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

Saint Louis University School of Law

Saint Louis University
Saint Louis University School of Law
3700 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
law.slu.edu

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Law School Pro Bono Programs

Contact Information

John Ammann
Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Clinic
ammannjj@slu.edu
(314) 977-2796

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Category Type

Formal Voluntary Pro Bono Program Characterized by Administrative Support for Student Group Projects

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Description of Program

Web address is http://law.slu.edu/public_services

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Location of Program

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Staffing/Management/Oversight

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Funding

The Law School provides office space, computers and secretarial support for pro bono group projects.

The Law School allows faculty to participate in pro bono projects as part of their normal duties and provides secretarial support for these projects. The Law School also reimburses faculty for expenses, such as mileage in connection with pro bono projects, and provides its library facilities and electronic research services to support faculty pro bono work.

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Student Run Pro Bono Groups/Specialized Law Education Projects

Alternative Spring Break - Students organized a trip to Nicaragua over Spring break for a cultural immersion with a legal emphasis. Students learn about social, political, and legal issues and meet with local attorneys.

Angel Tree - Students collect gifts for underprivileged children.

Hurrican Katrina Relief - Student Bar Association and Women Law Students Association spearheaded various relief efforts for Katrina victims.

Light the Night Walk - Each September, the School of Law and the law library sponsor a team to walk in the Light the Night Walk, an event which pays tribute to those whose lives have been touched by cancer. Law students, faculty and staff raise funds and carry balloons in the walk. The funds raised from the walk go to support research and treatment and work toward a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma.

Stand Down for Homeless Vets - Law students and faculty provide free legal services to homeless veterans at the annual Stand Down for Homeless Veterans. Several hundred veterans attend the event, which takes place on a Saturday in April, and receive a variety of free services, from haircuts to job counseling. Students and faculty primarily assist those veterans with outstanding warrants on minor criminal matters. Along with the various judges, prosecutors and clerks in attendance, students are usually able to resolve veterans' cases that same day.

Tax Assistance Program - Students prepare tax assistance returns for elderly and low income clients.

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Faculty and Administrative Pro Bono

There is no formal faculty pro bono policy. Faculty members supervise the Public Interest Law Group and the Tax Assistance Program.

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Awards/Recognition

Each spring the Law School holds two awards ceremonies.

The Clarence Darrow Award Ceremony recognizes students and a member of the legal profession for their contributions to public service in the legal profession and through participation in community services projects.

On the day of graduation, graduating students are honored for their work in the legal clinic, and a third-year student is honored for his or her interest in civil rights and work with indigent clients.

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Community Service

Community Service projects are promoted by the Dean's Office, Career Services, the Public Interest Law Group and Student Bar Association. Regular projects include:

  • Habitat for Humanity

  • Stand Down for Homeless Veterans

  • Homeward Bound Homeless Services Fair

  • Blood Drives

  • Angel Tree Christmas Program

  • Clothing Drives

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters

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Law School Public Interest Programs

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Contact Information

John J. Ammann
Associate Professor and Director of the Legal Clinic
ammannjj@slu.edu
(314) 977-2796
Legal Clinic

Mary Pat McInnis
Assistant Dean for Career Development/Director of Career Services
mcinnism@slu.edu
(314) 977-2771
Career Services

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Certificate/Curriculum Programs

Information on the Concentrations in Civil Litigation, Criminal Defense Litigation, and Urban Development and Land Use can be found on the school web site at http://law.slu.edu/curriculum/concentrations.html

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Public Interest Centers

International Law Center

Health Law Center

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Public Interest Clinics

Battered Women's Clemency Project - Students assist women seeking clemency for killing abusers

Criminal Defense Clinic - Students represent indigent criminal defendants while working in the St. Louis City Public Defender's Office during their spring semester. Students assist on felony cases, and under student practice rules, are able to handle misdemeanor trials, juvenile hearings and preliminary hearings and motions. Students in this Clinic enroll in the Advanced Criminal Procedure course that uses simulations to give students the experience of the entire trial process from arrest to sentencing.

Family Law Clinic - The Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, located in the Clinic offices, provides students with the opportunity to handle a full range of family law cases. Students serve as Guardians ad Litem for abused and neglected children and represent battered women with orders of protection and divorces. They represent clients in custody and paternity cases and provide assistance to incarcerated women.

