Law School Pro Bono Programs - Student Run Pro Bono Groups and Specialized Law Education Projects
Albany County Family Court Desk - In conjunction with the Albany County Bar Association, students provide assistance to those conducting business with family court.
Animal Law Project - This project provides research to a broad range of organizations devoted to animal law.
Homeless Assistance Project - This project assists residents of a homeless shelter by preparing for, and representing them at, hearings to appeal home relief denials. Members of the law school's clinical and non-clinical faculty supervise the students.
NYSBA Leaders Program - Through this program, students work with select Chairs, Sections, and Taskforces of the New York State Bar Association.
Prisoners Legal Services- Through this project students provide assistance to Prisoners Legal Services. Projects include research and writing and administrative hearings including disciplinary hearings.
Prisoner Reentry Project – In collaboration with several organizations, students provide legal education to prisoners on issues that will impact their reentry including how to find housing, employment and seek benefits.
Pro Bono Donor - This project assists with fundraising for the pro bono program through using a ‘contribution by hour of service’ model.
Pro Se Divorce Project - Following a four-hour substantive training by the Legal Aid of New York, students provide legal assistance to low-income individuals seeking to file for pro se divorce. Student assistance is particularly vital in determine the proper grounds for divorce, and writing a convincing application of why those grounds apply. Through participation in this project, the students are exposed to a broad range of topics including: custody/visitation, support and equitable distribution.
Rural Legal Services - Following a full-day training with Rural Legal Center, students educate low income rural seniors throughout the State of New York about issues including Medicaid, Advance Directive Documents, Avoiding Senior Scams, and Estate Planning.
Veterans Legal Assistance Project - Students assist clients of the Albany VA Medical Center with any legal problems they may have. The students have their own office space at the medical center and are supervised by members of the law school clinical faculty, non-clinical faculty, and other students.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program - During the tax season, student volunteers provide free income tax assistance to the disadvantaged.
Action for Human Rights - Organizes several experiential learning projects throughout the year, as well as the annual Alternative Spring Break trip in which students spend a week providing pro bono services to underserved populations outside of the DC area.
Clinical Program Translators - Students provide translation services to clients of WCL's clinical programs and help explain the legal concepts involved in each client's case.
Genocide Teaching Project - Students visit area high schools to educate students about the genocide in Rwanda and the rule of law.
Marshall-Brennan Fellows - Marshall-Brennan Fellows, named in honor of the late United States Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan, are selected in a process that seeks to identify second- and third-year students who have excelled in constitutional law and have a passion for teaching young people. These Fellows teach a course on constitutional rights and responsibilities in Washington, D.C. public high schools. The course is called "We the Students" and is based on a casebook authored by WCL Professor, Jamin Raskin, entitled We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America's Students. The course focuses on Supreme Court cases that directly affect the lives of high school students and includes a special curriculum about the history of voting rights with an intensive focus on problems of political representation for citizens living in D.C.
Street Law - Students teach legal rights and concepts to low-income community members and high school students.
Students United - Students are involved with several aspects at Oak Hill, DC's detention facility for juveniles. Work ranges from representation at disciplinary hearings to one-on-one tutoring to beautification projects. Legal work is supervised by lawyers not on staff or faculty at the law school. The project has no budget but has received a large amount of publicity for its work within the District.
UNCAT Participation - Selected students conduct legal research, draft documents and accompany Dean Claudio Grossman to participate in and attend meetings of the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva each fall.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)- Students help area Washington residents with their tax forms on a walk-in basis. An initial training is conducted in the school's library by local area practitioners. Advice is given at a downtown library convenient to those who need the service. Members of the law school's clinical and non-clinical faculty provide supervision for the students. About 75 students participate each year.
In the past, students participated in a conflict resolution program in the Buchanan County elementary schools, using the curriculum designed by Streetlaw, Inc. Peer mediation was a large part of the conflict resolution program. The program provided training in the skills necessary for children and adults to resolve interpersonal conflicts in a peaceful manner. Law students selected for the program received 14 hours of formal training in conflict resolution and teaching skills.
Students have also assisted the Town of Grundy.Law students worked on projects of interest to the local government. Projects included an analysis of the economic impact of the Law School; review of the Army Corps of Engineers Proposal for Grundy Non-Structural Flood Control Project; research on the path of the proposed bike trail to determine property acquisition and/or easements; assistance with national media coverage; and review of Industrial Development Authority contracts. These students worked with the County Treasurer’s office, the Commissioner of Revenue’s office, and the Clerk of the County Court’s deed records and abstracts. Students learned to research deeds and abstract property.
Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens. ASL students have provided assistance to the Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens, (“AASC”). AASC, a private, nonprofit agency, was established in 1975 to serve the region’s older adults and their caregivers. AASC helps older adults remain independent and strives to improve seniors’ health and quality of life. Law students assisted AASC in the development of a Legal Services Resource Guide for older adults and their loved ones. The Guide provided valuable information about legal issues involving personal autonomy. ASL students also organized an Elder Law Project with the help of AASC. The students provided law-related educational programs on Medicare and Medicaid fraud, living wills and powers of attorney to senior citizens in Buchanan County. This student-centered project won the ASL Community Service Award in 1999.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (“CASA”). ASL students volunteer to serve as Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused or neglected children in Virginia and Kentucky. CASA is a national organization managed on a state and local basis through the court system. CASA volunteers are selected to watch over and to advocate for abused and neglected children and make sure that the children don’t get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or suffer in an inappropriate group or foster home environment. The 29th Judicial District CASA program encompasses Buchanan County and employees two case managers that supervise volunteers from the community. A majority of these volunteers are from ASL. ASL students spend 30 hours in intensive training to prepare them to advocate for children in court.
Legal Aid: ASL students are provided with the opportunity to work with legal aid organizations that provide free or low cost legal assistance to individuals and groups who cannot afford to hire a private attorney to advocate for their rights. Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc., (“AppalReD”), and the Southwest Virginia Legal Aid Society, (“SVLAS”) are both approved organizations that provide ASL students with the opportunity to assist low-income individuals. The Director of Community Service at ASL has been working with the Executive Director and the Managing Attorney of the SVLAS to implement an intake project involving ASL students. ASL students will earn service hours on campus by assisting SVLAS with client interviews and intake. Attorneys from SVLAS oversee the project and provide extensive training to the participating students.
ACLU at ASU – The ACLU Pro Bono Organization works with the Arizona Civil Liberties Union to provide legal research and assistance to protect and preserve civil liberties. This program offers students the opportunity to work with volunteer lawyers in the community on current civil liberties issues projects and litigation.
Advocacy Program for Battered Women – Students assist attorneys in providing legal information and referrals to domestic violence victims at 8 valley women's shelters.
Arizona Justice Project – Volunteers assist in reviewing criminal cases to determine whether there is a possibility of overturning convictions.
AZ Attorney General Satellite Outreach Project – The Community Services Program of the Office of the Attorney General includes satellite offices throughout Arizona. As the first university-based office, student volunteers (including non-law students) make it easier for the public to access information on consumer fraud, civil and victims' rigthts, and other matters affecting our most vulnerable members of the community and the general public.
Black Mesa Trust Legal Project – The Black Mesa Trust is a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the water resources of the Navajo and Hopi people. Black Mesa Trust is an organization born out of concern for the depleting water supply and its long range implications on the health and viability of the Black Mesa ecosystem and native people.
Crime Victims' Legal Assistance Project – Students work in conjunction with attorneys to provide legal advice to victims of crimes.
Criminal Defense Mentor and Pro Bono Program – This program represents an alliance between students attending ASU College of Law and the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office. Students generally work on specific case assignments independantly, or may work as a group on a large-scale project.
De Colores – Students assist attorneys in providing legal information at domestic violence shelters. Spanish speakers preferred. This program is coordinated by the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.
Disability Law Project – The purpose of the Disability Law Pro Bono Project is to consider all matters of legal interest that relate to the subject of Disability Law and the Disabled in Law.
Elder Law Project – The Elder Law Pro Bono Project works with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, local and regional centers that assist the elderly, and local law firms. The project provides legal research assistance to help educate senior citizens regarding their legal rights and help prevent them from becoming victims of fraud, as well as provide assistance with legal documents, such as living wills.
Eloy INS Detention Center Project – Students teach immigrants detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service how they can represent themselves in immigration court. This program is coordinated by the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.
Employment Law Project – The goal of this group is to educate both employees and employers about their respective rights in the workplace, as well as work with the EEOC in advocacy work, educational seminars, and research.
Family Lawyers Assistance Project – FLAP provides assistance to individuals who are representing themselves in family court matters such as paternity, child support, divorce, and custody.
Guardian Ad Litem – Law stduents work in conjunction with volunteer attorneys through the Children's Law Center.
Homeless Legal Assistance Project – Volunteers work with staff at the shelters to identify residents' legal needs. Students interview residents to screen their needs before presenting them to valley-wide attorney volunteers. Attorneys address the residents' concerns by providing advice, referring them to outside resources, or assigning research projects to the students. Volunteers follow up as needed to help the clients resolve their issues. The Homeless Legal Assistance project also provides non-legal assistance by sponsoring various food, clothing and necessity drives as well as other projects.
Junior Law – Students present cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court to 7th and 8th grade students.
Street Law – Sudents teach law-related courses to local inner-city junior high and high school students. These programs are coordinated by the Black Law Students Association and the Chicano/Latino Law Student Association.
Student Animal Legal Defense Organization – SALDO is dedicated to preventing animal abuse through legal action. Students help attorneys with research, litigation, and lobbying. They work on projects that help companion, wildlife, and laboratory animals. SALDO members also help organize CLEs on animal law.
Students for Reproductive Rights – Our mission is to join students with community leaders to work for the protection of reproductive rights including but not limited to sexual education, contraception, abortion, and access to clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA is sponsored by the American Bar Association Law Student Division. Training for the student volunteers is conducted by certified public accountants. VITA volunteers from the College of Law assist taxpayers in preparing their tax returns. Most of the taxpayers are ASU students, including many foreign students, and local community members.
Volunteer Legal Assistance for Artists – Created from an identified need in the community, this project will provide free online information for artists and those affiliated with artists, such as managers, curators, and venue owners. http://www.ArtsAdvocacy.org
The Public Benefits Project at Lone Star Legal Aid– BPILS has developed the Public Benefits Project at Lone Star Legal Aid (a federally-funded nonprofit that provides free legal services to low-income clients). This project screens potential clients for food stamp benefit eligibility. BPILS also is spearheading a closer cooperation between LSLA and local chapters of the NAACP and LULAC.
The Waco Youth Law Advocacy Project – BPILS coordinates student volunteering efforts with this project, involving direct attorney supervision. The Project provides individual representation in administrative and legal forums to address immediate crises in children's lives. Specifically, students who volunteer can work on cases involving neglect and abuse, disability accommodations, and foster care placement, among many others.
National Adoption Day – BPILS, under the direction of the faculty sponsor, Professor Fuselier, facilitates pro bono adoptions in coordination with Child Protective Services and local attorneys, as well as a day of celebration of adoption.
The Innocence Project of Texas – A modified version of the Innocence Project of Texas has taken root at Baylor Law, under the supervision of a faculty member and a local attorney. Students investigate claims of actual innocence made by inmates incarcerated in Texas prisons.
Catholic Charities – Students work with attorneys to counsel legal permanent residents and undocumented individuals in their rights and responsibilities regarding their immigration status in the United States of America. Students conduct legal research (via email), assist on Visa petitions, or work on a Naturalization Clinic under attorney supervision. Bilingual students have additional opportunities.
The public interest student organizations listed below (see: “Student Public Interest Groups”) occasionally create pro bono opportunities.
Shelter Legal Services Foundation at Boston College provides pro bono, and often emergency, legal services to the homeless, veterans and low-income women. Students from BC Law and four other Boston-area law schools work together to operate five weekly legal clinics in Boston and Cambridge. Working directly with clients, students handle client-counseling & interviewing, legal research & writing and representation at hearings. Under the direction of staff attorneys and practicing attorneys who volunteer, students handle a variety of legal issues including, housing, child support, social security benefits, immigration and bankruptcy.
The Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, based at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, is a pilot program designed to address the harsh effects of current U.S. deportation policies. The Project aims to conceptualize an entirely new area of law, providing direct representation to individuals who have been deported and promoting the rights of deportees and their family members through research, policy analysis, human rights advocacy, and training programs. Through participatory action research carried out in close collaboration with community-based organizations, the Project addresses the psycho-social impact of deportation on individuals, families, and communities and provides legal and technical assistance to facilitate community responses. The ultimate aim of the Project is to advocate, in collaboration with affected families and communities, for fundamental changes that will introduce proportionality, compassion, and respect for family unity into U.S. immigration laws and bring these laws into compliance with international human rights standards.
Immigration service trips have been a part of Boston College Law School since 1988. Each year a group of Boston College Law students spend their spring break week volunteering with immigration legal aid providers around the country. In 2008, thirty-nine students worked at ten different host organizations in eight cities, all of which provide legal assistance to persons in detention as a result of immigration matters and who are currently facing deportation. The Immigration Spring Break Trips which have been student-run and coordinated since 1988. In order to fund the Immigration Trips, students worked throughout the year to fundraise. All funds were once again matched this year by a generous contribution from the Law School Fund.Navajo Nation Spring Break trip is organized by the Native American Law Student Association. A group of students spent spring break week working at five placements within the Navajo Nation. The placements included: Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Community & Economic Development; Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Government and Human Services; Navajo Nation Supreme Court; Office of the Public Defender; and Navajo Nation District Court.
New Orleans Spring Break trip. Students work for the week at various placements in New Orleans.
Boston College Law School has a strong commitment to pro bono and in addition to encouraging law students to participate in pro bono, the school organizes pro bono opportunities for alumni. In 2008 and 2009, alumni and students volunteered at housing court to provide one-day legal assistance for people who could not afford to hire an attorney but had a critical need for help.
Shelter Legal Services - Law students interview clients and manage civil legal cases, under the supervision of an attorney, at one of four weekly legal clinics. Clients need help on a variety of issues, including family law, housing, disability, unemployment and immigration.
Children and the Law Society-The mission of Children and the Law is to foster an awareness of the legal issues facing children, and explore how the law and lawyers can best advocate for the welfare of all children. The group sponsors presentations from experts in the field and helps BU Law students find opportunities in Boston-area juvenile advocacy programs. For more information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates - Massachusetts Transgender Legal Advocates is a small group of law students and lawyers committed to addressing the needs of low income transgender people in Massachusetts. MTLA recognizes that a lack of public awareness about trans people can make it difficult to navigate the legal system. Our legal team is composed of trans folks and their significant others, family, and friends. To contact the project: email@example.com (or leave us a voicemail message at 617-450-1353).
Pro Bono Immigration Asylum Trip - BU law students will work with the South Texan Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR), a joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Students will work on asylum cases, bond hearings, intakes, special immigrant juvenile cases, naturalization and other immigration matters. In addition to the pro bono work with ProBAR, students will have the opportunity to meet with U.S. Border Patrol and refugees at a local shelter.
Student Hurricane Network - For the past two years BU Law has sponsored a pro bono volunteer trip to New Orleans during Spring Break. Students have worked with various legal organizations including; the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office, the FEMA Trailer Survey and Mapping Project, The New Orleans public Defenders Office and the Louisiana Justice Institute.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
Veterans Advocacy Project - The Veterans’ Advocacy Network is partnering with the Massachusetts Bar Association to connect veterans with volunteer lawyers trained by the MBA in veterans’ benefits law. The intake assistance project is an opportunity for law students to help with this effort. Students will receive training where they will learn some basics of veterans’ benefits law and how to conduct an initial client interview. Trained students will be supervised and staff the MBA’s phone lines on specific days conducting intake interviews for veterans with disability claims, or referring them to other sources of legal assistance.
The student-run LawHelp phone line allows people in need of legal assistance to schedule appointments for the local bar association’s Tuesday Night Bar program.
Brooklyn Family Court Evening Session /Assigned Domestic Violence Counsel Project
Students attend night court and help victims of domestic violence to navigate the family court system, and understand their legal rights. Student volunteers draft petitions for orders of protection and help petitioners access appropriate domestic violence services while reviewing petitioner’s circumstances and identifying the need for representation by attorneys from the Assigned Domestic Violence Counsel Project.
Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO)
Co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) and Brooklyn Law School, students assist consumer debtors, often victims of aggressive or predatory lending or collection practices by assisting attorneys at a weekly advice only clinic, and playing an active role for their pro se clients as student advocates under the supervision of the supervising attorney from the VLP. It is anticipated that students will also represent clients in negotiations or court actions under a student practice order in their third year of participation.
Courtroom Advocates Program (CAP)
Students assist and advocate for victims of domestic violence seeking orders of protection under the supervision of attorneys from Sanctuary for Families. Students help women fill out petitions for orders of protection and maintain contact and advocate as necessary to ensure petitioners return for their next court date and get referrals and services as needed. Students may also advocate for the petitioner’s best interests before the judge on the return date of the petition.
Housing Court – Resolution Assistant Part (RAP)
Students in this program are assigned to one pro se litigant at each session to ensure that tenants or unrepresented landlords are aware of their rights, are not badgered by the other party, and do not sign stipulations in court that they do not fully understand. Students accompany the litigant in court conferences and settlement negotiations and while not representing the litigant, students assist litigants to articulate their claims and defenses, raise red flags for the court or encourages litigants to seek help from the court.
Law Students for Veterans’ RightsStudents assist veterans confronting inadequate health care, delays in benefits, treatment and rehabilitation for disorders and injuries, homelessness, unemployment, substance abuse, domestic problems and the overall reintegration into civilian life. Students work in conjunction with three non-profit organizations and a clinic run by ten New York City law firms. Students also assist those discharged under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy to upgrade their discharge.
M.Y.L.E (Motivating Youth through Legal Education)
Brooklyn Law School students coach high school students in understanding constitutional issues, and in developing and arguing their position in a mock debate program. Law students join judges and attorneys in judging the final competition. This program is overseen by the Legal Outreach program.
Students assist welfare consumers regarding the denial, delay, reduction, or termination of their public assistance, under the supervision of the Legal-Aid Society’s Civil Division and/or the New York Legal Assistance Group. Student advocates interview clients, draft informal written communications, and negotiate with city and state agencies. Eventually, students may appear on behalf of their clients at hearings before administrative judges.
Suspension Representation Project
Students in this project, many of them former public school teachers, represent and advocate for high school students faced with suspension or expulsion hearings before the Department of Education hearing officer, often negotiating terms by which students may remain in school and obviating the need for a hearing.
Student Hurricane Network (SHN)
The Brooklyn Law School SHN has remained active subsequent to the dissolution of the nation-wide organization and continues to volunteers in the Gulf Coast region in a variety of contexts, both criminal and civil, with a variety of local non-profits and government agencies.
Urban Assembly High School for Law and Justice (SLJ) Programs
Brooklyn Law School is the academic partner to this high school serving inner city students. Law students participate in several programs with SLJ students including hosting competitively selected students from SLJ’s Constitutional Law class for a day in law school, participating on college informational panels, a luncheon program introducing the SLJ students to legal careers, and other activities as needed each year.
Uncontested Divorce Preparation for Battered Women
Following a training session by the non-profit organization Sanctuary for Families, student volunteers interview their assigned client, prepare and file divorce petitions, and follow-up to facilitate petitioner’s court appearance. Students also counsel petitioners to ensure they understand the legal process, and follow-up to make sure petitioner has access to appropriate social services and other resources.
Unemployment Action Center (UAC)
In this student run program, volunteers advise those trying to recover or enroll in unemployment insurance. Students prepare and conduct hearings (including direct and cross examinations of claimants and witnesses where appropriate) before administrative judges at the New York Department of Labor.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
VITA volunteers assist low wage workers to file their income taxes and ensure that they get available low-income and child tax credits, avoid predatory lenders, and get prompt refunds and other financial services. Last year Brooklyn Law School students put over $300,000 back into the local low-income community through this program.
The California Innocence Project. This law school volunteer program operates out of the Institute for Criminal Defense Advocacy of California Western School of Law, directed by Justin Brooks, 225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 525-1485, fax: (619) 615-1443, firstname.lastname@example.org. Students work alongside practicing criminal defense lawyers to seek the release of wrongfully convicted prisoners in California. The law students assist in the investigation of cases where there is strong evidence of innocence, write briefs in those cases, and advocate in all appropriate forums for the release of the project's clients. Training is provided by faculty.
Street Law San Diego. In California Western's Street Law Program, second and third year law students teach local high school students about aspects of the law that they will need to know as teenagers and as they become adults. Topics range from how laws are made and administered, to specific issues in criminal law, criminal procedure, juvenile justice, and the First Amendment.
