown Bag and Justice (PBJ) forums for the law school and university communities. PBJs are lunchtime discussions about current social justice and public interest legal issues. Featured speakers include members of the state bar, the judiciary, civic leaders, social activists, law students, staff and faculty.

Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System: Gonzaga University School of Law partners with staff and faculty from Seattle University School of Law, University of Washington School of Law and prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, associations, and concerned citizens to form the statewide Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System. Charged with studying the institutional and structural arrangements which continue to disproportionately impact racial minorities at all levels of our criminal justice system, the Task Force is committed to advancing the discussion of this important topic through education and recommendations for reform. Gonzaga University School of Law, the Task Force and Gonzaga University's Institute for Hate Studies co-host the reoccurring Race and Criminal Justice Conference in Spokane that features national and international scholars and experts in the field.

William O. Douglas Lecture Series: The student-led William O. Douglas Committee coordinates an annual lecture series for the purpose of promoting a strong commitment to the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lecture series features distinguished, nationally renowned speakers who share this strong commitment to the First Amendment.

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Student Public Interest Groups

Alliance for Social Justice
America Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Amnesty International
Animal Legal Defense Fund
Child Advocacy Association (CHAD)
Criminal Law Society
Environmental Law Caucus
Family Law Club
Food & Agricultural Law Society
Gender and Sexuality Alliance
Gonzaga Public Interest Law Project
Mission: Possible
Multicultural Law Caucus
National Lawyers Guild
Native American Law Students Association
SOVA (Victim's Advocacy)
Street Law
William O. Douglas Committee
Women's Law Caucus

Updated: 7/25/2014

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