Health Law Clinic - Students draft estate planning documents for mentally ill and the elderly and assist families with Medicaid, Medicare, and SSI issues.

Homelessness Clinic - Students go into homeless shelters to interview clients about a variety of legal needs, then provide representation when necessary. Cases include public benefits applications, family law matters and minor criminal charges that can prevent the homeless from obtaining housing or jobs.

Housing and Development Law Clinic - Students handle legal work for Habitat for Humanity and other non-profit housing developers. They serve as coordinators for housing development projects. They draft leases, contracts, deeds and financial documents, then conduct real estate closings for the non-profit developers.

Immigration Law Clinic - Students assist immigrants with citizenship papers

Mediation Clinic- Mediators facilitate negotiations between parties in an effort to reach a settlement without the need of a trial. Students are trained in mediation skills and then mediate landlord-tenant disputes. Most cases handled by the students are resolved with an agreement by the parties.

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Externships/Internships

The extern program offers students the opportunity to work under the supervision of a practicing attorney in settings outside the law school. Specific locations may vary from one semester to another, but every effort is made to match students with an office that addresses the student's primary interest.

For example, students seeking litigation experience may be placed with a state prosecutor's office or with the U.S. Attorney's office, while those wanting experience working with individual clients might work at one of the legal aid programs in the St. Louis area. An interest in family law or children's issues can be accommodated through the Family Court, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program or the Missouri Protection and Advocacy program. Students wanting to emphasize civil rights issues or employment law can be placed with the ACLU or the EEOC. For those students earning a Certificate in Health Law, the externship program offers in-house counsel opportunities at area hospitals as well as opportunities with relevant state and federal agency offices to fulfill the health law practice requirement.

This list is not exhaustive, as the St. Louis area includes many not-for-profit and government offices which welcome the chance to mentor law students in a practice setting.

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Classes with a Public Service Component

Urban Issues Symposium - Students work with a neighborhood on redevelopment issues. For more information, contact Professor Peter Salsich, Jr. at (314) 977-2766.

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Public Interest Journals

Public Law Review

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Public Interest Career Assistance

Each Fall the law school hosts a Public Interest Law Career Fair wherein table top and individual interviews are conducted. In both the Fall and Spring Semesters, the school hosts various public interst employers to interview its students. Employers participating include, but are not limited to Legal Services, Habitat for Humanity, as well as both federal and state public defender's offices.

Other Career Related Services include:

The school participates in various public interest career fairs across the country, including but not limited to the Equal Justice Works Conference each fall. The law school typically pays the registration fees of these career fairs. The school also has funding to help defray the students' travel costs to attend these events.

The Office of Career Services and the Public Interest Law Group also sponsors numerous programs where public interest attorneys speak to students about their careers. Each year, both host Public Interest Career Night where dozens of employers talk to students on an informal basis about public interest opportunities. Career Services also provides one-on-one assistance for students applying for public interest jobs.

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Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)

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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:

Students receiving full scholarships are required to participate in public interest activities each semester.

Graduate Student Funded:

Other Funding Sources:

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Summer Fellowships

Law School Funded:

The Law School funds ten summer fellowships.

Graduate Student Funded:

Students fund ten summer fellowships.

Other Funding Sources:

The Irvin and Maggie Dagen Public Interest Fellowships are awarded to law students who are committed to working in public interest law. The fellowships are funded by the School of Law, the Public Interest Law Group, and the Irvin and Maggie Dagen Fellowship Fund. The fellowship stipends will go to students who obtain volunteer positions with public interest organizations for the summer, including government offices, whose work entails serving the underrepresented and/or ensuring justice in our society. Examples of past employers of fellowship recipients include Legal Services, the Office of the Public Defenders, the EEOC, numerous prosecuting attorneys' offices, HUD and the ACLU. This year, fellowships will have a maximum value of $2500.

For more information, see http://law.slu.edu/organizations/pilg/fellowship.html

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Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Programs

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Student Public Interest Groups

Black Law Student Association

Toys for Tots

Public Interest Law Group

Student Bar Association

Hurrican Katrina Relief, Blood Drives, Tax Assistantce Program

Women's Law Student Association

Project Angel Tree

Updated: 5/21/2007

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