Law High. Since 1991, California Western School of Law has partnered with inner city San Diego public schools on this program. The "motivation has been to reach out to minority and other populations who are unlikely to believe that either law school or higher education is open to them." The goal of the program is to "encourage the students to learn to have aspirations for themselves, to take control of their lives and their futures, and to set higher educational goals than they might on their own." CWSL students have a central role as Law High mentors. "They have planned the program, acted as role models, and offered guidance and an ear for the younger students." Sessions last two hours and are held at the high school, at the law school, and at the federal courthouse. Approximately 25 high school students and 25 law students participate. There are exercises, lessons, speakers and an exciting mock trial before a federal judge. Contact: Marion Cloete, Associate Director of Diversity Services, email@example.com.
Campbell Law Innocence Project
- Under the supervision of NC Center on Actual Innocence, students review case files to determine if a defendant’s case demands further review post-conviction.
- Mission to educate students on the importance of pro bono and to foster a community of service.
Street Law -- This is a practical program of law-related education aimed at engaging high school students in a critical examination of their rights and responsibilities. It involves law students in discussions surrounding practical legal problems, contemporary legal issues, and the ramifications of breaking the law. The underlying goal of the program is for the young students to gain a sense of belonging to society. The law students, working closely with the teachers, teach at least one to two hours a week for six weeks at a local high school.
Legal Services Society - Legal Services Society (LSS) is a student-run organization created with a mission to promote student volunteerism by planning pro bono service opportunities, community service activities, and educational events to emphasize the importance of pro bono service. Its mission is to create, through hands-on experience, a socially conscious network of students, faculty and alumni at the Columbus School of Law, each of whom are imbued with a commitment and desire to fulfill the professional obligation of providing full services to individuals whose needs, legal or otherwise, are unmet. Members are asked to pledge 10 hours each semester of membership in furtherance of LSS’s goals. Each year since 2007, LSS has raised funds to sponsor a group of students on a legal services trip to the Gulf Coast to address lingering problems resulting from Hurricane Katrina.
CUA Innocence Projec t - The Catholic University of America Chapter of the Innocence Project, affiliated with the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, was founded in 2002. Separate from CUA’s Innocence Project Clinic, which investigates claims of actual innocence by convicted persons, the Innocence Project student organization facilitates guest lectures and related presentations on pertinent issues such as ineffective assistance of counsel, misconduct and error on the part of law enforcement, and societal apathy; organizes community service activities in line with the organization’s mission; and fundraises to sponsor CUA student attendance at the annual Innocence Network conference.
Street Law - Law students educate local high school students regarding various aspects of the law, including constitutional law, criminal law, juvenile torts, and more.
Beazer Homes Restitution Fund Community Clinics –this Charlotte Law student group assists homebuyers who were victims of fraudulent business practices acknowledged by Beazer Homes U.S.A. to file claims against a Beazer-supported restitution fund.
Actual Innocence Project®this Charlotte Law student group works with the North Carolina enter on Actual Innocence, a non-profit agency that coordinates the Innocence Projects at each of North Carolina’s law schools. Through these projects, students benefit from the opportunity to review and assist in the investigation of innocence claims made by North Carolina inmates.
Guardian ad Litem(GAL)—A Guardian ad Litem is a trained community volunteer who is appointed by a district court judge to investigate and determine the needs of abused and neglected children petitioned into the court system by the Department of Social Services. The GAL makes independent recommendations to the court for services which focus on the needs of each child. After completing the required training, students will be certified as a GAL. Many Charlotte Law students have completed their GAL training with the Mecklenburg County Guardian ad Litem Program.
SelfServe Center Group Project –The Charlotte Law Self-Serve Center Student Group Project works with the 26th Judicial District Self-Serve Center at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. Charlotte Law students are trained to help educate members of the community about the steps required to file family law and Landlord -Tenant cases pro se (self-represented). Charlotte Law students are supervised by local attorneys and trained by Mr. Darwin Rice of the Self-Serve Center. The North Carolina Bar Association’s Public Service Advisory Committee recognized Charlotte Law’s Self Serve Center Group Project with its 2009 NCBA Pro Bono Law Student Project Award.
Street Law—the Charlotte Law Student Group of “Street Law”, an innovative public law clinical program began at Georgetown Law in 1972, has worked with young people in Mecklenburg County for several years. The idea for Street Law was cultivated by law students, and several decades later, Street Law, Inc. continues its close relationship with the legal community. Street Law provides lawyers, law students, paralegals, and judges with programs, professional development opportunities, and publications to enable them to teach practical law in their communities and schools.
United Family Services Victim Assistance Legal Project—United Family Services is a non-profit agency that provides services to domestic violence victims. Charlotte Law students accompany victims of domestic violence to civil and criminal court during the day and at the magistrate’s office at night. Students also assist at the Victim Assistance office.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association - Organizes student participation in projects of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Domestic Violence Coalition - Runs the Court Advocacy Project in which trained students assist domestic violence survivors seeking protection orders in Family Court.
National Lawyers Guild - Coordinates student involvement in Street Law Project.
The Mississippi Project - Student volunteers work with community and public interest groups in the Mississippi delta during the break between fall and spring semesters.
Cleveland Bar Association's Education Initiative - Students, faculty, staff and alumni work in the Cleveland Public high schools on one or more of the following initiatives (law firms and the bar association pick up some of the expenses): 1) Street Law: Law students and volunteer lawyers work with high school teachers to team-teach practical law in the social studies elective called Street Law. 2) Proficiency Exam Preparation: Law Students help prepare students to take the citizenship portion of the state-mandated proficiency exam that students must pass to receive a diploma. 3) City Mock Trial Program: Law students serve as legal advisors to help prepare student teams for competition. Law students also sit with municipal court judges and attorneys to serve as mock trial judges. 4) Mural Project: Law students help high school students paint a mural showcasing their interpretation of the law.
Homeless Legal Assistance Project - Students go to shelters and assist pro bono attorneys in addressing legal issues and rights to homeless people.
International Services Center - Students and alumni provide legal assistance to people seeking asylum to the United States.
Women's Re-Entry Program - Law students work with women recently released from incarceration. Law students conduct intake, make referrals, and assist with legal decisions that the women make concerning housing, custody, employment, criminal, and social security issues.
Asylum Workshop - Under the direction of the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, teams of Columbia students prepared the factual record and brief the legal issues involved in complex asylum cases that bring human rights violations from around the world into the U.S. legal arena.
Bringing Human Rights Home Project - Project Director Cynthia Soohoo linked students to various initiatives directed by members of the Bringing Human Rights Home Lawyers' Network. These initiatives employ human rights strategies in domestic advocacy and policy-making, and encourage U.S. compliance with international human rights law. Projects included the New York City Human Rights Initiatives.
Civilian Oversight of Police Project (COPP) - New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and other lawyers from the NYC Police Roundtable supervised a team of Columbia students advocating on behalf of complainants reporting police misconduct to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. Students interviewed complainants, collected evidence required at their hearings, and represented complainants in front of the CCRB.
Domestic Violence Project - Battered Immigrant Women Project - Participants represented abused immigrant women seeking residency status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition process. Students are assigned a client and complete the petition from beginning to end, learning skills such as interviewing and drafting affidavits.
Domestic Violence Project - Courtroom Advocates Project - Students served as advocates in Family Court for domestic violence victims. Students helped victims draft and file petitions for Orders of Protection, educated them on their rights and safety precautions, and advocated for them during court appearances. Adjunct Professor Dorchen Leidholdt and Jennifer Friedman (CLS '98) trained and supervised the student advocates.
Domestic Violence Project - Uncontested Divorce Workshop - Students handled uncontested divorces for Sanctuary for Families under the supervision of Linda Lopez. If the divorce is contested, students had the option of assisting the attorney in court.
IMPACT Voter Enfranchisement Project - Participants conducted research on voter protection issues. In partnership with Bronx Defenders, students educated community residents and implemented existing re-enfranchisement procedures.
International Center for Transitional Justice Project - Students performed legal research and writing on many different issues related to strengthening transitional justice. The ICTJ's projects focus on documenting human rights abuses, establishing truth commissions, prosecuting violators, reforming abusive institutions, providing reparations for victims and promoting reconciliation.
Legal Outreach, Inc.'s Mock Trial Program - Students coached junior high school students from School District 5 (mainly Harlem) in competitions that make up a key part of Legal Outreach's effort and curriculum to inspire and prepare young people to go to college. Adjunct Professor James O'Neal guides the coaches.
Manhattan District Attorney's Office - Students assisted ADAs in the investigation, preparation and prosecution of a variety of criminal cases in Manhattan, including larceny, domestic violence, sex crimes, narcotics and homicides.
New York City Law Department Project - Students assisted attorneys in any one of 17 divisions, including Environmental Law, Legal Counsel (counseling City Hall and City agencies), Affirmative Litigation (high-profile litigation commenced by the City), Appeals, Labor & Employment, Economic Development, Juvenile Prosecution, Bankruptcy, and the World Trade Center Unit (defending tort claims brought against the City arising from the WTC attack).
RightsLink - An outgrowth of Columbia's Human Rights Internship Program, the project provides legal documents and research to grassroots organizations throughout the world. Directed by a student board, Columbia students worked with the guidance of Columbia faculty.
Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Asylum Intake Project - Students helped attorneys from Catholic Charities conduct intake interviews with asylum seekers, and assisted in all research necessary to determine the viability of client cases.
Special Immigrant Juvenile Case Initiative - Law students trained to interview juveniles went to court to conduct preliminary intake interviews with youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status. Students helped lawyers from Legal Aid's Immigration Unit, the Door Legal Services, and Catholic Charities to streamline the intake process for SIJ cases, and track case assignments.
Tenant Rights Project - Students assisted attorneys at the West Side SRO Law Project in improving the housing conditions of low-income tenants in Manhattan Valley and the larger Columbia University community. In addition, students developed a pilot project with HELP USA's Fair Housing Justice Center to involve students in fair housing issues.
U.S. Attorney's Office Project - Students gained first-hand exposure to trial litigation in the public sector. Students worked closely with Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the investigation, preparation, and prosecution of criminal cases in federal court in Manhattan. Depending on the assignment, students helped prosecutors by researching and drafting trial and appellate briefs, and by preparing for hearings or trials.
Unemployment Action Center - A nonprofit, student-run organization where students work with unemployment insurance claimants throughout NYC who are appealing denials of their unemployment compensation. Students interviewed clients, researched applicable law, conducted direct and cross examinations, and gave closing statements before an administrative law judge.
Youth Justice Association - Zero Tolerance Initiative - Law students, under the supervision of lawyers from Queens Legal Services Corporation, represent Queens and Harlem youth who have lost access to schooling as a result of student discipline proceedings and unlawful exclusion from school.
Youth Justice Association -Education Advocacy Project- Students worked with attorneys from the Legal Aid Society-Juvenile Rights Division, specializing in education issues relating to children in foster care, often utilizing the Birth to Three and Early Intervention federal programs. Following training by attorneys, students are assigned individual cases.
American Constitution Society - Held training sessions for lawyer and law student volunteers who wanted to act as Election Day poll monitors. Several students travelled to Pennsylvania to act as poll monitors on election day.
Students for Marriage Equality - SME is a group dedicated to fighting for marriage equality in the state of New York and to educating the Ithaca community about the legal issues surrounding marriage equality. Several students committed significant volunteer hours helping Ithaca City Attorney Marty Luster research state and federal claims and important civil procedure tactics for how the city could realign itself in the lawsuit to be on the side of the plaintiffs (since the city was a necessary defendant to the initial claim).
The Public Interest Law Forum promotes awareness within the legal community of the problems of the under-represented and works to serve the needs of the underprivileged within the community. PILF encourages and supports internships and careers in public interest and actively volunteers to assist in any possible phase of legal representation of those who would otherwise be unable to obtain remedies for violations of their rights.
Other organizations, whose mission is not directly related to pro bono service, regularly support pro bono activities through programming, pro bono projects, and fundraising.
Pro Bono and Community Service Initiative – matches students with pro bono and community service projects both in and out of the legal community.
Equal Justice Works hosts Public Service Law Day to celebrate the contributions of lawyers and judges in the field of public service.
Drake Law Women's Pro Se Domestic Abuse Program - After attending an evening's training, law students assist women seeking court protection in filling out the necessary paperwork and helping the women work through the process (without providing legal advice).
Hispanic Law Student Associationworks with the Polk County Bar Association and HOLA Center of Des Moines award volunteer opportunities.
Student Bar Association / ABA - A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is offered annually.
Volunteer Students - After training, students serve as volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates.
SPIN - Student Public Interest Network
The Just Society
Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocacy Project - Students work with the Durham Crisis Center, volunteer with domestic violence legal aid attorneys, and sponsor awareness programs on domestic violence and sexual assault.
Guardian ad Litem (GAL) - Students are trained by the GAL office and certified by the court to represent children who have allegedly been abused or neglected. (In 2005-2006, a related project started called the Guardian ad Litem Litigation Project.)
Innocence Project - This Project, begun in the fall of 1999, is a collaborative effort with the UNC School of Law. It has grown into a separate non-profit organization, the NC Center on Actual Innocence. The project remains primarily student-run, with faculty advisors from both law schools and a volunteer Executive Director. The students review, investigate and pursue innocence claims of prisoners incarcerated in North Carolina.
Refugee Asylum Support Project (RASP)- Students investigate the conditions in home countries of those seeking asylum in the United States and do other immigration-related projects for organizations serving low-income immigrants.
Street Law Project - Law students teach the Bill of Rights and the American Court System in the Social Studies classes of local high schools and middle schools, as well as other sites such as an alternative school for juvenile defendants and a literacy center.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is a student-run project which assists low-income individuals in completing their income tax forms and in claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit. Volunteers are recruited, trained and tested, and provide services from January through April every year.
- Innocence Project
- Street Law (for academic credit)
- Immigration Law Clinic (for academic credit)
- Wills Drafting Clinic
- Guardian Ad Litem
- Voting Rights Restoration
The Emory Public Interest Committee is a student-led organization that coordinates a wide variety of public interest/pro bono activities. In addition the Homeless Advocacy Program provides legal assistance to the homeless population of Atlanta under the supervision of attorneys at the Georgia Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Student Legal Services provides free legal counseling to current Emory students, staff and faculty with the supervision of a local attorney.
Student organizations have service projects during the school year. The Jones’ Public Interest Law Foundation works with the Clinical Director and CSO Director to develop means to raise money to provide financial assistance for students working in Public Interest or Public Service.
Each student organization at the law school has a service project for the school year.
Death Penalty Project (DPP) – The DPP was established in August of 1995 to provide a forum for Fordham Law Students to contribute to the New York State and New Jersey capital punishment and criminal justice systems. The DPP focuses on the provision of adequate defense representation to capital defendants, appellants and death row inmates. Student volunteers have worked with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Capital Defense Office in New York City, the Capital Defense Unit of The Legal Aid Society, and the pro bono department of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. The Project also organizes panels and symposia to educate the Law School community about capital defense representation, capital prosecution, and criminal justice and jurisprudence.
Domestic Violence Advocacy Center (DVAC) – Founded in September of 1993, DVAC became a member in 1997 of the Law School Domestic Violence Consortium of Manhattan (D.V. Consortium). The D.V. Consortium is a project of the Lawyer's Committee Against Domestic Violence. The members of DVAC recognize that domestic violence is a pervasive and ongoing threat to the lives of many women and children. The center is a student-run organization that assists victims of domestic violence with family court matters through two programs: the Courtroom Advocates Project and the Uncontested Divorce Project. In addition to providing legal advocacy, law students also participate in educational and community service activities. The center is run by a student Board of Directors and receives additional support from two supervising attorneys and administrative members of the PIRC.
Family Court Mediation Project (FCMP) – The FCMP was established in January of 1995 by Clinical Professor Jacqueline Nolan-Haley who teaches the Mediation Clinic at the Law School, along with three students who had completed training in the clinic. Currently, the Project is located in Bronx Family Court and functions as an autonomous and self-contained mediation service for the people of the Bronx. The FCMP is designed to provide necessary custody and visitation mediation services to the public free of charge. As a secondary goal, the project educates and disseminates information to the public about mediation. Trainings for student mediators are conducted with the participation of Fordham Law School clinical and adjunct professors. These same professors supervise the student mediators.
For more information on all groups, please see http://law.fordham.edu/ihtml/pirc-2stugrou.ihtml?id=281
Housing Advocacy Project (HAP) – HAP is dedicated to providing law students with the opportunity to advocate for the rights of low-income tenants in public housing in New York City. The Project was founded in the summer of 1994 by two second year law students working in conjunction with several professors, the Director of the PIRC, and the Managing Attorney of a local community Legal Services Office. Student advocates are trained to represent tenants at New York City Housing Authority eviction and eligibility hearings.
Immigration Advocacy Project (IAP) – IAP provides assistance to people seeking help with immigration related matters. Students work in conjunction with attorneys at the Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights to provide individual assistance to people who are applying for asylum or refugee status. Plans for the future include providing assistance in the areas of: applying for naturalized citizenship, applying for resident alien status or for a green card, or seeking other information or assistance related to their own or their family's immigration issues.
Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center Children's Law Project (LSNCCLP) - Through a generous seed grant from Leonard J. Fassler, an alumnus from the class of 1958, the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center Children's Law Project trains Fordham law students to teach concepts of law, citizenship and literacy to young children - 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders - in an after-school program run by the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center. During the course of the 1999-2000 academic year, the Fordham law students taught 4 classes including nearly 50 elementary school students in the after-school program. The LSNCCLP program culminated with a mock trial program followed by a graduation ceremony.
Police Misconduct Action Network (PMAN) - PMAN is a joint collaboration between the PIRC, the Law School's Crowley Program in International Human Rights, and the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Founded last year in response to the Abner Louima incident, PMAN seeks to address the issue of police misconduct as both a domestic human rights and a civil rights issue. The PMAN group is comprised of students who work with victims of police misconduct at the NYCLU office to help them have their complaints heard and addressed by the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) and other appropriate authorities.
Unemployment Action Center (UAC) - The UAC is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of unemployed persons and has over 400 members at five New York area law schools. Students are trained as advocates to represent people at unemployment insurance hearings, as counselors for hearings, and as writers of appeals briefs.
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.
- 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.
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.
American Constitution Society– Recruited student volunteers on the Election Protection Hotline run by the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights under Law to answer questions by voters on election day. www.law.georgetown.edu/stuaff/orgs.cfm
Amnesty International Court Monitoring Project – AI engages in advocacy and pro bono work on human rights. www.law.georgetown.edu/stuaff/orgs.cfm
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association – Volunteer work with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center. http://www.law.georgetown.edu/stuaff/orgs.cfm
The Innocence Project – Assists incarcerated individuals seeking to prove their innocence on the basis of DNA or other physical evidence. Website: www.law.georgetown.edu/stuaff/orgs.cfm
The following student groups organize pro bono projects:
Student Bar Association (SBA): SBA is the official voice of School of Law students. An umbrella organization funded by student fees, the SBA coordinates various programs, activities, and events to meet the educational, recreational, and interpersonal needs of the student body. All JD students are members of the SBA and pay a fee of $20 per semester to fund SBA activities. In turn, the SBA disburses these funds to support other student groups and activities. Students elect SBA officers and representatives each spring. The representatives come from each class of the day and evening divisions. The officers of the SBA are the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Together with the representatives, these officers constitute the board of directors. The president of the SBA serves on the School of Law's hearing panel and attends meetings of the Golden Gate University Board of Trustees.
ACLU-NC Student Chapter: The ACLU of Northern California works to preserve and guarantee the protections of the Constitution's Bill of Rights. We aim to extend these freedoms to segments of our population who have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor. In addition to the litigation for which the ACLU-NC has been known over the past seven decades, we also educate the public, inform the media, lobby legislators, organize grassroots activists, and disseminate information about our constitutional freedoms.
American Bar Association Law Student Division (ABA/LSD): ABA/LSD seeks to further academic excellence by encouraging law students to participate in the efforts of the organized bar in the formation and revision of standards of legal education. In the past, the School of Law's chapter sponsored a "Surviving Law School" program, introducing both day and evening division firstyear students to the reality of law school, and organized an annual Homeless Luncheon.
American Constitution Society (ACS): ACS is a progressive organization comprised of law students, lawyers, scholars, judges, policymakers, activists, and other concerned individuals working to ensure that the fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice are in their rightful, central place in American law. The GGU ACS chapter initiates and organizes events and debates that foster intelligent discussion and thought on current and future legal issues.
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association: APALSA is open to all law students enrolled at Golden Gate and is dedicated to providing academic, professional, and social support to all of its members. APALSA also encourages and fosters greater minority enrollment at the School of Law and teaches awareness of issues involving Asian Pacific American individuals, minorities, and the surrounding community.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA): BLSA is a national organization dedicated to the recruitment, support (including academic support), and development of African-American law students. The BLSA chapter at Golden Gate promotes academic success and achievement by sponsoring a mentoring program and conducting review sessions and workshops for first-year students. BLSA promotes career development by participating in job fairs and the School of Law's annual Law Career Focus Day and by sponsoring presentations by practicing attorneys.
Employment Law Association (ELA): ELA members promote employment and labor law, uncover the hot issues in these areas, and build a network together.
Environmental Law Society (ELS): ELS discusses current developments in environmental law and works to further the goals of protecting the environment as well as securing placements in the legal field. ELS also participates in the annual Earth Day cleanup and the annual beach cleanup, hosts speakers on environmental issues, and periodically cosponsors a symposium dealing with emerging issues in environmental law. ELS participates each spring in the Environmental Conference in Eugene, Oregon, which provides a setting for interested students to meet and share information about events, school programs, jobs, and new developments in the field of environmental law.
Federalist Society (FS): The Federalist Society is a nationwide organization of conservative and libertarian law students, lawyers, and members of the judiciary. The society is founded on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, and the rule of law.
Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLA): IPLA seeks to forge and maintain relationships among students, the School of Law and firms, corporations, businesses, and other organizations involved in all areas of intellectual property law to educate students about intellectual property law, aid students in obtaining IP-related employment, and promote the integrity of the School of Law's IP law program to the legal community. IPLA has surveyed local firms to determine their hiring preferences regarding recent graduates and summer associate positions, sponsored presentations by local attorneys regarding issues in IP law, and cosponsored activities with professional organizations such as California Lawyers for the Arts.
International Law Society (ILS): ILS brings together students of diverse backgrounds and interests with a common goal of promoting and fostering an increased understanding and appreciation of international law at all levels, whether public, private, comparative, theoretical, or practical. ILS is an active member of the International Law Student Association (ILSA), a worldwide umbrella student organization.
Iranian Law Student Association (ILSA): The Iranian Law Students Association ("ILSA") of Golden Gate University seeks to promote the professional and cultural advancement of the Iranian community in the Bay Area. ILSA strives to strengthen the Iranian and Middle Eastern communities by participating in cultural, social, and charitable events.
Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA): JLSA plans social and culturally enriching events for Jewish students and faculty as well as events designed to educate the School of Law community about Jewish concerns.
Latino Law Students Association (La RAZA): A main objective of La Raza is to provide academic and moral support for first-year students. La Raza provides direction and advice to first-year students through its mentor/mentee program and scheduled general meetings. La Raza also strives to facilitate bonds among students who are interested in Latino issues and serves as an information resource group for its members. Upper division students can benefit from the host of career and scholarship/fellowship opportunities that are available for people of color. Additionally, La Raza brings Latino community issues back to the law student through e-mail postings and announcements at its general meetings.
Law Students for Reproductive Justice: Law Students for Reproductive Justice is committed to educating, organizing, and supporting pro-choice law students to ensure that a new generation of lawyers will be prepared to successfully defend and expand reproductive rights.
Middle Eastern LAW Students Association (MELSA): MELSA was founded to facilitate information sharing and collaboration among law students of Middle Eastern background. The group strives to build a strong alliance with other School of Law associations and to foster a greater understanding between Middle Eastern and non-Middle Eastern law students.
National Italian American Foundation (NIAF): NIAF seeks to provide a unified and effective voice for Italian Americans so that their beliefs and views may be heard by the social, economical, cultural, educational, and political institutions of this country. NIAF also educates members of the Italian American community on issues that are of interest to them and may affect government policy, and aims to protect the history, heritage, and accomplishments of Italian Americans. In addition, NIAF seeks to help young Italian Americans attain their educational goals. This group is also known as "CIAO," the California Italian-American Advocates Association.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG): NLG is a progressive group of lawyers, law students, and legal workers that provides legal support for workers and for persons who are racially, sexually, or politically oppressed. The Bay Area chapter strives to expose law students to a variety of public interest law practices and connect students with practitioners working in areas of particularly urgent need. The Bay Area chapter of the NLG recently organized projects on SSI reapplications, affirmative action, prisoner's rights, and immigrant rights.
Phi Alpha Delta: Phi Alpha Delta aims to unite law students, teachers, judges, and attorneys in a fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of liberty and equal justice; to stimulate excellence in scholarship; to inspire compassion and courage; to foster integrity and professional competence; to promote the welfare of its members; and the encourage members' moral, intellectual, and cultural advancement.
Phi Delta Phi: The purpose of Phi Delta Phi, which is open to all students, is to form a strong bond uniting law students and professors with members of the bench and bar in a fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of justice and community service.
Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF): PILF is dedicated to advancing public interest through law by encouraging and supporting members who give back to the community. PILF assists students in finding legal employment and involvement opportunities in public interest and in government. It also provides forums to hear from faculty and practicing attorneys about their public interest experiences and to discuss issues within public interest fields. PILF helps administer the Loan Repayment Assistance Program, which provides grants to help repay a portion of educational loans to School of Law graduates who work in low-paying public interest jobs. Each spring, PILF awards summer grants to current students working in public interest positions and holds an auction and raffle to raise money for these programs.
Public Policy Project (PPP): PPP, a non-partisan organization, aims to promote awareness of the relationship between law and politics and to engage and participate in the public policy sector by facilitating the understanding of the many considerations and tenets that underlie policy and how it serves the community.
Queer Law Student Association (QLSA): QLSA is concerned with individual rights and legal issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Members are committed to playing an active part in legal and social reform. QLSA has spearheaded dialogue within the School of Law community on the issue of gays in the military by publishing information and bringing in speakers on the subject. QLSA also engages in networking by way of a mentor program with Bay Area attorneys through BALIF (Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom).
Student Elder Law Forum (SELF): The Student Elder Law Forum (SELF) creates opportunities for students to get involved in the rapidly growing field of elder law. SELF invites leading elder law attorneys to address students on campus, maintains a website and other resources for interested students, and regularly sponsors events to encourage students to apply their skills in the important and rewarding practice of elder law.
South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA): SALSA is an organization that aims to build networks between South Asian law students and lawyers that will continue throughout their professional careers. SALSA strives to come together to help the community through volunteer work and fundraising. SALSA hopes to educate the community about South Asian issues and promote social synergy throughout the school's South Asian community.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF): SALDF provides a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system and raising the profile of the field of animal law.
The Women's Law Association (WLA): WLA is dedicated to educating and fostering dialogue on issues that impact women's rights, especially in the legal field. It sponsors social and educational activities for the entire student body as well as events primarily of interest to women. In the past, WLA has provided a mentor program for first-year students.
Youth Law Association (YLA): The Youth Law Association aims to open up the field of Youth Law at GGU through panels and networking events. We strive to assist students in their exploration of this dynamic area of practice.
Gonzaga Journal of International Law – CLE - Strategies for Effectively Defending Immigrant Clients
MJF Student Chapter – The Hamline Chapter sponsors activities that allow both students and practicing attorneys to meet, socialize, and discuss non-profit, pro bono, and public interest areas of law. The Student Chapter also sponsors Street Law courses which enable law students to teach fundamental legal rights, responsibilities, and resources to low-income, at-risk juveniles in Minnesota. Law students have an opportunity to reach out to young people at alternative learning centers, charter schools, or other educational or after-school programs.
Hamline has numerous other student groups which regularly engage in pro bono activities for the benefit of the community, including the Children’s Rights Association, the Hamline Women’s Legal Caucus, the Student Bar Association, and the Hamline Veteran’s Association.
Advocates for Education – Advocates for Education (A4E) is a student organization that brings together educators, policymakers, scholars, and advocates to raise awareness about, and contribute to a greater understanding of issues in public education law and policy.
In collaboration with Harvard Law School’s Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI),students will have the opportunity to lead trainings for parents in the community on the ways that exposure to domestic violence can impact a child’s learning at school and on parents’ rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Periodically, A4E publishes a policy brief covering a range of policy issues in education. Past issues have discussed special education legislation, trauma-related behavior, resegregation, the use of "under God" in the pledge of allegiance, and the No Child Left Behind Act.
BLSA Street Law– Street Law is run by the Black Law Student Association at HLS and sends BLSA members into schools, community centers, and juvenile detention facilities to discuss different aspects of the law, basic rights, and educational opportunities that may be available to the students (youth).
Federalist Society – HLS Federalist Society provides a libertarian and conservative voice on campus and by sponsoring speeches and debates on a range of legal and policy issues. There is a student pro bono chair who helps facilitate pro bono placements with non-profit advocacy groups such as the Institute for Justice and with government agencies.
Harvard Defenders – The Harvard Defenders is a student-run, student practice legal services organization that is dedicated to providing quality legal representation to people with low income in criminal show-cause hearings and welfare fraud investigations. Students also participate in the Suffolk Lawyers for Justice Program, in which they assist a local public defender on one case.
Harvard Immigration Project – HIP’s goals are to: advocate for positive changes in U.S. immigration law with an emphasis on protecting immigrant’s rights; provide a forum for Harvard Law students interested in immigration law and policy, and to raise the profile on campus of immigration policy issues; bring together students who are interested in doing academic research for the purpose of exchanging ideas and critiques; to provide professional networking opportunities for students interested in immigration law; and to aid immigration law practitioners by providing student translators.
Harvard Mediation Program – The Mediation Program serves the greater Boston community by providing volunteer mediators in six area district courts, resulting in almost 400 mediated cases per year. Mediations are conducted in the areas of small claims, landlord-tenant, criminal, civil and parent-child cases. HMP works collaboratively with other community mediation programs such as Metropolitan Mediation Services in Brookline.
HLS Advocates for Human Rights – HLS Advocates sponsors and develops specific projects for students to engage in human rights advocacy; works with civil society organizations to represent the interests of victims of human rights violations; and encourages networking and social interaction among students interested in human rights, including trainings and conferences. 150 student members are organized into regional teams.
HLS Democrats – In 2004, approximately 30 students worked as a team to compile daily summaries of all election-law related news articles in swing states, and sent them to the Kerry and DNC legal teams in Washington, DC. It conducted legal research and prepared briefs for the Kerry legal teams in Florida and New Hampshire.
Sixty students were trained and traveled to swing states leading up to and on election day to do poll monitoring and other legal-related work, with over 40 going to New Hampshire, approximately 10 going to Florida, 10 going to Pennsylvania, and 5 going to Ohio.
HLS TaxHelp – HLS TaxHelp provides low-income, elderly, and handicapped residents in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville with free, confidential tax assistance in preparing state and federal tax returns.
Just Democracy – Founded at Harvard Law School, Just Democracy is a non-partisan network of nearly 50 chapters of law schools from more than 30 states across the country. Harvard held a major conference of leaders of these chapters with voting rights experts. On Election Day 2004, JD-Harvard volunteers were present at local polling places in the greater Cambridge area while other JD volunteers served sites around the US.
Kids in the Court – Kids In the Court (KITC) teaches children in local middle schools about the law and constitutional rights through mock trials in which students act as lawyers, litigants, and witnesses.
Prison Legal Assistance Project – A student-run clinical program in which students represent inmates in Massachusetts state prisons, including prisoners charged with violating prison regulations and prisoners facing parole revocation or rescission.
Recording Artists Project – Recording Artists Project (RAP) offers pro bono counsel to musicians and artists in matters including copyright and trademark registration, and the negotiation and drafting of contracts related to music production, management, performance, licensing and merchandising.
Students Organized for the Prevention of Domestic Violence – STOPDV is an organization dedicated to the assistance of domestic violence victims through advocacy, community outreach, and education. Students provide domestic violence support, legal research, and crisis counseling.
Tenant Advocacy Project – A student practice organization dedicated to representing residents of publicly subsidized housing before local housing authorities, including tenants who are facing eviction or who have been denied admission to public housing or a subsidy program.
Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocates Program (CAP) – The Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocates Project is a unique program that recruits, trains, supervises and mentors law students to fill the gap in advocacy, education and services in New York City's Family Courts. Student advocates assist domestic violence victims by helping them draft and file their petitions, advocating for them during court appearances, educating them about their legal rights and remedies, and providing them with safety planning and referrals to community resources, such as shelters and counseling. Student advocates interview domestic violence victims and help them draft their petitions. This initial advocacy significantly improves the quality of the petitions filed so that they accurately allege the family offenses committed and request the necessary temporary relief sought. Student advocates then accompany petitioners when they appear before family court judges and assist them in requesting appropriate relief from the court, such as exclusion of the batterer from the home or temporary child support. Student advocates accompany petitioners to court on their adjourn dates and assist them with their cases as they move forward.
Unemployment Action Center (UAC) – The Unemployment Action Center is a nonprofit, student-run corporation providing free representation on a volunteer basis to unemployment insurance claimants. Student advocates represent claimants before Administrative Law Judges and, when necessary, on appeal to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Hofstra UAC has been operating since August 1991 and provides a unique experience for Hofstra law students. Student advocates independently argue real cases regarding actual claims and claimants. With a nominal time commitment (approximately 5-10 hours per case), the UAC is an unparalleled opportunity for real-world legal experience. Membership is open to all law students.
Volunteers for Income Tax Assistance (VITA) –The Volunteers for Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is affiliated with the Internal Revenue Service and has been in existence for more than 30 years in many different schools in the United States. VITA offers free tax aid to people who cannot afford professional assistance. The purpose of VITA is to help the community, specifically low to moderate income families and individuals, as well as the elderly, in meeting their tax responsibilities.
Legal Emergency Aid Project (LEAP) -LEAP is a law student-run organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to victims of disasters across the United States including victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Our members will be traveling down to New Orleans over Spring Break to provide legal assistance to our neighbors in need on a variety of issues including: FEMA claims, insurance claims, social services benefits, mortgage foreclosures, criminal justice circumstances, housing for displaced residents, voters' rights, immigrant labor, and access to counsel. Please join us in our fundraising efforts.
Law Brigades – Law Brigades is a secular, international volunteer network of students and law professionals who collaborate with local organizations and developing communities to implement legal empowerment, human rights, environmental protection, and business rights strategies for micro-enterprise development.
Alternative Spring Break: A hallmark of student pro bono service at HUSL is the Alternative Spring Break Program (ASB). Beginning in 2006, Howard law students began organizing a trip to New Orleans to lend their hands in the clean-up effort surrounding the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. In the 6 years since the storm, the ASB program has continued to send groups of more than 50 law student volunteers to New Orleans each spring to partner with legal services organizations, such as the New Orleans Public Defender and Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, who are leaders in the fight for social justice.
East of the River Youth Court Pro Bono Project: This student run initiative coordinates with a local diversion court to staff Saturday court sessions with volunteer law students. Law students serve as judges, jury coordinators, and case processors. They also mentor the high school students who serve as volunteer jurors and the defendants.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): The law schools has partnered with the business school to run a tax assistance center through VITA at Howard’s GADGET Center. Volunteer law students assist with tax returns as well as financial literacy.
DC Employment Justice Center: Law student volunteers assist at the Workers Rights Clinic and help with all areas of employment law, including: unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, family and medical leave act (FMLA) violations, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, unlawful discrimination and harassment, and wrongful termination.
Several student groups run pro bono projects:
Kent Justice Foundation (KJF) - KJF sponsors opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer activities and learn about public interest opportunities. Volunteer events have included charity walks and runs, food and clothing drives, as well as fundraising and volunteer work with various non-profit organizations throughout Chicago. Even if your future plans do not include public service, KJF will allow you to volunteer and make a difference. Speaker events regarding public interest law are also sponsored by KJF.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) - The National Lawyers Guild is an association dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. They seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers of America in an organization that shall function as an effective political and social force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. The NLG student group at Chicago-Kent is active in training students to be legal observers when there are protests or controversial trials taking place in the Chicago area. The Chicago-Kent NLG Chapter is also working on ways to get involved in representing persons after they are detained or arrested by police, but before they are assigned an attorney.
Self-Help Web Center (SHWC) - The Self-Help Web Center (SHWC) is a help desk located on the 6th floor of the Daley Center Courthouse. The SHWC is designed to serve as a starting point for litigants who must navigate an unfamiliar and complex court system on their own. The SHWC has three internet enabled computer workstations that provide individuals of all technical skill levels access to user friendly web-based tools and legal resources created by Illinois Legal Aid Online. Illinois Legal Aid Online's resources provide visitors with a better understanding of their legal issue and the court's procedural requirements. In addition, students from Chicago-Kent College of Law are available to help visitors utilize the wealth of online legal information available.
Access to Justice Student Editorial Board- is a student-staffed initiative aimed at researching and supporting access to justice projects, including the A2J Author project and other internet related projects.
Student Hurricane Network– Law students from across the country formed the Student Hurricane Network (SHN), a national association dedicated to providing assistance to communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The legal questions and problems facing the individuals and communities throughout the Gulf Coast region are monumental in scale, and will remain for years to come. The Chicago-Kent Student Hurricane Network organization was created to support and organize Chicago-Kent students who are interested in providing free assistance to legal agencies involved in hurricane-related projects. The organization works with students at Chicago-Kent to coordinate travel and fund-raising efforts for service trips (during winter and spring breaks) to the areas affected by the hurricanes. The organization also helps match students interested in performing remote research with organizations that are seeking assistance. Finally, SHN promotes summer internship opportunities for Chicago-Kent Students in New Orleans.
Inmate Legal Assistance Project:Student volunteers assist inmates at the Federal Correctional Center-Terre Haute with legal research for their pro se actions and administrative appeals, including post-conviction relief and tort and family law matters, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students both visit and correspond with inmates.
Protective Order Project: A student-run project designed to help victims of domestic abuse obtain civil protective orders from the court and related relief from service providers, with the ultimate goal of preventing further abuse, both by restraining the abuser and by empowering the victim. Students work with local volunteer attorneys under the supervision of a law school faculty member. Students also receive training in the dynamics of domestic violence, interviewing techniques, and courtroom procedures.
Tenant Assistance Project:The Tenant Assistance Project (TAP) provides legal help to tenants who face an immediate threat of eviction. Staffed by law students under the supervision of an attorney, TAP offers Monroe County residents quality legal information, advice, and representation. TAP helps to prevent homelessness in Monroe County, Indiana, by educating tenants about their legal rights.
Outreach for Legal Literacy: a community service program in which students teach law at local elementary schools.
Shalom Community Center – HELP (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) & Benefits Clinic: two walk-in clinics managed by students, under local attorney supervision, to provide legal advice and brief services and government benefits application assistance to homeless individuals in the community.
Centro Communal Legal Aid Project: a walk-in clinic managed by students, under local attorney supervision, to provide legal advice and brief services to Spanish-speaking residents of the community.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program: The Indiana University Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program provides free tax help to low income people who cannot prepare their own tax returns or those that simply want a second opinion. VITA volunteers complete income analysis and also qualify individuals for government credits, which can increase their tax refunds. Volunteers in the program must obtain the Basic and Intermediate IRS VITA certifications before meeting with clients and completing actual tax returns
Counsel in the Court: Counsel in the Court offers brief legal advice and help with forms for individuals who are not represented by an attorney. The attorneys and law students help those who are a party to, or have tried to file, a family law case in Monroe court for issues such as: child custody, visitation, support, paternity, divorce, guardianships and adoption.
EDUCCA -- A student initiated project to bring general legal orientation to citizens, particularly people in poor communities.
Public Interest Law Society
Youth and the Law Summit
Classroom Law Project - The Law School is a sustaining member of the Classroom Law Project, a non-profit organization of educators, lawyers and civic leaders building strong communities by teaching high school students to become active citizens. See http://www.classroomlaw.org
Community Alliance of Tenants - Students act as hotline volunteers and answer questions from tenants about their rights and responsibilities.
Legal Aid Services Projects - The Law School has two projects in collaboration with Legal Aid Services of Oregon and two with large local law firms.
Portland Women's Crisis Line - Volunteers work at the 24 hour crisis line, providing information, referrals and advocacy-based counseling to callers.
Tribal Ad Hoc Program - Program offers free legal research and writing assistance to tribal court judges throughout the country on short-term, one-time projects.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
Volunteers of America - Student volunteers assist and advocate for individuals who are applying for restraining orders. Program is held at the Multnomah County Courthouse.
Street Law is a student-run pro bono/law education program. During the academic year, law students teach lessons from the Street Law juvenile justice curriculum to youths in two locations—the Lynchburg Regional Detention Center and a residential group home. Approximately 30 detained youths participate each week at the Detention Center, and approximately 25 youths participate each week at the group home.
Students also hosted the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) during the Springs of 2009 and 2010, where they assisted low-income and elderly citizens from the community by preparing and filing income tax reports. They intend to host this program annually.
Pro Bono Committee of the Student Bar Association- The Pro Bono Committee worked with Thirst for Justice, a legal clinic for the underprivileged sponsored by the Baton Rouge Bar Foundation. The Committee also assisted attorneys in Baton Rouge through the Bar Foundation by supplying students to help them with their pro bono work. The Pro Bono Committee is now part of the Public Interest Law Society. See http://students.law.lsu.edu/pils/index.htm
General Relief Advocacy Program (GRAP) (through Public Counsel) - The GRAP program aids Skid-Row individuals in receiving government benefits they have been denied.
Loyola Child Advocates- Loyola Child Advocates seeks to increase on-campus awareness of child advocacy issues, involve students and faculty in outreach efforts to neighborhood schools and strengthen ties to the legal child advocacy community. The organization identifies and helps coordinate pro bono opportunities in child and family law, runs a tutoring program for two local elementary schools and hosts speaker forums featuring family law professionals.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - Students assist low-income persons with income tax forms.
Young Lawyers Program – The Young Lawyers Program mentoring initiative was established in 2000 by Loyola’s African American and Latino student organizations and is staffed by students of all races. Advised by professors, law students bring inner-city high school students to Loyola’s campus to teach them about the law, legal advocacy and the importance of a college education. Loyola students plan the program, recruit the high school students, teach the lessons, select the trial problem and coach the trial teams. The goal is to expose at risk youth of color to the benefits of obtaining an advanced degree.
Fourth Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program - Volunteers from Loyola work with children from the Cabrini Green neighborhood in a tutoring program. They work with students throughout the academic year to enhance their reading, writing and math skills.
Law Related Education- Students work with juveniles in the local juvenile detention center to help educate them about their legal rights.
Street Law - Second- and third-year students teach about law and the legal system in Chicago area high schools. Students attend a weekly seminar and teach in the high schools three times a week. In the spring semester students are often involved in preparing high school students for the city mock trial competition.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program - Volunteer law students provide income tax assistance to low-income filers.
Milwaukee Street Law Project- students teach substantive law courses and prepare high school students for statewide mock trial competitions in the Milwaukee Public high schools. Students can receive credit for participation in this program.
New Orleans Alternative Spring Break - the Lawyers Guild sponsors an alternative spring break where students work with local attorneys on a variety of legal issue related to Hurricane Katrina since 2007.
St. Thomas More - law students volunteer to tutor young men at a local detention facility on many areas of law, including constitutional and criminal law.
Mercer Pro Bono/Legal Aid Program: Student volunteers in this program provide research support for lawyers from Georgia Legal Services and for members of the Macon Bar Association engaged in pro bono representation.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) -- Students help the youth court make the best decision on where children who have been abused or neglected should live.
Mississippi Capital Post-Conviction Counsel -- Students assist in capital cases.
Confinement Outreach Project - Members of the New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement extends pro bono educational services to local prisoners to help provide information regarding legal process, providing weekly training to prisoners during the academic year.
Judicial Language Project – Members of the Women’s Law Caucus monitor cases related to sexual violence for language that stereotypes, demeans, or otherwise inappropriately characterizes the victims of the violence.
National Lawyers Guild Chapter - This group coordinates student volunteers who teach off-campus workshops to educate non-lawyers about their rights under the law and what to do when those rights are violated.
Public Interest Law Association (PILA) – The organization supports a range of Public Interest activities on campus. It raises funds through an annual auction used to fund summer public interest grants for students.
Sexual Violence Legal News – Members of the Women’s Law Caucus produce the Sexual Violence Legal News (SVLN), providing online summaries of recent, important cases relating to sexual violence.
Shelter Legal Services Foundation Chapter -- This group coordinates student volunteers who participate in the activities of Shelter Legal Services Foundation, Inc. (SLSF), a Boston organization that provides free legal services to homeless and low-income people through weekly clinics at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans and Rosie's Place, a shelter for homeless women. Volunteer law students, supervised by volunteer attorneys, assist clients with a broad array of legal problems. Participating students get experience through client contact and use of their research, writing, and advocacy skills.
Women's Law Caucus - This group organizes student volunteers who work at the Domestic Violence Institute at the Boston Medical Center assisting clients with domestic violence issues.
VITA - Each spring, law students participate in an IRS program to serve the Boston Community by offering free tax help to people who can not afford paid professional assistance. Students prepare tax returns for walk-in, low-income clients.
Domestic Violence Project - Through the Domestic Violence Project, students organize and provide training for participation in the Courtroom Advocates Program. The program gives students the opportunity to provide direct advocacy, education and services to domestic violence victims in New York City's Family Courts.
Unemployment Action Center - The UAC provides free representation to people in New York who are trying to claim their unemployment benefits. Students help claimants by presenting their cases in front of administrative law judges at the Department of Labor. This assistance includes researching unemployment insurance law and conducting direct and cross-examination. Students also appeal adverse decisions.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - In the VITA program, trained students assist low-income members of the community in preparing income tax returns.
LIFT- Legal Information for Families Today –LIFT provides information to needy families in NYC’s family courts. Life helps give low-income families the opportunity to advocate for their rights and navigate the family court system with greater confidence. Students volunteer for LIFT through the Law School’s Justice Action Center.
Street Law – Teaching Law to High School Students– Students in the Law School’s Justice Action Center’s Street Law Program team with Groundwork, Inc. and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson LLP to teach middle and high school students about the law and their legal rights.
The list below is a sampling of the law school’s student organizations working directly to provide free legal services to the public. For a full listing, please see http://www.law.nyu.edu/students/studentorganizations/.
Alternative Winter/Spring Break
Alternative Break trips are run during Winter Break and Spring Break to such locations as New Orleans, Arizona, Newark, NJ, and Charlotte, NC, and expenses are subsidized by the Public Interest Law Center and Law Students for Human Rights.
Debtors’ Rights Project
The Debtors’ Rights Project provides vital volunteer support to the free legal clinic in the Bronx, which serves pro se defendants facing debt collection lawsuits filed in Bronx Civil Court.
Domestic Violence Advocacy Project
The Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP) works in various ways to help victims of domestic violence, as well as to raise awareness and support on domestic violence issues in the NYU Law community. The two main advocacy programs of DVAP, Courtroom Advocacy Project (CAP) and the Uncontested Divorce Project (UDP) are run with Sanctuary for Families, a New York organization that assists victims of domestic violence.
High School Law Institute/Legal Outreach
The High School Law Institute (H.S.L.I.) is a free, yearlong program serving high school students from under-resourced schools throughout New York City. High school students enrolled in the program come to NYU on Saturday mornings throughout the year. Students participate in hour-long classes on criminal law, constitutional law, and mock trial, taught by teams of N.Y.U. law and undergraduate students. Teachers are provided with a detailed curriculum, created by H.S.L.I.’s board members and targeted towards high school students in New York City.
HIV Law Society
HIV Law Society provides direct legal services to low income individuals infected with HIV/AIDS. Our primary pro bono activity is conducting intake for the Housing Works Legal Clinic.
Law Students for Human Rights
Law Students for Human Rights (LSHR) is a highly active student organization focused on global human rights. There are several ways to get involved with LSHR throughout the year. Approximately 120 LSHR members actively promote the advancement of human rights and gain practical legal experience each semester through LSHR's partnerships with NGOs and other human rights organizations. LSHR also organizes and leads the Alternate Winter Break and Alternative Spring Break programs.
NYU Mediation Organization
The NYU Mediation Organization is dedicated to spreading and implementing mediation as an effective tool of conflict resolution, both within New York University School of Law and the broader legal and general community. The NYU Mediation Organization is designed to offer students a hands on experience by mediating real disputes arising between real parties, while at the same time relieving the heavy load on overburdened courthouses.
The Prisoners' Rights and Education Project
The Prisoners' Rights and Education Project (PREP) is a student organization devoted to teaching inmates in New York state prisons legal research skills. Each semester we conduct a seven week course on site at prison classrooms and libraries. PREP instruction largely mirrors what students learn in Lawyering, making it the perfect activity for a 1L.
Research, Education & Advocacy to Combat Homelessness
Research, Education & Advocacy to Combat Homelessness (REACH) is the law school’s primary student organization dedicated to directly serving the local homeless community and raising the profile of poverty law issues within the law school. REACH operates 2 weekly clinics in soup kitchens near NYU, where law students provide advice and referrals on a wide range of issues including housing, public benefits, and health-related matters. REACH also publishes a comprehensive manual and organizes speakers and panels on issues relevant to poverty law.
Suspension Representation Project
The Suspension Representation Project (SRP) is an advocacy group that trains law students to represent public school students in superintendent’s suspension hearings and help safeguard their right to education. SRP pairs new law student advocates with experienced law student advocates in its attempt to provide excellent training for law students and excellent advocacy for clients. SRP enables law students to develop valuable legal skills including interviewing clients, conducting direct and cross examinations, and delivering closing arguments. SRP routinely helps to shorten the length of the suspension or eliminate the suspension, helping kids stay in school. SRP also participates in coalitions in NYC to try to improve the ways that schools respond to students’ behavior.
Unemployment Action Center
The Unemployment Action Center (UAC) represents claimants at the New York Department of Labor (DoL) who are seeking to obtain unemployment benefits and whose claim has been contested by either their former employer or by the DoL. We provide free representation for these claimants. Students are free to sign up for clients as they become available through our call center, enabling them to choose hearing times that fit their schedule. We meet the claimants, conduct legal and factual research, file any necessary motions and provide representation at the hearing itself, raising objections, taking testimony, and performing cross-examination. When necessary, we also write appeals to the Appellate Board, either asking the Board for reconsideration or to deny an appeal from an employer.
NCCU Law Innocence Project – This project supports the work of the NC Center on Actual Innocence, a non-profit organization that assists North Carolina inmates with claims of wrongful conviction. The Center receives around 1,000 requests per year from inmates for review of their cases. Innocence Project students volunteer their time to evaluate prisoner claims of innocence and recommend whether further investigation or action should be taken. The Center accepts only those cases in which actual innocence may be proved; prisoner requests for assistance with legal or procedural errors at trial are not considered.
After an initial training, Innocence Project students review and evaluate an inmate’s case file and present their recommendations at a case review session attended by project members, the Project’s faculty advisers, and legal counsel for the Center. Where the initial review indicates the claim of innocence may have merit, students undertake further investigation, interviewing witnesses, recovering documents, and gathering evidence to establish the innocence claim.
In addition to conducting training sessions, case reviews and investigations, the Innocence Project sponsors speakers throughout the year on topics related to problems in the criminal justice system, investigative techniques, and remedies for wrongful conviction.
NCCU Law VITA Project - VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) volunteers provided free assistance with income tax returns to low-income taxpayers at the Law School every Saturday during from February to mid-April. In 2004-05 eighteen law students volunteered with VITA.
NCCU Law School Street Law – This program which started in 1999 is a partnership with the Durham Public Schools in which law students assist public school teachers in teaching legal topics to middle and high school students. Law students enrolled in the Street Law course teach law-related subjects for 6 to 8 weeks as part of a regular middle or high school social studies class, in cooperation with the regular teacher.
ACLU Chapter– Members of the law student ACLU chapter sponsored a presentation by a representative of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation and joined in canvassing Alamance County on the proposed Death Penalty Moratorium Bill. (February 2005)
Hispanic Law Students Association – HLSA and the Student Bar Association (SBA) took the lead in recruiting volunteers for the Election Protection project, sponsored by the non-partisan, national law student organization Just Democracy. Thirty students attended a training on election law and voters' rights and on election day served as poll monitors or volunteered with a voter assistance hotline (November 2004).
Boston Medical Center Project – This project is part of the law school’s Domestic Violence Institute. After completing a three-month training class, students conduct interviews in the emergency room at Boston Medical Center focusing on clients' experience with domestic violence. In addition, students provide referrals for legal and social services.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Street Law Clinic Project– Through the Northeastern law school chapter of the NLG, students work with community organizations conducting a variety of educational workshops on Fourth Amendment issues, tenants' rights and workers' rights.
Shelter Legal Services - This is a Boston-wide organization that provides legal services to homeless and near-homeless people. Working under the supervision of an attorney, students interview clients, assess their case and assist their client in resolving their issue. Issues include public housing, child support, welfare assistance, divorce and immigration.
Legal Skills in Social Context – Every first year student works on a community based social justice project as part of the year long Legal Skills in Social Context course.
Amnesty International– Raises awareness about human rights by bringing speakers to campus, hosting discussions & debates, and organizing petition drives.
Innocence Project – Assists prisoners who are currently serving prison sentences or awaiting execution for crimes they did not commit.
Public Interest Law Society – PILS fosters awareness of public interest opoprtunities and raises money for summer stipends.
Street Law – Student organization committed to reaching out to the local community to educate teenagers about their legal rights.
Chase Law Advocate Program: The Chase Law Advocate Program represents the collaborative efforts of the Northern Kentucky Volunteer Lawyers, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass and NKU Chase College of Law to help deliver civil legal assistance to low income and elderly members in the community. The program is designed to give students the opportunity to assist clients with civil legal matters while developing practical legal skills and exposure to the local courts. Volunteers are supervised by licensed attorneys from private law firms and the legal aid office.
NKU Chase Street Law Program: This program was created in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Services Diversion Program and with the support of the Kentucky Bar Foundation. Chase students who participate in the program teach Street Law classes to juveniles who have been “diverted” out of the court system and into a statewide program that promotes education and accountability. A Chase law student serves as the program coordinator.
Chase Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program: The Chase Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) trains Chase students and other volunteers to assist low-income individuals and families in completing their tax returns. Each year, a number of Chase students, alumni, and faculty assist members of the community in the preparation of their tax returns.
Volunteer Lawyers Project- Wills Clinic. This program represents the collaborative efforts of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Poor Foundation, Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bar Foundation, and NKU Chase College of Law. These clinics provide wills and other advance life planning documents to Legal Aid clients. The clinics are staffed by volunteer lawyers who supervise Chase student volunteers in assisting clients.
Black Law Students Association – Students provided opportunity tours to minority high school students to encourage law careers.
Public Interest Law Group – Students volunteered to prepare clemency petitions under the supervision of Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic.
St. Thomas More Society – Students volunteered with Catholic Charities Legal Referral Program.
Student Effort to Rejuvenate Volunteering – Provided Street Law training to at risk youth and constitutional rights foundation lessons to students at our adopted school.
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association – Students volunteered to assist lawyers with client intake at Asian Legal Services.
The Social Justice Forum exists to promote and encourage social responsibility within the Notre Dame Law School and to create and maintain a network of concerned individuals who are willing to work toward social justice. To those ends, students and faculty members sponsor regular community service projects.
Society of International Rights: This group is in the process of organizing an international volunteer program with various Notre Dame alumni working in the field of human rights.
Street Law Society -- Law students go to local public schools on a weekly basis for 10 weeks to teach students basic law concepts and how the law affects the every day life. They also teach students to participate and compete in a mock trial competition, held at the end of the school year.
Dispute Resolution and Youth Program – This program strives to teach mediation, negotiation, and general conflict management skills to children in middle and high schools around Columbus. The main goal of the program is to show youth that there are constructive ways to solve problems through talking, listening, understanding, and collective problem solving.
Mediation and Youth – Law students teach Columbus Public School students how to be peer mediators. They also design the peer mediation program for the school and help the school to implement it.
Pro Bono Research Group (PBRG)– Endowed by an alumnus, this program provides research assistance to Legal Services and Legal Aid attorneys throughout Ohio. Second and third year Research Fellows conduct quality research and gain practical legal experience. In addition, PBRG sponsors events that promote public interest law, including the Frank Woodside III Speaker Series, an annual poverty law symposium.
Street Law Program– This program provides opportunities for law students to visit local high schools to teach classes in basic elements of the law which affects all citizens in daily life. Topics include contracts, landlord/tenant and criminal law. Law students also stage a mock trial in which high school students participate.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA is a program through which law students help lower-income residents and non-residents prepare their federal income tax returns. Training for the VITA program is done in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service and College of Law tax professors.
Environmental Law Association (ELA) offers students an opportunity to discuss issues in environmental law with area practitioners working for regulatory agencies, advocacy groups, and private practice.The ELA sponsors a series of speakers and regular outdoor activities, such as canoe trips. Additionally, the ELA aims to assist students in obtaining summer and career employment in the environmental law field, work with other university resources to promote environmental activities, and advocates for increased opportunities for the study of environmental law.
ABILITY both educating students and the community about disability discrimination and also getting out into the community and helping to reduce that discrimination in positive and meaningful ways: such as getting involved with local organizations that assist persons with disabilities within the law school and the greater community, as well as assisting with the upcoming election in a way that would enable those with disabilities to more easily vote.
Public Interest Law Group-This student organization sponsors informational and fundraising activities for outreach projects in the community, for student attendance at the Equal Justice Works annual career fair, and for summer fellowships for pro bono and public interest law service. The organization also sponsors legal service and outreach projects in the community.
The main public interest student organization, the Public Interest Law Fund (PILF), includes in its programming an Alternative Break coordinator who organizes pro bono trips such as hurricane relief efforts. In the fall of 2011, the PILF students coordinated a Citizenship Day service trip and well as student recruitment for Wills For Heroes.
Advocates for Public Interest Law – Silent and live auction put on by APRIL to raise scholarship money to encourage public interest work in the summer.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – VITA provides a base of law students willing to help others with their federal income tax return preparation over a three-month period. Participating students visit libraries, prisons, military bases and urban communities.
Street Law – Law-related education in urban high schools in partnership with classroom teachers. Student may also do law-related education workshops for teens at the Providence YMCA through a YMCA – ABA partnership which provides mentoring and education to teens.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Through partnerships with community-based organizations, students offer tax assistance to low-income taxpayers. The Tax Law and Business Society sponsors this pro bono project.
Alternative Spring Break – The Association for Public Interest Law sponsors an alternative spring break program in which students spend their spring break providing legal assistance in conjunction with pro bono and legal services programs. Students have traveled to the Gulf Coast as well as provided legal advocacy on environmental justice issues in Virginia.
Rutgers School of Law – Newark offers several in-house pro bono opportunities for students:
STREET LAW: In the Spring of 2006, two first-year law students with an interest in working with young people and a desire to use their legal knowledge in a classroom setting founded Street Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark. The students sought to bring proficiency in practical law to youth and adults and to empower them to use the law and become more active citizens. To this end, Street Law partners with community organizations and local schools to add a law-related component to their programs.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ADVOCACY PROJECT: Since January 2001, the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project (DVAP) has been providing direct legal advocacy to domestic violence victims in Essex County, NJ. DVAP offers students the opportunity for hands-on experience working with victims of domestic violence. No prior experience is required and first-year law students are encouraged to participate. After completing an extensive training, law students volunteer at the Essex County Superior Court in the Domestic Violence Unit. Students provide domestic violence litigants with an overview of the legal process and assist in obtaining Temporary and Final Restraining Orders. Students trained by DVAP have helped thousands of victims of domestic violence seek restraining orders
IMMIGRANTS RIGHTS COLLECTIVE: Rutgers Immigrant Rights Collective (RUIRC) was created by Rutgers–Newark law students in 2003. RUIRC’s mission is to educate the Rutgers–Newark community about immigration policy and law, as well as to actively participate in immigration policy discussion by lobbying representatives and working with immigration policy groups in New York and New Jersey. RUIRC is dedicated to promoting immigrants’ rights and empowering immigrants.
In the Bankruptcy Project, students are teamed with volunteer attorneys to interview clients and prepare bankruptcy petitions. Clients are given a fresh start while students learn from their attorney partners - who in turn are fulfilling their own pro bono obligation. The Law School provides comprehensive training, and program coordination, office space and computers with bankruptcy software to support this project. It is run under the auspices of the local federal Bankruptcy Court, which has been generous with its advice and assistance, and honors the participants each year with a reception at the Court. This project is open to all second and third year students who complete training in the fall.
The Pro Bono Mediation Project provides an opportunity for students who have completed an eighteen hour training course at the Law School - provided by court personnel, judges, law school professors and recent Law School graduates - to become Certified Mediators. This training will take place in late January and early February 2008. After completion of the training and observing two mediation sessions at the Camden County Superior or Camden Municipal Court, the students then put their mediation and conciliation skills to work on cases assigned by the respective courts. In teams of two, the students listen to both sides, and provide assistance to the parties to come up with their own resolution. This program is highly valued by the courts, as many parties are able to resolve their issues without litigation. Moreover, it provides valuable experience to students and demonstrates a successful alternative to litigation. This student-run program is open to all students who are selected from applications and participate in the required training.
Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, which provides materials for a one day January training session, to be scheduled for a Saturday in January 2008. Students subsequently provide assistance to low income Camden residents needing help to fill out their tax returns. For the three months prior to April 15th, students are at a local library two nights a week, and on campus Saturday mornings to staff this project. All students who complete training are eligible for this student-run project.
Students volunteering for the Domestic Violence Pro Bono Project provide basic legal assistance to victims of domestic violence seeking restraining orders in Camden County. Students participating in this program have the opportunity to develop interviewing and counseling skills while helping someone who may be facing a crisis. Project volunteers also partner with the Domestic Violence Clinic by identifying appropriate cases for referral to the Domestic Violence Clinic or other legal services that provide free legal representation. A student doing pro bono work in the Domestic Violence Project will typically spend one morning per week at the courthouse over the course of a semester or during the summer. Trainings covering domestic violence law take place in September and January each school year.
Through the Immigration Project, Rutgers law students have the opportunity to work on political asylum cases under the supervision of attorneys from the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice (“CCLSJ”). In addition to research, students will provide assistance by interviewing clients and witnesses. Students also assist immigrants at the Camden Public Library, which takes place one or two evenings each month. In addition, students can assist the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia with various cases, Students who have taken immigration law or who have immigration experience are eligible for immigration pro bono work after completing the first semester of law school.
The Pro Bono Research Project, developed and administered in conjunction with Prof. Sarah Ricks, provides free legal research services to public interest law practitioners. Limited to eight second and third year students, this project offers the opportunity to simultaneously improve legal research and writing skills under the supervision of a practicing attorney while providing much needed assistance to public interest organizations. This can be done at a time and place of the participants choosing, providing maximum flexibility.
Through the Defender Project, a very limited number of second or third year students will have the opportunity, after substantive training provided by the Federal Defenders Office in Philadelphia, to assist with investigation, brief writing and research in death penalty cases. *
During election years, the Election Protection Project trains students to monitor polling places, and organizes students to go out on election day and provide impartial monitoring.
The Childrens SSI Project provides representation to children whose SSI applications have been denied, and students are paired with volunteer attorneys to work on these cases, which will be referred from South Jersey Legal Services.
The Financial Literacy Project provides an opportunity for students to go into Camden high schools with Camden bankruptcy attorneys and teach students about credit, debt and budgeting.
Through the Street Law Project, students have the opportunity, after training, to go into the Camden community and talk to Camden youth about constitutional issues pertinent to their lives. The training for that project is scheduled for fall 2007. After completion of their first semester, all students are eligible for this project. Training will be repeated in January for first year students.
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.
Public Interest Law Association
VITA -- Students assist in filling out tax forms for low-income persons of the community. The Tax Clinic professor supervises.
Process: New student pro bono group projects can be recognized by contacting the Dean of Students. New projects must be approved through the process described in the Student Pro Bono Manual to qualify for the graduation requirement.
Street Law - Law student volunteers each semester receive special training in practical law for youth, pair with a local teacher, and meet with that teacher's students one hour a week for six weeks. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, "Juvenile Rights & Responsibilities, "Who is a Juvenile," "Guns & Violence," Alcohol & Drugs." Priority is given to schools and alternative settings working with "at risk" youth.
Volunteers In Tax Assistance (VITA)
DNA Legislation Project – Law students and recent graduates serve as fellows to determine whether Alabama prison inmates serving sentences of life without parole are eligible to have their cases reviewed by the appellate-level courts based on new DNA evidence.
Beagle Aid Project – This student run project works collaboratively with faculty advisors and the Corrections Committee of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information to prisoners incarcerated in Washington State, Volunteers with this project provide legal information through JusticeWorks, a monthly newsletter, which is distributed to state prisons.
Center for Human Rights and Justice – Under faculty supervision the Center provides opportunities for students to work on research and advocacy projects for a wide variety of local and international human rights organizations. The Center solicits and screens projects from outside organizations. Students sign up for projects each semester, generally working in teams of two or three with faculty supervision. In addition, the Center promotes human rights activism and awareness by organizing or sponsoring forums, debates, films and inviting guest speakers to the Law School.
Language Bank – This project takes advantage of the multilingual skills of the law school’s diverse student body by assigning qualified students to offer translation and interpretation skills to legal service providers involved in pro bono cases. The LB volunteers are current law students and paralegals from private law firms. To date, 54 volunteer law students representing 24 languages are the assets of the LB. These languages are available to Legal Service Providers and Private Law Firms. These bilingual students and paralegals are trained by Martha Cohen, Office of Interpreter Services, King County Superior Court, in basic interpreting skills, and ethics involved in interpreting.
The Access to Justice Institute maintains the databases, online attorney evaluation, and a password-protected Web site through which legal service providers and private pro bono attorneys can reach students. Partners with the Institute include the Seattle Area Pro Bono Coordinators of forty private firms, the King County Bar Association, and legal service agencies.
Real Change Homeless Newspaper Project – Through this innovative partnership, volunteer students write a legal information column for a local newspaper serving the homeless community in Seattle. Teams of volunteer attorneys from local firms and faculty advisors provide oversight and edit the articles written by the students. The articles address common legal problems experienced by the homeless community such as property law, public benefits, health care and landlord/tenant law. For more information and examples of articles, visit the Real Change Project website at http://www.law.seattleu.edu/accesstojustice/projects/realchange
Courtroom Advocate Project – Law students represented victims of domestic violence in New York City courts.
Street Law Project – Law students taught elementary and high school students in East Orange, N.J., about criminal law and their rights and responsibilities.
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts – The students of the VLA helped with the provision of free legal aid to artists with limited means.
As a condition of school support, each student organization is expected to perform at least one major pro bono or public interest project a year. Alternatively, student organizations may engage in a number of smaller projects spread throughout the year. Examples of larger projects include community justice education events such as the Hate Crimes Symposium or the Death Penalty Symposium both hosted by the Black Law Students Association and open to the public. This service requirement is overseen by Assistant Dean Wanda Morrow. The campus tradition of volunteerism is long standing.
Additionally, all students are members of the Student Bar Association, which has a designated officer serving as liaison to the Pro Bono Honors Program. This student helps coordinate campus awareness of special pro bono projects and direct individual student organizations to pro bono activities which may of particular interest or significance to members of that group.
Equal Justice Works– Free legal classes for the public taught by law school faculty on Law Day.
GRAP – The General Relief Advocacy Program works with a local nonprofit law firm, Public Counsel, and its Staff attorneys to serve individuals at multiple offices of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), where impoverished, hungry and homeless individuals are in need of advice and advocacy assistance. Each year, hundreds of volunteer law students and attorneys assist clients with obtaining shelter, food, health, transportation and social services. Without these volunteer advocates, many individuals would not receive the benefits and services to which they are legally entitled, and which play a vital role in preventing chronic homelessness by helping people stay off the streets and move towards self-sufficiency.
Tax Law Society - The Tax Law Society is comprised of students, professors, and practitioners interested in the law of taxation. It sponsors the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program that provides free income tax return preparation assistance for the elderly and low-income taxpayers of the Los Angeles area.
Teen Court Student Association – The Teen Court Student Association participates with the Los Angeles Teen Court juvenile diversion and prevention program to reduce recidivism of first time offenders. Law student members volunteer at local high school Teen Court programs to assist with jury instructions and deliberations, and to help hearing officers, probation officers and youth offenders. In addition the Teen Court Student Association hosts diversity pipeline programs on campus for inner city high schools to encourage high school students to pursue higher education and a legal career.
Public Interest Clearinghouse Justice Bus – Law students participate on a weekend service-learning trip with PIC staff to provide legal services to a rural community as part of their REAL Project, Rural Education and Access to the Law. This trip is of no cost to the law student volunteers, as it is a supported partnership between PIC and Southwestern Law School.
Asian and Pacific Islander Law Students Association (APILSA): Members of APILSA established and staff the Asian Community Immigration Clinic, which provides free advice to Asians in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY): Law students act as mentors to at risk youth to prevent incarceration through legal education mentoring and peer leadership.
StreetLaw:Law students volunteer their time to teach youth about their legal rights in one-hour classes, held once a week for eight weeks in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall or in one of five alternative high schools.
Public Service Fellows promote the concept and awareness of public service legal work on our law campus. Fellows are also involved directly in public service legal assistance activities. They promote pro bono legal services by students on campus and by members of the legal profession.
Equal Justice Works seeks to promote involvement in public interest law positions by interacting with the public interest community at large. EJW coordinate auctions to raise money so they may send interested students to Washington, D.C., each fall for a national job fair, and provide stipends for students working in public interest summer internships.
American Civil Liberties Union – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Black Law Students Association – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Environmental Law Society – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Latin American Law Students Association – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
National Lawyers Guild - http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Shelter Legal Services – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Suffolk Public Interest Law Group – http://www.law.suffolk.edu/highlights/stuorgs/orgs.cfm
Domestic Violence Task Force - The Domestic Violence Task Force, a student-run group, provides advocacy through the Niagara County Family Court Resource Project to assist victims of domestic violence in obtaining temporary and permanent orders of protection. The Task Force also provides weekly legal services for Haven House residents and their outreach program participants in conjunction with the Bar Association of Erie County, Volunteer Lawyers Project, and the Western New York Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of New York State. See http://www.law.buffalo.edu/Student_Life_And_Services/default.asp?firstlevel=3&filename=student_organizations. Clinical Professors Suzanne Tomkins and Catherine Cerulli, who were the founders of the Family Violence Task Force in 1990 when they were students, supervise the Domestic Violence Task Force in some of its efforts.
Prison Law Task Force - The Prison Law Task Force is a student-run group that travels to certain area prisons to provide legal research and writing training to inmates seeking to represent themselves in legal matters. Professor Teresa A. Miller supervises the Prison Task Force and its pro bono efforts.
The College of Law is proud to have many student organizations dedicated to service including, the Syracuse Public Interest Network (SPIN - engaged in multiple projects throughout the year including Volunteer Income tax assistance, and a food stamp program), National Women’s Law Students Association (Outreach and support to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.), and Muslim Law Students Association (which raise funds on an annual basis for a local charity whose mission it is combat hunger).
In addition, the Student Senate sponsors service programs throughout the year.
Temple operates an extensive law-related education project Temple-LEAP (Law Education and Participation). LEAP is a multi-facted law related and civic education program which teaches non-lawyers about the law. LEAP directs the John S. Bradway Programs which include the Philadelphia High School Mock Trial Competition, Trial Advocacy Day, Juror Experiences, and Elementary Scripted Mock Trial Programs. Through Temple--LEAP, law students can become involved in Teen Court, an alternative disciplinary program currently operating in seven Philadelphia public high schools, The North Philadelphia Firearms Reduction Initiative, an after-school program that trains youth to become peer educators on the issue of gun violence reduction, and the PULSE Project (Philadelphia Urban Law Student Experience), a collaboration between Temple and the University of Pennsylvania Law School designed to encourage students from both law schools to help meet the legal needs of underserved populations in Philadelphia and implement law-related education programs in local schools.
Philadelphia Futures Law Camp - Program begins in July as full-time summer school and continues part-time during the school year. Curriculum is focused on basic language arts skills (reading, writing and critical thinking) in the context of high-interest legal concepts and current issues. Program is staffed by law students.
World Court - Law students work with high school students to examine a current high profile issue in a simulated World Court proceeding.
Holocaust Victims Asset Litigation Settlement Project - Law students review initial questionnaires in a class action settlement brought on behalf of Holocaust victims who deposited their money, insurance assets and art work in Swiss banks before and during the Holocaust and who have never been repaid their deposits.
Prevention Point - Prevention Point is a community health program working with clients at risk for HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases. Law students work with the Defenders Association of Philadelphia to operate a legal clinic whose goal is to eliminate outstanding bench warrants so clients can qualify for public health benefits.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project - Law students provide free income tax return preparation to people with low or limited income, disabilities, and non-English speakers.
Process: The Director of the Office for Public Interest Law Programs is available to assist students in developing new projects.
Volunteer Law Students Association, Student Public Interest Initiative (SPII), and Family Law Society co-sponsor with Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas evening pro bono legal clinics held at St. John’s United Methodist Church by providing volunteer students to conduct initial intake application interviews. Law School faculty provide advice and counsel to eligible clients at these clinics.
Students with VLS also volunteer at the Rape Crisis Center, Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and at Habitat for Humanity
P.L.A.Y– Providing legal activities for youth is a student run program which provides legal education and mock trial experience for area school children. This program also includes the national Street Law Program which provides law-related education in a high-risk middle school.
Wesleyan Innocence Project– Student group that supports the national initiative of The Innocence Project and performs investigations on claims of actual innocence from prisoners.
Let Someone Know – Law students provide advanced directives to the community under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
National Adoption Day – Each November, students assist local attorneys to represent foster families who are adopting children. The students are involved in the case from the beginning, drafting and filing the initial applications for adoption, and participate in the final court hearing to finalize the adoptions.
Veteran’s Court and Veteran’s Clinic – Student participate in two community programs designed to assist veterans in the diversion court program for veterans with criminal legal charges as with the local bar association’s initiative to assist veterans with civil legal problems.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - Students assist in low-income tax assistance.
Cooley student organizations, working with faculty and community professionals, coordinate many volunteer, public service, and pro bono projects.
Cooley students have been the catalysts for introducing elementary and high school peer-mediation projects across the state. Student groups volunteer to be trained in mediation and conflict resolution skills and then to bring those skills into the classroom. They have even used the training to teach conflict resolution to undergraduate students from Michigan State University’s College of Education.
Students active in Cooley’s Tax Law Society have become certified volunteers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and offer free tax help to low- to moderate-income individuals who cannot prepare their own tax returns.
Chapters of The Disaster Relief Legal Association were formed by students in Lansing and Grand Rapids. They coordinate pro bono opportunities for Cooley students by working with organizations assisting victims of disasters facing legal issues. Most of their work is done during term breaks when trips are made to areas of need.
Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids chapters of the Student Bar Association organized and conducted “Operation Hurricane Hope” to provide monetary assistance, pro bono services and physical rebuilding aid to those affected by storms in the southern United States.
PILOT – Hosted 2005 Cover Retreat, Fundraiser for Loan Forgiveness
Street Law Program – Sponsored by the TLS Public Interest Law Foundation, the Street Law program familiarizes students in under-resourced public high schools with laws and legal principles likely to be relevant to their daily lives.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)– Tulane Law students staff the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program on up to 10 Saturdays each spring. Since 1992, well over 9300 hours have been donated to this program by Tulane Law students. Through the VITA program, students assist hundreds of individuals who could not otherwise afford assistance with their income tax returns. Students help prepare basic tax returns for taxpayers with special needs, including persons with disabilities, non-English speaking persons, and elderly taxpayers.
The Akron Public Interest Law Society devotes all of its efforts to various pro bono projects throughout the academic year.
Street Law is a joint endeavor between the Akron Bar Association, Akron Law, and local public schools to teach students law and citizenship. Street Law brings local attorneys and law students into area classrooms in partnership with high school and middle school teachers. Street Law has a summer component for elementary students (camp law school), middle school and high school students (the minority pipeline program). Street Law has been recognized as a national model by Lexis.
Public Interest Student Board - The Public Interest Student Board (PISB) is a student organization dedicated and committed to the idea that the privilege of being an attorney includes service to one’s community. PISB members provide guidance to the Public Interest Institute and help implement public service programs. PISB members are leaders within the Law School, and the community. Each spring semester, members are inducted onto the Board at a reception in their honor.
SaveFirst -students provide free tax preparation services and opportunities for savings and economic improvement to low-income, working families – especially targeting those eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit refund.
Class Action Project – a high school alcohol use prevention program.
Volunteer Ombudsman – law students are advocates for residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and specialty care facilities who work to protect the health, safety, welfare and rights of Alabama’s senior citizens.
Mentoring - Students are able to make a huge impact in the lives of children who are needy. There are multiple opportunities available to students to accommodate their schedule.
Soup Bowl - Law students prepare and serve food to about 500 homeless persons at a facility operated by First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa.
Alternative Break - Alternative Break gives UA students the opportunity to participate in volunteer projects in communities outside the Tuscaloosa area. The program, held during UA’s spring break week helps the community with tangible work and service while giving students the life-changing experience of serving others and getting a broader understanding of the world around them.
Public Interest Institute – http://www.law.ua.edu/pubinterest/
National Lawyers Guild Community Legal Referral Clinics – The NLG runs legal referral clinics to serve people in need at 4 or 5 locations in the community (Casa Maria, Primavera Men's Shelter, other). Students meet with people who have questions and need information about how to access the legal system. Clinics meet weekly.
Native American Law Students Association – Through the Legal Referral Program at the Tucson Indian Center, students provide referral services to people on a walk-in basis three days per week.
VLP Advocates Bankruptcy Clinic – Under supervision of attorneys, students work with pro se clients appearing in Federal Bankruptcy Court.
VLP Advocates Child Support Clinic – Under supervision of attorneys, students review pleadings of pro per litigants at domestic default hearings to confirm that child support was calculated accurately. If there are errors, students prepare accurate documents.
VLP Advocates Domestic Relations Clinic – Students meet with clients under the supervision of volunteer attorneys, provide basic information and advice, and assist in completing self-help forms.
VLP Advocates Guardianship Clinic – Under supervision of attorneys, students meet with unrepresented clients at guardianship hearings in probate court to explain the proceedings and review client's file to ensure all legal requirements have been met. Students then appear before the court and offer recommendations as to whether clients should be awarded guardianships.
Habitat for Humanity Wills Project – The Habitat for Humanity Wills Project is a non-credit, pro bono project housed in the Legal Clinic. Under the supervision of volunteer faculty, student attorneys provide basic estate planning services for families who are recipients of Washington, and Benton Counties Habitat for Humanity homes. Students review the manner in which the client holds title to the home and other assets. They prepare simple wills, advance health care directives (living wills), powers of attorney, and other related documents. The project affords students the opportunity for pro bono service in a context that mirrors an estate-planning practice for clients of modest means.
To participate in the Wills Project, students must qualify for certification under Rule XV( to see complete information on how a student qualifies visit: http://courts.state.ar.us/opinions/1998a/980115/rule-xv.txt of the Arkansas Supreme Court and must have the approval of the faculty supervisor for the project. The anticipated level of demand for services determines the number of students who may participate at any given time.
Student Bar Association’s Community Outreach Opportunity League (C.O.O.L.)
VITA - an income tax return preparation assistance program.
- The California Asylum Representation Clinic (CARC) enables Berkeley Law students to serve as legal advocates for asylum seekers. Students work in pairs to assist asylum seekers from all over the world, including Central America, Africa and Asia. CARC collaborates with the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant to allow first-year students, as well as 2Ls and 3Ls, to enrich their legal education by working directly with clients and providing a vital community service. Local immigration attorneys provide CARC students with additional support and mentorship.
- The Workers' Rights Clinic serves to provide free legal information to low-income workers with employment-related problems and to give Berkeley Law students, particularly first-years, an opportunity to interview and work with clients who need their help. Weekly, clients come to the Clinic, housed at the East Bay Community Law Center, where they meet one-on-one with a Berkeley Law student to discuss the details of the client's employment problem. The student then works with a supervising attorney to analyze the client's situation, identify legal issues, and determine what remedies the client might pursue.
- Boalt Hall Community Legal Outreach (CLO) provides a unique opportunity for first year law students to provide much-needed legal services to underrepresented communities served by the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC). Student volunteers help expand EBCLC’s service net by visiting homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, welfare centers, and drop-in clinics, and staffing the Community Legal Access Service Site (CLASS) and the Low-Income Eviction Project. Students provide legal information in brief consultations and referrals to EBCLC and other legal service providers as well as connecting clients with other community resources. Students assist clients with problems associated with government benefits, housing, criminal records, citation defense, and other legal issues.
- Advocates for Youth Justice (AYJ) provides law students with training and opportunities to serve Bay Area youth through four student-run initiatives: Juvenile Hall Outreach, a know-your-rights program at Alameda County juvenile hall; the Expulsion Representation Clinic, providing advocacy for Bay Area youth facing school expulsion; the Education Advocacy Program where law students are certified as educational surrogates for foster youth; and the Berkeley High School Student Court, a restorative justice court at Berkeley High School.
- The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is a project of the Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights that pairs students with Iraqi clients in the Middle East who are stuck in the refugee resettlement process. Law students work under attorney supervision, serving as legal advocates throughout the resettlement process to help refugees reach a safe and welcoming country of refuge.
- The Napa Advocacy Project (NAP) is a partnership between Berkeley Law students and Disability Rights California that sends students to the Napa State Hospital, a psychiatric hospital, to provide legal information to residents.
Hastings students, faculty and staff are engaged in a wide variety of pro bono activities with legal services organizations locally, nationally and internationally. Student run pro bono opportunities include:
- General Assistance Advocacy Project (GAAP) - Students assist homeless clients to navigate the public benefits systems including general assistance, social security, unemployment, etc.
- Hastings to Haiti: to help strengthen the rule of law in Haiti, students engage with Haitian law students as well as bringing supplies and materials on human rights issues.
- Hastings Hurricane Relief: an alternative spring break opportunity. Students travel to the Gulf Coast as part of the national law student movement, to provide legal related services.
- Homeless Legal Services Program: law students, supervised by a large local law firm, partner with medical students from UCSF to provide services to residents of a local homeless shelter one evening per week.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): students provide tax filing assistance to Tenderloin residents one evening a week during tax season.
- Diversity Day
- Day at Law School
- Street Law
Partnership with Public Counsel (Volunteer Lawyer Program) – Places students with attorneys who have pro bono cases.
Adoptions Project -- The Director of Public Interest Programs supervises 40-50 students a semester on adoption cases. The Project runs over the course of a semester and advanced students serve as intermediate supervisors. Many first year students participate.
El Centro Legal – This student group coordinates three legal clinics for Hispanic populations: homeless youth, working in conjunction with Public Counsel; landlord-tenant, working in conjunction with the Legal Aid Society; and an HIV legal clinic, working in partnership with HOLSA. Over 100 first year students participated in 1998.
Worker Justice Project -- Seeks to provide an essential link between existing community organizations and increasing legal access to low-wage workers. Working through any of several community organizations, students can find a variety of volunteer opportunities, from intakes, case management, and representing workers through administrative hearings, to developing employment law and administrative hearing curriculums for volunteers and workers.
Spring Break of Service is a group organized by and for those students interested in providing legal services as part of a weeklong volunteer opportunity over spring break. In recent academic years, the Spring Break of Service sent students to Biloxi, MS to provide volunteer legal services in collaboration with the Mississippi Center for Justice, the largest public interest law firm in Mississippi. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/studentorgs/sos
Street Law is an outreach volunteer program to community high schools. Groups of approximately four or five students visit eleventh and twelfth grade classrooms once per week for fifty minutes. During each visit, the law students teach the class fundamental legal concepts and engage in policy discussion. Some classes break into small groups to encourage interaction and the free flow of ideas among high school and law students. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/studentorgs/streetlaw
HOME – Local fair housing organization that collects data and advocates for racial, economic and social equality.
ProKids – Provides advocacy for children in the juvenile system and recently partnered with the College of Law to create accelerated training to allow our students to become court-appointed special advocates.
ICLAP: Immigrant Community Legal Advocacy Project – is a student organization that partners with local organizations to provide immigration services to our growing Latino population.
Tenant Information Project – Provides information about Ohio landlord-tenant law to the community.
Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) – Assists low- and middle-income and elderly persons with tax return preparation.
Volunteer Lawyers Project – A joint project with the Cincinnati Bar Association that allows our students to assist local attorneys with cases accepted on a pro bono basis through this program. Administered by the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati.
The Christian Legal Society is engaged in pro bono work by participating in a legal aid program put on by Christian lawyers in the Denver area.
The National Lawyers Guild is engaged in pro bono work by helping to represent people that were arrested during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
[Students have the option of getting credit for some of these opportunities.]
The Center for Children's Advocacy - Students represent abused and neglected children and on class action litigation as well as testimony to be given to the state legislature. An adjunct faculty member supervises the students.
Hartford Superior Court (Family Court) - Students assist with domestic violence restraining orders.
Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative (CULI) - Students work on community economic development and revitalization projects and assist in advising non-profit groups in Hartford and Waterbury. An adjunct faculty member supervises the students.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - Students volunteer to assist low-income taxpayers with preparing their income tax returns.
Connecticut Unemployment Action Center - Students represent unemployment insurance claimants in the greater Hartford area. Faculty members supervise.
VLSP – Students, with oversight of faculty members and local attorneys, provided variety legal services for indigent clients.
Amnesty International – Amnesty International is an international human rights organization that works impartially for the release of all prisoners of conscience, fair and prompt trials for political prisoners, and the end to torture, and executions. The Chapter at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law will present several speakers on these and related topics throughout the year. It also initiates campaigns by writing letters to government officials and prisoners, as well as takes on actions through the Legal Support Network Amnesty recently initiated for lawyers and law students in the United States.
Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) – The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is a nonprofit organization consisting of more than 17,000 attorneys nationwide. Its purpose is to protect the lives and interests of animals and enhance the welfare and status of animals through the enforcement of statutes, ordinances, regulations, and common law principles. Our goals include educating the University of Denver community about the forms of institutionalized animal abuse; understanding how litigation can be used to combat this abuse; and providing opportunities for students to work with attorneys on litigation projects.
Children's Legal Advocacy Group (CLAG) – The Children's Legal Advocacy Group (CLAG) is a student organization focused on the interests of children. Goals include increasing student awareness for legal issues involving children and families, and having an active influence in the community. Through community projects with schools, shelters for victims of abuse, the Denver Bar Association, various national children's foundations, the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center, and the American Bar Association, CLAG provides many opportunities for members to reach out to children in need, and gain much practical experience in the field of child advocacy.
Helping Empower through Alternative Resolution (HEAR) – HEAR was established after the Columbine shootings as a way to help prevent conflicts in schools. The organization trains law students in mediation techniques and then works with high schools introducing, implementing and facilitating mediation programs to promote peaceful conflict resolution.
Public Interest Law Group (PILG) – PILG attempts to encourage law students (and the legal community) to devote time, energy, and intellect to helping disadvantaged individuals obtain access to our legal system. Public interest law addresses the political, social, and economic welfare of communities, with an emphasis on society's underrepresented issues and groups. PILG is dedicated to issues within, but not limited to, the substantive areas of constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights law, gay and lesbian law, elder law, environmental law, family law, immigration law, labor law, urban law, poverty law, Native American law, and legal ethics. The group's primary goals are to encourage law students to devote their careers to the struggle for social justice, expose students to the broad range of work being done to advance progressive legal goals, provide a forum for discussion and an information base, and inspire students to follow their hearts. PILG encourages involvement in the community through its tutoring program, educates and provides a forum for discussion by bringing in and co-sponsoring speaker panels. It raises its own funds to allow students to work for non-profit organizations during the summer through its clerkship program.
Social Justice Action Group (S-JAG) – S-JAG is a student-run organization dedicated to furthering social justice in Colorado and the nation through research, writing, and strategic planning. S-JAG utilizes the resources of law students and faculty to produce quality work used in litigation and other efforts to effect social change. S-JAG serves a wide range of organizations committed to and passionate about social justice, including large national nonprofits, law firms, and grassroots organizations.
The Ralph Timothy Potter Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)– This is the Denver University Law Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Membership is open to all in the University of Denver law school community who support our mission of promoting and protecting civil rights. Activities include intake, case investigation, and research at the Colorado Affiliate Office, presentations on civil liberties issues, publication of a civil liberties newsletter and internet update, participation on ACLU legal panel and board, and promotion of civil liberties on campus and in the community.
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.
Environmental Law Society -- Members have the opportunity to provide legal research assistance to attorneys representing individuals and organizations concerned with protection of the environment, take direct action for the protection and enhancement of the environment (e.g., testifying to the Legislature regarding environmental bills), and participate in forums for the exchange of information and the promotion of a better understanding of environmental law and policy issues.
Law Students for Alternative Dispute Resolution – Law Students for Alternative Dispute Resolution has members that volunteer regularly to do a variety of mediations including small claims, civil mediations, and family mediations.
Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) – VITA provides free tax assistance for low-income people.
Prisoners' Rights Research Project - Indigent prisoners incarcerated across the country write to the Project requesting answers to specific legal problems. Working under a student supervisor and faculty adviser, volunteers hone their research skills and gain significant insight into our corrections system by answering these complex questions.
The Society for Legal Assistance to Abused Women -- This is a community service based organization established to provide legal support for people in abusive relationships.
Welfare Rights Clinic -- Clinic volunteers represent public aid applicants and recipients having disputes with the Illinois Department of Public Aid. The clinic maintains an office staffed by student volunteers who provide advice to people about public aid generally. Volunteers interview clients, research the law, gather evidence, and negotiate with caseworkers.
Process: Requests for new pro bono organizations and projects are considered by the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, who in conjunction with the Student Bar Association, will assess the feasibility of the proposal and will assist in the creation of the program or project.
The Iowa Coalition for Domestic Violence (ICADV) MUNA Legal Clinic in Des Moines and the University of Iowa College of Law collaborate to serve immigrant survivors of domestic abuse.
The Equal Justice Foundation, a student group within the College of Law, hosts an annual spring break service trip to New Orleans to provide relief work for Katrina survivors, and in 2008 organized flood recovery over spring break in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) sponsored a spring break service trip to two legal services offices that serve Native Americans in South Dakota.
The Iowa Campaign for Human Rights, a student group within the College of Law, facilitates student volunteer projects with a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) program. Through JFON, law students assist immigration attorneys with immigrant detainee intake forms, provide “Know Your Rights” presentations, and help counsel at-risk immigrants. They have helped unemployed persons prepare resumes.
The Latino Law Student Association provided information and assistance to immigrants caught in the raid at the meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa.
Law Students for Choice worked on the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families and held fundraisers for clean birthing kits.
The Philanthropy Council of the Iowa Student Bar Association consists of representatives from each of the student organizations at the College of Law, as well as designates from the Iowa Student Bar Association. Its purpose is to serve as a platform for communicating among the student groups individual group plans for philanthropy and service projects; coordinating service projects of the various student organizations, as appropriate, to avoid duplication and to maximize community impact; providing information about opportunities for service projects, as well as facilitating assistance from the Citizen Lawyer Program, as needed, to groups’ service activities; and, informally advising the Citizen Lawyer Program on its mission and activities.
Other student groups at the University of Iowa College of Law sponsor various volunteer projects throughout the year including highway clean-ups, toy drives, cell phone drives, among others.
Public Interest Law Society/Lawrence Worker Justice Coalition – PILS members will be volunteering to assist with monthly worker justice clinics designed to help low-wage workers, including undocumented immigrants, understand their rights. The clinics will also serve as an entry point for worker rights complaints.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - The VITA program has been in existence since at least 1996. Volunteers prepare an average of 50 tax returns per week. Appointment hours are scheduled at the Law School three days per week, and at several low-income community service centers. Faculty members who teach the tax curriculum provided guidance and oversight.
Pro Bono Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) – The Public Interest Law Student Organization (PILS) organizes student volunteers to assist with creating guardianships for Wichita, KS area families through this program. The program is a partnership between The Arc of Sedgwick County, the Wichita Bar, the law firm of Hinkle Elkouri, the 18th Judicial Court and a local financial planner. Referrals come directly from the case managers at The Arc, which serves people with developmental disabilities. Students travel to Wichita to conduct interviews, gather data, and help prepare initial drafts of pleadings.
Universities of Kansas Court of Parking Appeals (Traffic Court) - All appeals of parking citations are handled by the Court of Parking Appeals, which is a court of equity. KU Law students serve as both attorneys and judges. Traffic Court offers students the opportunity to research and argue traffic court tickets on behalf of both the University and the party receiving the parking ticket. Students gain court-room experience and legal research skills. Court authority is final except for appeals made from this court to the Court En Banc.
Student organizations have, from time-to-time, engaged in legal and non-legal pro bono work. Projects have included fundraisers for various charitable organizations, food and clothing drives, high school mentoring programs, disaster relief operations, etc.
Edwin H. Perry Mediation Fellowships - A local lawyer has funded fellowships to train students for pro bono service. Each year this program offers a number of fellowships in mediation. Student "fellows" receive basic, family and divorce mediation skills training (70 hours), then apply their knowledge in thirty hours of family law mediation to fulfill their public service requirement. The "fellows" become part of the Louisville Bar Association Family Law Pro Bono Teams Project, mediating all matters of child visitation and custody for each case assigned to a team.
Legal Clinic for the Deaf - Students, volunteer attorneys and sign language interpreters coordinate a legal clinic for the deaf, held at the law school.
Pro Bono Wills Clinics - These clinics have been held at various sites in the Louisville area over the past several years.
VITA Clinic for Immigrants at Community Center - Students, with volunteer attorney supervision, prepare income tax returns for low-income immigrant population.
ACLU, University of Maryland School of Law Chapter - The ACLU, University of Maryland School of Law Chapter, not only provides awareness of civil liberties through speakers and other programs but links student volunteers to current ACLU pro bono projects and casework in Maryland.
Asian Pacific - American Law Student Association (APALSA) - APALSA has joined the Korean Bar Committee of the Maryland State Bar Association in assisting Maryland residents to apply for U.S. Citizenship in a special citizenship drive.
Community Law in Action- Provides community service opportunities for law students to work with high school students from Northwestern High School in Baltimore, Maryland. High school students from Northwestern High School engage in community-based legal projects and study legal fundamentals in the classroom. The classroom component is conducted in a Law and Public Service Academy, where students are taught courses in juvenile law and justice, criminal law and procedure, constitutional law, business law, and community-development law. In the practical component, the high school students attend a weekly seminar in which various legal skills are taught by law students and then are used by the high school student in projects to improve community service.
Latino/a Law Students Association - Volunteers translate for clients in the Labor/Employment Clinic.
Maryland Environmental Law Society (MELS) - MELS provides a network for all students interested in the growing field of environmental law. In addition to its programmatic activities, MELS has gained national recognition for its pioneering role in purchasing and retiring emission allowance for sulfur dioxide (S02). Since 1994, MELS has purchased 43 tons of S02 allowances at EPA's auctions conducted annually pursuant to the Clean Air Act.
The Maryland Katrina & Indigent Defense Project See: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/studentorg/katrina/index.asp
Club UMB Outreach Project http://www.umaryland.edu/outreach/volunteer_LT.html
The Public Action Law Society (PALS) is a student-run, public interest organization that promotes the service aspect of the legal profession to the student body and the community-at-large. PALS hosts monthly talks from national experts such as the Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, D.C., as well as several local practitioners from Memphis Area Legal Services, Community Legal Center, Shelby County Juvenile Court, the Memphis Urban Debate League and Volunteer Mid-South.
PALS also coordinates pro bono and volunteer opportunities for students. PALS hosts an annual Volunteer Fair to match students with area pro bono organizations. PALS also plans group pro bono projects such as the 2010 Alternative Spring Break project with the University of Miami’s Health and Elder Law Clinic to assist Haitian nationals affected by the January earthquake.
The Public Interest Leadership Board is comprised of HOPE Fellows, Miami Scholars, project leaders and volunteers who play an instrumental role in the programming and policy setting for public interest initiatives.
The Miami STREET Law Program is an educational, legal outreach program that trains current law students to teach law, public policy and ethics throughout Miami-Dade County.
The School of Law also has many student organizations dedicated to service such as the Student Organization for Human Rights, Miami Law Women, and the Wrongful Convictions Project.
In addition, students collaborate with community agencies to support literacy efforts. One such program is Lawyers for Literacy where law students are paired with attorneys and judges, to provide support and education to individuals in local homeless centers.
Wolverine Street Law -- This is a practical program of law-related education aimed at engaging high school students in a critical examination of their rights and responsibilities. Michigan Law students lead discussions related to practical legal problems, contemporary legal issues, and the ramifications of breaking the law. The underlying goal of the program is for high school students to understand how laws enhance society and how their actions affect society.
Washtenaw Workers' Rights Center: Students from the Labor Law Roundtable volunteer with the WWRC on a variety of issues related to workers' rights. Michigan Law students co-founded the WWRC.
Family Law Project ("FLP"): is a joint effort between Legal Services of South Central Michigan, a non-profit organization that provides legal services to indigent residents of its multi-county service area and the University of Michigan Law School. The mission of FLP is domestic violence prevention by providing safety to domestic violence survivors and their children through the law. FLP provides survivors with a full range of legal services, including protection orders, custody orders, and divorces as well as ancillary legal matters. After completing a training, first year students are assigned a protection order case and will interview the client, draft and file pleadings, assist with and attend any court hearings and otherwise monitor the case. Second and third year students who have previous experience at FLP may work on more complex cases, including divorce and custody matters.
The Food Stamp Advocacy Project is a law student organization working to reduce hunger by increasing participation in the food stamp program among eligible individuals in Washtenaw County. Working closely with Legal Services of South Central Michigan, student volunteers provide eligibility screenings to low-income individuals who may be eligible for food stamps, assist individuals in filling out food stamp applications, and provide individuals with information about their rights in the Food Stamp program.
Student Network for Asylum and Refugee Law (SNARL)- SNARL has an established relationship to provide pro bono assistance with Freedom House. Additionally, SNARL members have been involved in the creation of an asylum handbook for the Sixth Circuit and country conditions research and brief-writing for upcoming cases.
Asylum Law Project: First-year students organize trips during the winter and spring breaks to work on asylum cases for immigrants throughout the country. Students do their own fundraising, set up training sessions, and work with a variety of non-profit organizations.
Numerous other student groups include public service within their groups’ missions.
The Kansas City Tax Clinic – A project of the UMKC Graduate Tax Law Foundation with support from the UMKC School of Law. UMKC School of Law students in the LL.M. in Taxation program, the combined J.D./LL.M. in Taxation program, or other students with the permission of the director of the tax program, represent clients in tax controversy matters, under the supervision of the director and volunteer tax practitioners.
The Public Interest Litigation Clinic – The PILC is an independent organization located on the campus. It litigates and provides advice and research assistance to Missouri defense attorneys in capital punishment cases. The School's Death Penalty Clinic and the "Problems and Issues in the Death Penalty" course are taught in conjunction with the PILC, and the center's staff provides valuable resources for the students in those classes.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) – Students volunteer to help low income Kansas City Citizen’s file their income taxes.
Midwestern Innocence Project Student Organization – The mission of the project is to support the efforts of the Midwestern Innocence Project through support and fundraising efforts.
Family Law Advice Clinic – Montana Legal Services organizes and runs this non-credit opportunity for students to assist the legal services attorney in helping families.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Students with an interest in tax law arrange income tax preparation assistance for low income and elderly individuals during tax season.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program -- VITA students receive training on tax return requirements. They then provide help on filling out federal and state income tax returns at various sites around Lincoln, including retirement homes, community centers, and shopping malls.
Community Legal Education Project (CLEP) -- CLEP coordinates a variety of activities through which the College promotes legal education for non-lawyers. Law students assist elementary, middle and secondary school teachers in helping pupils understand fundamental legal issues, appreciate the legal system, and learn about the law as it affects their daily lives.
La Voz (student group); Huellas (Project) – A national award-winning four-level mentoring program matching attorneys, law students, college students, and high school students.
Minority Law Student Association and Phi Alpha Delta (student groups) – Street Law Program at local high school.
Nevada Reading Week – Law students read to elementary school students during the annual Nevada Reading Week.
Parking Arbitration Program – Law students arbitrate parking appeals cases on the UNLV campus.
The University of New Hampshire School of Law community actively develops, coordinates and runs student pro bono groups and specialized pro bono project. Recent groups and projects have included:
Public Interest Coalition (PIC):
The Public Interest Coalition (PIC) is a student organization that promotes awareness of public interest law and issues. PIC organizes programs, develops public interest projects, and works closely with the Social Justice Institute. PIC sponsors events like the Bruce Freidman Community Service Day and works together with the Social Justice Institute to send law students to national and regional public interest conferences.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA):
University of New Hampshire School of Law students help area New Hampshire residents with their tax forms on a walk-in basis. Law students, interested in tax law, attend an initial training session and then volunteer their time to meet with local residents about their tax returns. Members of the law school’s clinical and non-clinical faculty provide supervision.
Recognizing the importance of teaching the local community about civil, criminal and constitutional democracy in a practical way, the University of New Hampshire School of Law students venture into the New Hampshire high schools to teach students about human rights and democratic values. UNH law students prepare reading and lesson plans, and keep a reflective journal about their experiences.
Wills for Heroes:
Recognizing the need to give back to a community of brave men and women who protect our country, University of New Hampshire law students are actively involved in the Wills for Heroes program—a program providing essential legal documents to our nation’s first responders. UNH law students, working under the direction of UNH School of Law faculty, draft wills, living wills, and powers of attorney for first responders to ensure their family’s legal affairs are in order. Law students are giving back to the community and “protecting those who protect us.”
There are numerous student-run pro-bono initiatives at UNM, including a free tax clinic offered by the Tax Law Student Group open to the public, initiatives to support victims of domestic violence by the Women’s Law Caucus, Innocence projects, and fund-raising efforts by the Association of Public Interest Law Students to offer stipends for students doing pro-bono work in the summer.
Carolina HIV/AIDS Legal Assistance Project (CHALA) - CHALA works to enable low income individuals and families afflicted by HIV/AIDS anticipate and prevent household instability resulting from illness, incapacitation, or death by helping them draft advance directives, such as living wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, and other legal documents.
Carolina Teen Court Assistance Program - Carolina Teen Court assists the Orange County teen courts by serving as mentors for the student attorneys.
Child Action - This organization is committed to fostering the understanding and involvement of law students in children's legal issues by familiarizing them with children's law and the system in which it operates. The group sponsors speakers, supervises the training and work of law students as area Guardian ad Litem attorneys, and visits area schools in conjunction with the Law-Related Education program. It also sponsors a Continuing Legal Education program about children's issues in the spring.
Community Legal Project- A volunteer organization that allows law students to gain interviewing skills and practical experience with the Interfaith Shelter in Chapel Hill. Volunteers interview clients on a weekly basis and have their legal research reviewed by a practicing attorney. The Community Legal Projects deals with a variety of issues but assists primarily with landlord-tenant, employment, and family law.
Death Penalty Project- The Death Penalty project is a student organization at the University of North Carolina that has been founded for the purpose of fostering a community that is more conscious of the effect of the death penalty on society. Students work on death penalty case research under the supervision of a faculty member.
Domestic Violence Advocacy Project - This organization supports victims of domestic violence as they confront the legal and court systems. The major goal is to help victims of domestic violence achieve the legal results they need to keep themselves and their families safe.
Entrepreneur Law Association - Students perform pro bono services to local entrepreneurs and start-up companies and encourage community interaction and development.
Environmental Law Project - This organization of law students share an interest in the legal and political aspects of national, state, and local environmental issues. The primary goal of ELP is to expand the opportunities available to law students in the area of environmental law. Each year, ELP provides pro bono legal research and writing assistance for specific projects to local environmental organizations, including The Nature Conservancy and The National Health Law Program.
Immigrants Outreach Project - The Project assists people who have recently arrived in the Triangle from other countries and who have legally related issues ranging from citizenship status to taxation. The Project's second goal is to raise awareness about the need for immigration lawyers and to help interested law students enter that field.
Innocence Project - UNC - The UNC Law School Innocence Project is affiliated with the Duke University Law School Innocence Project and the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence. The Project is a student-operated volunteer organization with oversight provided by a UNC Law Professor and a criminal law attorney. The Project is dedicated to reviewing and investigating innocence claims made by North Carolina inmates. The fundamental goal of the project is to assist prisoners in challenging wrongful convictions. Additionally, the Project seeks to introduce students to elements of criminal law and investigation.
Just Democracy - Just Democracy is a national nonpartisan law student organization devoted to voter protection and education. Just Democracy's mission is to empower citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnic and racial communities, and political persuasions to participate in the democratic process by exercising the right to vote. On Election Day, volunteers will monitor polling precincts in North Carolina, educate voters about their voting rights, and answer calls from concerned voters at a statewide hotline.
Lambda's Power of Attorney Project - Lambda works to enable low- income individuals and families by helping them draft advance directives, such as living wills, powers of attorney, and other legal documents.
Latino Legal Initiative - The Latino Legal Initiative works to increase awareness about the rights of immigrants and related legal issues in the Latino community. Students have been involved in hosting workshops on legal issues at community centers, doing segments on Spanish radio shows, and producing and distributing information in Spanish on legal resources throughout the Triangle. The Initiative is a joint project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Hispanic/Latino Law Students Association, and the Immigrants Outreach Project.
Latino Legal Initiative - LLI works to increase awareness about the rights of immigrants and related legal issues in the Latino community through community workshops, radio spots, and literature distribution.
Prisoners' Rights Project - PRP, which includes the Death Penalty Project and the Innocence Project, has volunteers respond to inmate requests for legal and administrative assistance when possible and seeks to educate students about issues facing incarcerated people in North Carolina.
Street Law - Law students teach legal related topics to eighth graders in the public school system, one day per week for fall and spring semesters. In the spring, law students work with the eighth graders to do a mock trial. The primary goals of Street Law are to increase law students' ability to communicate to lay persons about the law and to teach middle-schoolers about their rights and responsibilities under the law.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program - VITA provides the community with assistance in completing and filing tax returns.
Oregon Innocence Project - In collaboration with the University's Journalism School, law students review inmate claims of "actual innocence," and help inmates pursue exoneration.
Street Law Program - Street Law is a program focused on teaching legal principles to community members in a straight forward, easy-to-understand manner. The goal of the program is to offer legal information to community members who are interested in a broad overview of their rights, as well as to reach out to segments of the community who may have difficulty obtaining the information elsewhere. Classes include: Search and Seizure (in English and Spanish); Landlord/Tenant Law (in English and Spanish); Gay and Lesbian Legal Issues; Legal Research for Lay Persons; Juvenile Law at the John Serbu Youth Center; and Domestic Violence Advocacy through a Court Watch Program, an undergraduate education class, and a Mock Trial class for high school students.
Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) - The Pro Bono Board coordinates online training with the IRS Taxpayer Education Program. Students become licensed tax preparers and, in collaboration with the University's Lundquist College of Business students, provide tax assistance to low-income, elderly and other taxpayers who qualify for assistance.
Animal Law Project- The Animal Rights Legal Project works with the Animal Rights Defense Fund and other organizations on legal projects to improve the lives of domestic and wild animals as well as animals used for research and experimentation. Students are working in collaboration with the group leaders at Wharton and the Veterinary School.
Custody and Support Assistance - This student-run project provides legal assistance and referrals to low-income clients in the area of child custody and support.
Guild Food Stamp Clinic - Founded in 1984, this student-run project provides legal counseling and representation to clients in food stamp cases. This year 16 Penn law students participated in the Project and provided assistance to nearly 300 clients in food stamp cases.
Immigration Project - This student-run clinic provides legal assistance to Immigrant detainees seeking relief from deportation as victims of persecution or domestic violence in collaboration with the Nationalities Service Center.
Penn Advocate for the Homeless - Students provide legal assistance to homeless by conducting outreach at local West Philadelphia's homeless shelters. This year Penn Advocates for the Homeless trained thirteen new advocates who opened fifty cases in a variety of substantive areas of law including landlord-tenant, disability, family law, government benefits, and workers' compensation. The group works in collaboration with the Penn School of Social Work.
Penn Housing Rights Project- Through daily observations of landlord/tenant proceedings, students collect data on the extent to which the court complies with procedural and substantive rules and the particular challenges facing under-represented clients.
Prisoners' Rights Project - Through daily observations of landlord/tenant proceedings, students collect data on the extent to which the court complies with procedural and substantive rules and the particular challenges facing under-represented clients.
Reproductive Rights Project - Launched in January 2005, the Reproductive Rights Project is assisting the Women's Law Project on legislation as well as legal research and writing on local, state and federal issues and activities that may advance or undermine reproductive rights. The clinic advocates for women who seek access to reproductive health services.
Street Law - Through Street Law, advocates teach a law related curriculum on social justice to middle school student in middle schools throughout Philadelphia.
Pitt Legal Income Sharing Foundation (PLISF) is the student public interest organization.
Public Interest Law Association (PILA)
Child Health Advocacy Program (CHAP)
Family Law Society
Veterans and Friends of Veterans Legal Association
AIDS Clinic - Students work through the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, Inc. (SDVLP). AIDS Legal Clinic Volunteers have a unique opportunity to gain legal experience and help the community. Every Monday night the clinic provides free legal services to anyone with HIV/AIDS.
Working through the SDVLP, AIDS Clinic Volunteers have a unique opportunity to gain legal experience and help the community. These services are vital to a community that may not otherwise have access to competent legal assistance. Students are given the opportunity to have a hands-on experience in the legal community and really make a difference in people’s lives. Volunteers will work under the supervision of staff attorney, Kendra Rupe Esq., and will have the responsibilities of aiding local pro bono lawyers in interviewing clients on issues spanning from landlord/ tenant, MediCal/ MedicAid, wrongful termination, estate planning, debtor/creditor, disclosure, and social security issues. Student volunteers will devote 2 hours every week assisting either at the Monday Night Clinic in Hillcrest or at the downtown location.
Domestic Violence – The Domestic Violence Prevention Clinic is a part of SDVLP. SDVLP trains students to staff the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic; this Clinic runs out of the Family Court in downtown San Diego. Students assist clients to obtain temporary restraining orders and complete related pleadings, explanation the legal system and provide referrals to social support agencies. In addition to assisting clients directly, students also have the opportunity to observe Family Court proceedings.
Elder Law – The Elder Law Clinic places USD law students with Elder Law and Advocacy, a non-profit legal organization assisting seniors. Students assist in areas such as general legal services, litigation, nursing home rights and health insurance law. General legal services include wills, power of attorney, landlord tenant, real estate and other issues affecting seniors. Students volunteering in the litigation area assist staff attorneys to draft court documents and trial preparation. All areas give students the opportunity to draft memoranda, prepare legal documents and interview clients.
Guardianship Clinic – Through SDVLP's Guardianship Clinic, students assist caretakers prepare the court filings necessary to obtain legal guardianship. In one afternoon, students fulfill an important role in creating the legal relationship that dramatically improves the life of a child who has been abused, neglected or abandoned by his/ her parent(s). The clinic is held biweekly in the SDVLP offices from 3:00 until 6:00pm. Minimum commitment is 1 session, every other week.
Mentoring Clinic – The Mentoring Clinic pairs USD law students with students from John Marshall Elementary School in east San Diego. USD volunteers spend 1 hour a week (minimum) serving as role models for these students, helping with homework and playing games.
Monarch Debate Clinic – The Monarch Debate Clinic is a partnership between USD and Monarch School, a school for San Diego indigent youth. Volunteers go to Monarch School for 1 hour a week for 2-3 months to meet with the youth, help them conduct research and teach them to formulate legal arguments. Volunteers also teach the youth oral advocacy skills. This clinic culminates with a formal debate in the USD courtroom.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – VITA is an IRS-sponsored program that offers basic tax return preparation training for volunteers to assist people whose incomes are $36,000 or less. Volunteers are trained by the IRS and receive certification in the Link & Learn computer program and undergo 16 hours of computer training. Training occurs season in early January. Students are then asked to give a 3 hour a week commitment during from late January to April 15th. Students provide basic tax return preparation for San Diego residents throughout the county.
The Law School’s Student Bar Association has community service and pro bono student liaisons who work with the law school administration and the Law Student Pro Bono Project on specialized legal education projects at the law school, including Diversity Week and National Celebrate Pro Bono Week.
Pro Bono Program- CASA – Volunteers are appointed to appear in Family Court on behalf of children in abuse and neglect cases. Working with the Richland County GAL Project, students act as unbiased representatives for the child; conduct confidential investigations; assist in preparing a plan of action; with the aid of the child's attorney see that all pertinent information is heard by the court; help coordinate suitable social services and ensure educational continuity.
Pro Bono Program- Juvenile Arbitration – Permits the first time offender to purge their record from the system by completing a set of requirements set forth by a volunteer arbitrator. Law Students serve as arbitrators conducting hearings for juveniles and monitor their progress in meeting the requirements set forth in the arbitration. Usually assigned one case at a time requiring approximately a total of 8 hours.
Pro Bono Program- Project Ayuda – Volunteers translate documents and provide information in Spanish to the immigrant community regarding access to legal services.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service to help older, handicapped, non-English speaking and other taxpayers for whom professional tax assistance may be out of reach. Volunteers assist with basic tax returns. A tax coordinator is available to handle questions and difficult returns.
R.D. Hurd Volunteer Law School Society - Second- and third-year law students have the opportunity to provide pro bono legal services to low-income persons in collaboration with East River Legal Services and Dakota Plains Legal Services. The students interview selected clients off-campus at Legal Services locations, perform research, prepare documents and, in some instances, make court appearances. Students are assigned an attorney supervisor who offers assistance to the students throughout the cases. All law students have an opportunity to perform client intake at the Law School through the use of telephone and specialized intake software. Students can then conference via polycom units with Legal Services attorneys on the issues presented by the client.
La Raza Teen Court and Teen Mentoring
PILF Pro Bono Clinics
Street Law Program - Utilizes 25-50 law student volunteers who teach about the law and serve as mentors to hundreds of public high school students.
The University of Tennessee has an active and involved student body. By volunteering their time and expertise to these student organizations, our students end up learning as much as helping. The students gain invaluable "hands-on" experience and individuals and groups obtain invaluable legal assistance. There are a variety of opportunities available at the College of Law for students who are interested in volunteering while in law school. Some of the organizations that provide legal service opportunities are listed below. Other groups such as the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and Law Women also regularly work in the local community to provide not only legal assistance, but community service as well. Student organizations and projects are subject to change depending on student interest and initiative.
Family Justice Project - This project allows students to interview and conduct legal "check-ups" for families of elementary school students at three schools in Knoxville that have a large number of lower-income students. Each school is a "full-service school," meaning that it provides an arrangement of activities and programs during and after the school day to help provide social services beyond the traditional educational services to its students and their families. Because of the financial situation of the families of the elementary school students, many of the families are legally entitled to social services and public benefits of which they might be unaware or might be having difficulty obtaining. Students are sent to the schools to meet with parents and families. UT students are trained to spot issues and problems the families might have and to help the families address those issues. Lawyers from Legal Aid of East Tennessee supervise the students.
Homeless Project - The goals of this project are to provide practical experiences for students and to assist the homeless with their administrative or legal problems. A law professor or a local practicing attorney supervises the students on-site. The students are allowed to assist in the legal representation of individuals who are temporarily or permanently displaced and provide education about the law on such topics as minor criminal offenses, food stamps, Social Security benefits, and subsidized housing. Volunteers must attend several training sessions.
Innocence Project - The Tennessee Innocence Project, sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is based at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Students review innocence applications from Tennessee prisoners, investigate cases, and provide research assistance to Tennessee Innocence Project/TACDL volunteer attorneys. An intensive student training program is held each semester.
Saturday Bar - This program provides student volunteer assistance to attorneys working with the Knoxville Legal Aid Society's Saturday Bar Program. Students perform intake and assist with interviewing clients. Students generally may follow through on the cases with the assigned pro bono attorney.
Animal Law Project - The Animal Law Project's current missions are: (1) Compile a complete reference detailing the law relating to all animal laws in Tennessee, outlining some of the pertinent federal laws, and interpreting applicable acts of Congress such as the Animal Welfare Act; (2) Create appendices to increase utility of our reference to people not familiar with or literate in legal terminology including sentencing guidelines and definitions; (3) Discuss with the Tennessee Judiciary their interpretation of animal laws especially the applicable criminal statutes.
Immigrant Assistance Project - This project evolved out of participation by UT law students at "Second Sunday," an experimental monthly program for the Spanish speaking community at Sacred Heart Cathedral. During "Second Sunday," teams of attorneys and interpreters, such as law students with Spanish-speaking skills, respond to a variety of informal questions and refer legal problems to local attorneys. The project also helps inform the local Hispanic community about changes in certain aspects of immigration law. Another related project has been to provide income tax assistance to Spanish-speaking taxpayers in Tennessee.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - VITA is a volunteer outreach program funded and managed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The VITA mission is to help disabled, elderly, and low-income taxpayers file their returns electronically. Electronic filing helps the IRS achieve the fastest possible turnaround time to get tax refund checks to those who need them as quickly as possible. The College of Law VITA site is run completely by student volunteers trained in basic tax law and mechanics, and in the use of tax preparation software at the beginning of each tax season.
STAR (Student Assisted Research) - The STAR Program is a new venture whereby law students assist local attorneys with pro bono cases by performing a variety of research tasks.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY - Habitat for Humanity is a group composed of volunteer and full-time staff united in their attempt to provide quality housing for the underprivileged. Law student volunteers regularly participate in the construction of these homes in conjunction with the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity office.
Another project under the UT Pro Bono umbrella is the Tennessee Association for Public Interest Law (TAPIL). TAPIL promotes and supports lawyering in the public interest and helps law students find public interest career opportunities. It has presented educational programs about current issues in law and public policy, sponsored delegations to public interest career fairs and conferences, initiated pro bono projects for law students and raises money to fund public interest summer jobs for UT law students.
There are many student run pro bono opportunities at UT Law. Below is just a sampling of some of these:
Street Law Street Law sends law students into local schools to teach practical, participatory lessons about law, democracy, and human rights.
Pro Bono in January (PB in J)-Winter Break Service Trips PB in J works in concert with the Pro Bono program to organize and facilitate a service trip during the winter break to provide legal assistance to underserved communities. PB in J’s vision is that through these trips, UT Law students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful pro bono work.
Texas Law Veteran’s Association-Helpers for Heroes Law Clinics TLVA strives to be an advocate for veterans, disseminate information on veterans’ benefits, and create a networking forum for students who support veterans. As part of its work, TLVA co-sponsors periodic “Helpers for Heroes” veterans law clinics with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. TLVA members assist volunteer attorneys at these clinics by interviewing veterans and helping veterans complete their intake forms.
Law Students for the Arts- “Ask An Attorney Law Clinics” Law Students for the Arts was founded in 2009 with the primary goal of aiding Austin-area artists, arts organizations and pro-bono legal referral service groups. LSftA is currently working on plans to hold an “Ask An Attorney” clinic where local artists can receive free legal advice.
J. Sutton Society – Earned Income Tax Credit Project In past years, students have been trained by the IRS and assisted low income families complete their tax returns.
Students have formed a Chapter of the Innocence Project of the National Capital Region. Its purpose is to seek the exoneration and release from incarceration of persons who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit and who are serving prison terms or awaiting execution of sentences of death in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.
Public Interest Law Association (PILA): The Public Interest Law Association (PILA) was founded by law students interested in public law careers and experiences. Founding members represent many backgrounds and professions, but share a commitment to serve judicial, legal aid, and public service organizations while in law school and beyond. Members believe that an important part of legal training involves practical experience with judges, lawyers, and clients. Through its activities and programs, PILA supports a lifelong dedication to pro bono and community service contributions. PILA has therefore developed an opportunity database to easily match projects in the community among sponsoring attorneys and law students.
PILA aspires to foster a greater understanding of the role of law in society and openness to non-profit, governmental, and community service careers among law students. PILA accordingly advocates for these goals within the College of Law and provides an important bridge to the Toledo public interest law community.
The Christian Legal Society partners with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma on monthly Homeless legal clinics.
The ABA Law Student Group presents the ABA’s Separation of Powers program to local elementary schools on an annual basis.
Phi Delta Phi presents Kendall Court, a mock trial based on a fairy tale, to local elementary school children on an annual basis.
Students take part in Constitution Day; they pair up with a local attorney to discuss the Constitution with 6th graders at elementary schools.
Minority Law Caucus – The MLC supports ongoing project placements at the Multi-Cultural Legal Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. www.law.utah.edu/current/showOrganization.asp?id=9
PILO– The Public Interest Law Organization (PILO) is dedicated to raising awareness of, and taking action on, public interest law issues. The organization encourages student participation in public interest law, develops public interest placement resources, engages in pro bono and community service projects, and has established a summer stipend program. Additional information can be found at: www.law.utah.edu/current/showOrganization.asp?id=13
Women’s Law Caucus – The Women's Law Caucus (WLC) is open to all law students. Its programs include panel discussions with practicing attorneys, seminars on sex discrimination in the law, and support groups to alleviate some of the pressures and anxieties of law school. The purpose of the caucus is to facilitate the personal and professional growth of its members and to provide activities that promote involvement in legal and women's issues. The WLC supports and participates in the bi-monthly Family Law Clinic held at the Matheson Courthouse. Additional information can be found at: www.law.utah.edu/current/showOrganization.asp?id=18
Children’s Advocacy Project– Students under supervision of project attorney handle the civil legal needs of low-income children.
Domestic Violence Project – A sub-organization of the Legal Assistance Society, the Project educates the law school about issues of domestic violence through discussion panels and films, monitors the Juvenile and Domestic Courts to inform women about the services available to them if they are being abused, and sends volunteers to the Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE) and the Magic Circle (children of women in SHE).
J.B. Moore Society of International Law– This student volunteer organization sponsors pro bono human rights projects.
Legal Education Project – A sub-organization of the Legal Assistance Society, the Legal Education Project involves visits by law students to area middle schools in order to help teenagers learn more about the legal system. Weekly classroom visits are coordinated with the students' language arts or civics courses. The weekly classes introduce the trial process, with law students instructing on such topics as opening and closing statements, effective cross examination, and evidence. Each semester culminates in a mock trial held at the Law School, with the middle school students serving as lawyers and witnesses trying to persuade a judge (a U.Va. law professor) and a jury of law students.
Migrant Farmworkers Project – A sub-organization of the Legal Assistance Society, MFP works with the Virginia Justice Center for Immigrant and Farmworkers (a program of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Aid Society) to assist an isolated population in great need of legal assistance. The Virginia Justice Center represents immigrant workers and farmworkers throughout the state of Virginia. Although the Center handles mostly employment law cases, it also takes housing and discrimination cases. Members of the Migrant Farmworkers Project at U.Va. visit migrant farm labor camps and inform workers about their rights. The project also seeks to increase awareness about the substandard treatment and conditions in which immigrant workers live and work in the state of Virginia.
Rape Crisis Advocacy Project – Supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault through advocacy, legal research and education. Advocacy: Volunteer through SARA to provide direct support to survivors. Civil Litigation Project: Work with pro-bono attorneys to support survivor's non-criminal litigation. Publications for Survivors: Create sources to help survivors understand the legal system and their options. Community Education: Educate the Law School community about sexual violence. Legislative Advocacy Project: Change the antiquated laws regarding rape and sexual assault in both Virginia and federally.
Rappahannock Legal Services Project – The Rappahannock Legal Services Clinic, run by the Legal Assistance Society, is a project intended to provide the community's indigent population with invaluable legal services. Student volunteers deal with such issues as bankruptcy advice, debtor/creditor issues, family law, and landlord-tenant law. Those student volunteers who have taken certain required courses (such as Evidence) may have the opportunity to actually counsel some of Rappahannock's clients (with the help of the Rappahannock attorneys).
Virginia Animal Law Society– The Virginia Animal Law Society is dedicated to providing a forum for education, advocacy, and scholarship aimed at protecting the lives and advancing the interests of animals through the legal system and raising the profile of the field of animal law. VALS conducts pro bono work, hosts speakers, plans student events, and holds fund raisers. The organization is affiliated with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit group of attorneys dedicated to defending animals from abuse ad exploitation throughout the country.
Virginia Innocence Project – VIPS recruits law student volunteers to investigate claims of individuals imprisoned in Virginia who claim to be innocent. Those who seek help from VIPS have in almost all cases exhausted the remedies that they have under the legal system and are desperate for assistance. VIPS volunteers will have the opportunity to work for justice for these people. VIPS is operating under the guidance of the Washington, D.C.-based Innocence Project of the National Capital Region (IPNCR), which includes student groups from five other D.C.-area law schools, including Georgetown University, the University of Maryland, and American University. Since 1989, the Innocence Project groups established across the country have been responsible for 151 exonerations of innocent individuals, including eight in Virginia.
Volunteer Income Tax Association Program (VITA) – A sub-organization of the Legal Assistance Society, VITA students help low income and elderly residents of Charlottesville complete their income tax returns on Saturday mornings during tax season. Students receive training in how to provide assistance and are encouraged to come as often as their schedules allow.
Center for Labor and Employment Justice – This student group is focused on student involvement with two main projects: 1) the innovative Worker Defense Committee at the day labor worker center, Casa Latina; and 2) the Unemployment Law Project, a member of the Alliance for Equal Justice.
Immigrant Families Advocacy Project – These students work with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and pro bono attorneys to assist immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence to get their permanent residency in the United States. Students gain valuable real-life legal experience working directly with clients and attorneys. All students are encouraged to apply.
Innocence Project Northwest ("IPNW") – The Innocence Project Northwest Clinic represents prisoners convicted in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana who offer credible post-conviction claims of actual innocence. The IPNW-SC supports the IPNW Clinic through fundraising, prisoner support projects, and by promoting discussion of actual innocence and other important topics in criminal law.
Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington – Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington (SYLAW) – Working in conjunction with SYLAW, a non-profit organization started by an alum, volunteer law students participate in training and orientation sessions conducted by local child advocacy attorneys. They then educate street youth about their legal rights and responsibilities through scheduled presentations and at two weekly drop-in clinics in the University District, where they do client intakes and make referrals to SYLAW's staff attorney.. Students also volunteer at a monthly Juvenile Record Sealing Clinic, where they help people of all ages complete the paperwork to seal their juvenile criminal records from public view, under the supervision of pro bono attorneys.
Unemployment Appeals Clinic
The Unemployment Appeals Clinic is a volunteer organization staffed by Law School students and supervising attorneys. The purpose of the clinic is to help provide representation to the unemployed in the local community, most of whom cannot find legal help elsewhere.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
The mission of the VITA program is to provide free tax preparation to low to moderate income individuals and families. Students will completely prepare and file the tax return of each client.
Student Hurricane Network (SHN)
The Student Hurricane Network is a law student organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to low-income and indigent victims of major natural disasters. As least once a year, students travel to a location in the United States that has recently suffered from a major natural disaster. During this trip, students clerk full-time for local non-profits assisting direct and indirect victims of the disaster with legal issues arising out of the disaster, including access to public benefits, employment, housing, patient dumping, and discharge of pre-disaster financial obligations.
National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) Detention Facility Trips
Undocumented individuals from around the country are apprehended by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and detained at the Dodge County Detention Facility, where they await a hearing on their deportation. The UW Latino Law Students Association (LLSA) coordinates a group of student volunteers to visit the Dodge County facility to spend four hours conducting intake interviews with detainees. Each student conducts one-on-one interviews with several detainees, gaining exposure to a variety of immigration-related issues and the removal process. Student volunteers provide a valuable service to these detainees and NIJC by screening them for possible relief from deportation, and also contribute to NIJC's program for tracking facility conditions and detainee treatment.
Community Immigration Law Clinic
CILC provides legal information regarding immigration to individuals and groups who might otherwise not have access to the legal system. CILC does this through walk-in legal clinics, know-your-rights presentations, and other community education and outreach activities. The UW Latino Law Students Association coordinates student volunteering at CILC twice per month. At CILC, students conduct intakes on behalf of CILC attorneys with walk-in immigrant clients. Students also have the opportunity to observe attorney-client meetings following the intake.
Amnesty International – AI is an international human rights organization that seeks the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, fair trials for all properly charged with legitimate criminal offenses, and the complete abolition of torture, disappearance, and state-sanctioned killing world wide. The Law School chapter takes up cases of individual prisoners on a regular basis, using letter-writing campaigns and telex-petition drives. The chapter also sponsors educational forums on major international human rights treaties and campaigns for their U.S. ratification.
Animal Law Society – This group of students focus on the nexus between animals and the law. Some of the organization's goals and activities include: conducting a Holiday Pet Food Drive to benefit a local Humane Society; sponsoring an Animal Law Lunchtime Discussion Series; participating in Nashville Cares PAWS, an organization which helps HIV+ individuals care for their pets; assisting a local county in establishing an animal control organization; and building a resource center that students and faculty can use to learn about the current state of animal laws on a local, national, and global level.
Ayuda Legal Independiente A Nashville (ALIANza) – Through this project, students assist public defenders with cases involving Spanish-speaking clients. ALIANza was created to provide Vanderbilt students with the opportunity to help serve the needs of Nashville's quite large Hispanic population.
The Rutherford Institute – The Rutherford Institute at Vanderbilt Law School is a student organization dedicated to the protection of First Amendment rights and the preservation of religious liberty in this country and abroad. In addition to sponsoring educational and social events, the Institute gives student members the opportunity to acquire hands-on legal experience by providing legal research for First Amendment cases tried by the national Rutherford Institute. The group has a faculty sponsor.
Guardians ad Litem – Guardians ad Litem are appointed by the court to protect and promote the interests of children and mentally incompetent adults who find themselves involved in judicial proceedings. Students may join the Vermont Law School chapter, which provides training, informational meetings, referrals, and opportunities to exchange experiences. Student guardians experience the legal process first-hand while providing a valuable service to the community.
Legal Education & Empowerment Program (L.E.E.P.) – Students of the Legal Education & Empowerment Program at Vermont Law School have committed themselves to bringing legal knowledge to secondary level students in local and regional schools in Vermont.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund – Animal Law League supports the passage of current Animal Advocacy Group legislation, drafts new legislation, spreads awareness of the plight of animals and provides information useful in improving their situation. Students have also participated in litigation to save animals.
Volunteer Income Tax Association Program (VITA) – The Vermont Law School VITA program provides federal and state tax assistance to elderly, low-income, and disadvantaged taxpayers living in the communities surrounding the law school. Training is provided by the Internal Revenue Service and the Vermont State Tax Department. Designed to meet a community need, the program also gives second- and third-year students the opportunity to develop their skills in interviewing and counseling clients.
Amnesty International – Amnesty International coordinated several law-related projects, including an advocacy campaign on behalf of Sudanese child soldiers.
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association – APALSA developed and implemented a collaborative pro bono project with St. Rita's Clinic in West Philadelphia to provide intake and legal representation to indigent, immigrant clients in a variety of civil matters.
Black Law Students Association – BLSA sponsors several pro bono and law-related projects, including legal workshops at local schools and coordinating advocacy around the No Child Left Behind Act.
Criminal Law Society – The Criminal Law Society coordinated several law education projects, including a project with a local non-profit group "Books through Bars."
Family Law Society– The Family Law Society coordinated a number of law education projects, including a debate on gay marriage.
Gay/Straight Alliance – The Gay/Straight Alliance works with the Center for Lesbian & Gay Civil Rights to train law students and then match them with indigent clients in a variety of civil matters, including protection from abuse, housing discrimination and estate planning. In addition, the Gay/Straight Alliance sponsors a number of public interest community forums throughout the year.
Latin American Law Students Association – LALSA worked in conjunction with clinical faculty member (and LALSA advisor) to bring the Lat/Crit Symposium to Villanova Law School.
Student Animal Legal Defense Fund – The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund coordinated an advocacy campaign focused on improving conditions at local and national animal shelters. In addition, they presented a symposium on animal law.
Tax Law Society – Tax Projects: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) assists low-income taxpayers in the Philadelphia area to prepare their returns. In addition, Tax Law Society students also offer "Know Your Rights" presentations to indigent taxpayers. Finally, Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP) trains and supervises volunteer lawyers and law students who staff a tax clinic for migrant farm workers. http://www.law.villanova.edu/studentservices/studentlife/studentorganizations.asp#Tax%20Law%20Society
The Pro Bono Society (PBS) – The Pro Bono Society (PBS), firstname.lastname@example.org, sponsors several pro bono and law-related projects, including presenting workshops about tenants' rights at a domestic violence shelter and participating in a program with the Chester City School District, in which law students create and present workshops on various aspects of the law.
United Front – United Front students worked with Philadelphia non-profit organizations to coordinate a voter registration drive and voter education project.
Women's Law Caucus – WLC coordinated several law education events, including a forum on workplace and gender issues.
- Individual Attorney Sponsors
- N.C. Legal Aid (foreclosures)
- [Broader Chapter 13 program under development]
- Guardian ad Litem – Forsyth County
- Guardian ad Litem – Stokes County
- Custody Clinic (W-S) – Legal Aid of N.C.
- Custody Clinic (Iredell) – Legal Aid of N.C.
- Teen Court
Civil Rights/Human Rights
- Rights in Police Encounters – United Way
Community Economic Development [Clinic only]
Criminal Law/Death Penalty/Innocence Projects
- Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice)
- Racial Justice Act Project – Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office
- Criminal Expungements Clinic – Legal Aid of N.C.
- Criminal Defense – Ellison Law Firm
- Rights in Police Encounters – United Way
- Criminal Defense – Forsyth County Public Defender’s Office
- Appellate Brief for 4th Circuit – Private Attorney
- Research for Habeas Petition – Private Attorney
- Safe on Seven DVD - 50b petitions – Family Services
Elder Law & Estate Planning
- Wills for Heroes – N.C. Bar Association Student Division
- Wills / Living Wills / Power of Attorney
- [Project under development]
- Divorce Clinic (W-S) – Legal Aid of N.C.
- Divorce Clinic (Iredell) – Legal Aid of N.C.
- Adoption Petition – Private Attorney Sponso r
- Medicaid Clinic – Legal Aid of N.C.
- Disability Advocacy – United Way
Income Tax Assistance
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Labor Law [None]
Law Reform/Public Policy [None]
Law Related Education/Street Law
- Will Workshop - Caretakers of Children with Disabilities
- Rights of Convicted Felons – United Way
- Rights in Police Encounters – United Way
- Education Rights of Children with Disabilities – United Way
Native American Issues
- Lumbee Indians Project – Pembroke Legal Aid
- Innocence Project - Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice
- Rights of Convicted Felons – United Way
- Veteran's Appeals – American Legion
Southwest Virginia Innocence Project
Public Interest Law Students Association
National Lawyers Guild
American Constitution Society
Phi Delta Phi
Phi Alpha Delta
Women Law Students Organization
Black Law Students Association
- International Humanitarian Law Teaching Project (IHLTP): In conjunction with the American Red Cross, law students educate high school students about international humanitarian law on topics like the Geneva Conventions and Protocols.
- Criminal Law Society Conflict Resolution Project: Law students use Street Law curriculum to teach conflict resolution skills to area elementary and secondary students.
- Know Your Rights: The student chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) facilitate workshops for high school students to educate them about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with law enforcement officials.
- Family Court Mentoring Project: Members of the Women's Law Caucus mentor adolescent girls through the St. Louis City Family Court - Juvenile Division. Each session focuses on a different topic (e.g., finding a job, life after high school, studying).
- Law Related Education: Law students teach basic legal concepts to 4th and 5th grade students, and the program ends with a mock trial.
At least three student groups (the Student Board of Governors, the St. Thomas More Society, and the Hurricane Relief Network) provide pro bono programs. In addition, Dean of Students Michele Miller runs a program in which law students teach about the law in Detroit high schools (for academic credit).
Student Bar Association – The SBA conducted a race ("The Ambulance Chase") to raise funds for legal services for the elderly.
Multi-Cultural Law Students Association – Volunteered with labor for Habitat for Humanity
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) – Students assist low-income people in the community with filing tax returns. Students work roughly seven hours per week.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
Center for Children's Rights – A volunteer effort among CCR fellows to collect books for low income children, prom dresses for girls in shelters, other. Visit and provide entertainment at shelters and children's home.
WPILF – Numerous community involvement opportunities including Wet Weather Shelter, Homeless Shelter Project, Thanksgiving Dinner Project, Halloween for Abused, Neglected and Abandoned children, food bank food drive, other
Chadwick Fellows - Each year, several students on the Wilmington campus are selected to teach principles of constitutional law to area high school students.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) - In the spring semester, large groups of students on both campuses provide income tax assistance to low income individuals.
Street Law provides law student volunteers the chance to increase legal knowledge, as well as develop new perspectives on that knowledge. Student volunteers use a national curriculum to teach practical lessons about law to local high school students. The lessons encourage participation and positive youth development. In preparing and delivering the lessons, student volunteers improve their communication, substantive knowledge, and analytical ability. Street Law fosters community involvement by offering student volunteers opportunities ranging from one afternoon to regular participation throughout the semester.
American Civil Liberties Union, William & Mary Chapter: Provides students with opportunities to engage in work relating to civil liberties by serving as a research arm of the ACLU's Virginia chapter.
Election Law Society: Student division of William & Mary’s Election Law Program, a joint venture of the National Center for State Courts and the Law School that provides assistance to state court judges in resolving election law disputes.
Institute of Bill of Rights Law Student Division: Hampton Roads School Program (develops educational curriculum on Bill of Rights taught in middle and high schools in southeastern Virginia)
Spring Break Service Trips: Organized volunteer activities to help meet the legal needs of low-income clients.
Literature and the Law Program: Working with a professor, students discuss law-related literature with inmates at the Central Virginia Regional Jail.
Student Legal Services: Assists with legal needs of members of William & Mary community
Students for the Innocence Project: Assists the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project’s efforts to exonerate wrongly-convicted inmates, students participate in investigation and research of claims of actual innocence.
MJF Street Law Project- MJF staff, legal services attorneys and alternative learning center teachers train law students to teach low-income, at-risk high school students their basic legal rights, responsibilities and resources.
A Pro Bono Clinic was recently created by the William Mitchell Chapter of MJF and Alumni Association to meet the needs of pro se litigants in family law and criminal records expungement matters.
The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project - Named after the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan, the Marshall-Brennan Project sends law school students into high schools to teach constitutional rights, seeking to empower high school students to be responsible citizens and lifelong participants in the democratic process. Beginning in the spring 2010 semester, eight William Mitchell students will teach 12th grade government classes at Central Senior High School, Como Park Senior High School, and Avalon School in St. Paul.
Groups Providing Direct Pro Bono Assistance
- Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Project -Students get direct experience in human rights legal work beginning in their first semester through the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project. A student-run organization, the Lowenstein Project matches volunteers with attorneys at non-profit organizations engaged in international human rights. The students are assigned a project-from a wide range of opportunities, including assisting with pending litigation, doing policy-related research, and drafting training material - and work in teams under the supervision of the attorney. Students hone their legal skills while making a direct contribution to human rights work internationally.
- Capital Assistance Project (CAP) matches law students interested in capital work with people on death row and lawyers in need of substantive legal support. Students research legal topics, write motions, petitions, and briefs, and conduct some investigative work to assist with capital defense cases. CAP also works to raise student awareness about the death penalty by sponsoring lectures, panels, and workshops.
- The Temporary Restraining Order Project is one of the largest student organizations at the Yale Law School. Students in the project volunteer to staff an office at the New Haven courthouse which provides assistance to individuals seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO). Thanks to the dedication of student volunteers, the office is open five days a week for the full hours of operation of the courthouse.
- Yale Environmental Law Association (YELA)sponsors activities to promote heightened awareness and action on important issues in environmental law and policy. Activities include organizing talks, debates, and informal student discussions on current issues; assisting in multi-school research initiatives (such as efforts to investigate the environmental records of judicial nominees); presenting an annual panel on careers in environmental law and policy; raising awareness of, and organizing campaigns to reduce, the law school's environmental impact; and educating the law school community about environmental issues.
- Street Law Members of YLS Street Law endeavor to empower New Haven's minority youth through legal education in a way that is accessible and engaging. The group is conscious of the ongoing battle for civil rights being waged in public schools and hopes that it positively contributes to the fight for social justice. Street Law's three goals are to encourage critical thinking and social awareness in New Haven public school students, to provide support to New Haven public school teachers and to interact with the community in which we live. To meet these goals, the group established partnerships with local schools, matching law students with classroom teachers. Street Law teachers worked in the same classroom over the course of the semester, teaching weekly, hour-long lessons. The lessons were designed to be interactive, informative and challenging. Street Law works to enable students to think critically about the legal systems in place. Whether they decide that the systems are just or unjust matters less than whether they can articulate support for their position.
- The Yale Law Workers' Rights Project (WRP) is dedicated to protecting and expanding the rights of all workers, with a particular focus on low wage workers in New Haven and around the world. The group works to provide legal assistance and other support for YLS workers on the Yale campus. Other projects include legal research for nonprofit groups on a variety of projects such as creation of living wage laws, and becoming involved with issues of labor and the global economy.
- Green Haven Prison Project functions on two basic premises: 1) that those who aspire to work in the field of law, and those whose lives are most intimately impacted by those laws, have much to learn from each other and 2) that all law students should visit a prison at least once. Every two weeks, Yale law students and Green Haven prisoners met and shared their knowledge, thoughts and experiences through discussions on wide-ranging and sometimes controversial subjects. The exchange continues a tradition between the law school and the prison which is over 30 years long; one of helping break down the barriers of communication between the prisoners and the outside world. There are many regular participants who attend every session and then there are some who are only able to drop-in on one or two sessions a year. The continuing dialogue is both frank and challenging, for everyone involved.
- OutLaws is an organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members of the law school community. The goal of OutLaws is to educate the Yale Law School community and beyond about legal issues affecting LGBT persons. Outlaws members have also become involved in litigation affecting the rights of LGBT individuals, such as drafting an amicus brief to the Supreme Court for Lawrence v. Texas challenging Texas' sodomy law and bringing suit against the Solomon Amendment.
- Student/Faculty Alliance for Military Equality (SAME) was formed in 2002 to combat threats to Yale Law School's nondiscrimination policy, promoting equal treatment of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students. SAME's broader goal is education and activism on nondiscrimination policies at other schools, and on the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. Yale Law School's nondiscrimination policy, which includes protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, has been in place at Yale since 1978. Because of this policy, military recruiters, subject to the government's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, were not allowed to participate in the school-sponsored student interview programs. In 2001, the Department of Defense (DOD) threatened to withhold over $300 million in federal funds from Yale University's other schools unless the law school's nondiscrimination policy was suspended. When the law school temporarily suspended the policy for the U.S. military, SAME staged protests at each official interview program, sponsored panel discussions, distributed information to employers and law students at other schools, and worked with lawyers and lobbyists in public interest organizations on the issue
Cardozo Advocates for Battered Women - CABW is a student-run club that brings a variety of domestic violence advocacy programs to the Cardozo community. Programs include the Courtroom Advocates Project, the Uncontested Divorce Program, and CONNECTing Survivors to Citizenship Program. CABW hosts several community events like the Holiday Toy Drive and the Valentine's Day/National Condom Week Condoms & Candy Fundraiser. The group also hosts several panel discussions each year on issues like incorporating domestic violence advocacy into a legal career, the rights of incarcerated women who fought back against their abusers, and other issues that are important to raising awareness.
Courtroom Advocates Project– Students receive training to provide legal assistance to battered women seeking protective orders. Student Advocates interview domestic violence victims, help them draft and file their petitions, advocate for them during court appearances, educate them about their legal rights and remedies, and provide them with safety planning and referrals to community resources, such as shelters and counseling.
Uncontested Divorce Program - Students receive training to provide legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence seeking uncontested divorces throughout NYC.
CONNECTing Survivors to Citizenship Program – Students receive training to provide naturalization services, including U and T Visas and VAWA petitions, for immigrant survivors of domestic violence at CONNECT (a local not-for-profit that offers holistic services).
Cardozo Youth Advocates - Students visit Washington Irving High School, a public school near Cardozo, to teach a weekly class to high school students called Law Talk. The class covers a variety of topics and law students facilitate conversations about such legal issues as the death penalty, same-sex marriage, the First Amendment, and children’s rights. This program is intended to get young people thinking and talking about the law.
Unemployment Action Center - Students receive training to help laid-off workers navigate the regulatory maze of unemployment benefits, and to advocate on their client's behalf before administrative hearing officers.
Prisoner’s Rights Projects– Through the VOLS Incarcerated Mothers Law Project, students are trained to counsel incarcerated mothers on Riker’s Island. Students provide one-on-one legal counseling to mothers on child custody and visiting issues and participate in conducting legal information sessions for groups of mothers on their rights and responsibilities as to their children while incarcerated.
Resolution Assistance Program – Students receive training to assist unrepresented tenants and owners/landlords, who are appearing in the Resolution Part of Housing Court as parties to nonpayment proceedings.
Disaster Relief Projects – Immediately following the earthquake in Haiti, Cardozo students organized fundraisers, clothing and supplies drives, and other events to benefit the Haitian Disaster Relief efforts. Previously, Cardozo students joined law students from across the country to form the Student Hurricane Network (SHN), a national association dedicated to providing assistance to communities affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.