News Archive 2003

July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2004

Public Interest & Pro Bono Awards Given at Recognition Event

At the Public Interest and Pro Bono Recognition Dinner, held on April 1, Duke Law students received awards in theses categories: Graduating students who took and met the Pro Bono Pledge; Third-year students who participated in pro bono for all three years of law school; the Outstanding Leadership in Public Interest and Pro Bono Award; Recipients of the Exceptional Pro Bono Service Award for over 100 hours this year; Recipients of the Substantial Pro Bono Service Award for between 50 and 100 hours this year; Recipients of the Significant Pro Bono Service Award for between 25 and 50 hours this year. (Hours reported as of April 1.) (Student contributing hours under 25 received Participation Awards.) The names of recipients in the aforementioned categories follow:

• Twenty-four third-year students and two LL.M.s took and met the new Pro Bono Pledge requirement of at least 50 hours of law-related work contributed to the community through pro bono or clinics. There are: Caroline Belk, Sohini Chatterjee, Hannah Demeritt, Kedrick Eily, Kristina Evans, Amir Farokhi, Douglas Holland, Nailah Knight, Luke Lantta, Aretemis Malekpour, Emily Marroquin, Jill Martin, Shireen Matthews, Akila McConnell, Michael Meyer, Doungamon Muttamara (Fon) Walker, Edward Purdon, Peter Reaves, Mitch Sprengelmeyer, Dayton Stout, Kirsten Taylor, Janet Turkell, Dimitri Varmazis, Lisa Walter, Lisa Vatch, and Francisco Prat Errazuriz.

• Ten third-year students received an award for providing pro bono legal services in all three years in law school. They are Kris Andreassen, Walter Buzzetta, Sohini Chatterjee, Amir Farokhi, Vanessa Franco, Emily Marroquin, Jill Martin, Shireen Matthews, Mitch Sprengelmeyer, and Fon Muttamara Walker.

• Twenty-eight students were recognized for outstanding leadership in public interest and pro bono activities. They are Ron Aizen, Linda Boyd, Stephanie Bradford, Walter Buzzetta, Leslie Coolie, Derek Dillman, Patricia Festin, Shannon Frank, Merrill Hoopengardner, Janna Lewis, Yemi Oladeinde, Keri Richardson, Janey Rountree, Brett Stohs, Lisa Vatch, Kelsey Weir, Kris Andreassen, Debbie Murphy, Elizabeth Noble, Robin Rone, Marika Athens, Gretchen Bellamy, Jenn Berman, Sarah Citrin, Jenny Cook, Shireen Matthews, Vik Patel, and Katy Soby.

• Five students received the Exception Pro Bono Award for contributing over 100 hours of pro bono representation this year. They are David Bernstein (GAL & Appalachia trip, 103 hours); Walter Buzzetta (Innocence Project, 301 hours), Alycia Carter (Durham Co. Attorney's Office, 105 hours); Derek Dillman (Innocence Project & Orange Co. Public Defender’s Office, 120 hours); and Lisa Walter (Durham Co. District Attorney's Office, 100 hours). In addition, 12 students provided 50 to 100 hours of pro bono, and 17 students provided 25 to 50 hours of pro bono.

• Twelve students received the Substantial Pro Bono Contribution Award for contributing between 50 to 100 hours of service during this academic year. They are: Rebecca Dixon (Fulghum Law firm, 60 hours); Casey Dwyer (GAL, 73 hours); Vanessa Franco (GALA Legal Clinic & VITA, 66.5 hours); Shannon Frank (VITA & Legal Aid, 52.5 hours); Greg Kanyicska (Mississippi Center for Justice, 64 hours); Janna Lewis (VITA, 50 hours); Ian Millhiser (Mississippi Center for Justice, 64 hours); Debbie Murphy (Durham Co. Attorney's Office, 88 hours); June Nephew (VITA, 52 hours); Wyley Proctor (GAL, 70 hours); Janey Rountree (Mississippi Center for Justice, 79 hours); Lisa Vatch (Anosmia Foundation, 62 hours);

• Seventeen students received the Significant Pro Bono Contribution Award for contributing between 25 and 50 hours of service during this academic year. They are: Ron Aizen (Orange Co. PD, 40 hours); Patrice Barley (VITA, 25 hours); Lauren Donner Chait (VITA & Innocence Project, 27 hours); Scott Edson (Appalachian trip, 47 hours); Lily Farel (Innocence Project, 35 hours); Chris Farmer (VITA, 36 hours); Ashley Grier (VITA and Justice Center, 32.5 hours); Marjorie Gurganus (VITA, 35 hours); Matt Hanchey (US Attorney’s Office, 47 hours); Audra Heagney (Fair Trial Initiative & Innocence Project, 30 hours); Doug Holland (VITA & Legal Aid/Hillsborough, 42 hours); Matt Leerberg (GAL & VITA, 35 hours); Zach McNish (Legal Aid/Hillsborough, 43.5 hours); Erika Randall (VITA, 27 hours); Teresa Sakash (Legal Aid/Hillsborough, 47 hours); Brett Stohs (Legal Aid/Durham, 25 hours); Mark Unger (Legal Aid of NC - Raleigh, 27 hours)

Posted: April 23, 2004
 
Duke Law Students Receive Howrey Helps, IOLTA and Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel/Carroll-Simon Fellowships

The students who are receiving the 2004 summer public interest fellowships from IOLTA, Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel/ Carroll-Simon and Howrey Helps are:

IOLTA
David Bernstein - (split summer) Public Defender's Office, District 15B, Carrboro, and Legal Aid of North Carolina - Durham
Jeremy Eicher - District Attorney's Office, District 5, Wilmington
William (Brian) Holladay - Pisgah Legal Services, Asheville
Claude Platton - NC Justice Center, Raleigh
Rebecca Rich - Duke Law AIDS Legal Assistance Project, Durham

Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel/Carroll-Simon
Leslie Cooley - New York County Defender Services, New York, NY
Molly Donovan - Legal Aid Society - Juvenile Rights Division, Jamaica, NY
Audra Heagney - Greater Boston Legal Services - Welfare Law Unit, Boston, MA
Thomas McCudden - Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Chicago, IL
Chad Nicholson - International Justice Mission, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Kisha Payton - Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, GA

Howrey Helps
Zach McNish - Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston, TX

Congratulations to all of them!

Posted: April 9, 2004
 
Serving Your Cause Through Creating Your Own Non-Profit or Through Serving on Non-Profit Boards: Featuring LL.M. Lisa Vatch and the Anosmia Foundation

The Office and Board of Pro Bono and Public Interest invites you to hear about how LL.M. Lisa Vatch saw a gap in services and decided to fill it by creating her own foundation. (Tuesday, March 30, 12:10, Room 4045) Lisa was born without a sense of smell, but her condition was not diagnosed until she was a teenager. Not wanting others to face the same predicament and witnessing a lack of awareness and sensitivity for this problem by both the public and the legal and medical community, she created a web-based Canadian foundation that serves 1000s of people from all over the world. At Duke Law, she has turned this into a pro bono project and has two other law students working with her this year. In addition to learning about Lisa’s work, Associate Dean Carol Spruill, will speak about the opportunities young lawyers have to serve on boards, and will invite audience members to share their experiences. Lunch will be served. Bring your own beverage.
Posted: March 25, 2004
 
Equal Justice Works 2005 Post-Graduate Fellowship Brochure Now On-Line
Equal Justice Works has just announced that its brochure for post-graduate fellowships for 2005 is on-line. See:
http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/bro2005.htm
The deadline is Sept. 16.
This is the most plentiful of all the post-graduate fellowship programs. This year they have 51 fellows for 2003 and 51 fellows for 2004 who will all be working at the same time in this two-year program.
If you want to apply, it is never too early to think about who you want to be your sponsoring organization, and to develop ties with them. You can apply in September of your 3L year, or for up to 10 years (if I recall correctly) after you graduate.
Posted: March 25, 2004
 
Upcoming Pro Bono and Public Interest Recognition Event

In the next few days, student who signed up for pro bono this year will receive an invitation to the end-of-year recognition banquet, at which we honor all those who participated in pro bono this year and/or provided leadership in other public interest activities. The event is April 1 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and will be held in the Blue Lounge. If you do not receive an invitation but you have participated in pro bono, please contact burrucker@law.duke.edu in the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: March 19, 2004
 
Special Request to 3Ls Who May Have Met the Pro Bono Pledge
The Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono would like to hear from all 3Ls who may have met the Pro Bono Pledge, whether or not you have already signed it. If you have contributed at least 50 hours of law-related work to the community over the last three years – either through pro bono or your clinic work (including required hours) – then you have met the Pledge. Please contact burrucker@law.duke.edu in the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: March 19, 2004
 
Women Judges Panel

The Women Law Student Association and the Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono invites all students to join us at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23 for the Women Judges' Panel. Four of the female judges on the NC Court of Appeals: Linda McGee, Robin Hudson, Wanda Bryant and Marty Geer; and District Court Judges Ann McKown and Pat DeVine, will discuss what it is like being a female judge in today's political and legal environment. The wine, water, and cheese reception begins at 4:30 p.m. Then each judge will present her story of the barriers she faced and the encouragements she received in aspiring to her position. Informal questions and discussion will follow, including questions about clerkships.
Posted: March 19, 2004
 
Overlooked Career Choices: Blending the Public & Private Sectors
Please join us on Thursday, March 18, at 12:10 (Room 4048)for a presentation and discussion of how to find meaningful work in often overlooked places. Brett Stohs will share his findings on how to be sure the private firm of your choice really is allowing its new associates to do pro bono and other public interest work. Janey Rountree has studied how to find those jobs -- which may occur in any of the three sectors -- that are not frequently brought to students' attention and which are harder to research. She will give a thumbnail sketch of a large range of jobs including plaintiff's law firms, local government, running for office, lobbying, public law and finance, education law, teaching, judicial positions. Sponsored by the Office and Board of Pro Bono and Public Interest. Lunch will be served. Bring your own beverage.
Posted: March 9, 2004
 
Have You Met the Pro Bono Pledge
The Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono has been placing pledge cards in the mail folders of those suspected of having complete 50 hours of law-related community service (counting both pro bono and clinic time). If you received one, please complete, sign and return it to Kim Burrucker ASAP. If you did not receive one and need one, please contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: March 9, 2004
 
VITA Pro Bono Interim Report -- Over $92,000 for Low-Income Taxpayers

Thus far in the tax season, the energetic VITA crew (Volunteer Income Tax Program) has helped taxpayers file tax forms resulting in over $92,000 in refunds. This includes $77,799 in federal refunds, and $14,279 in North Carolina refunds. They have also helped families obtain $15,524 in Earned Income Tax Credits. Congratulations to organizers Janna Lewis, Joy Nakrin, Chris McLauglin, Kim Burrucker and the 36 Duke Law students, faculty and staff who are participating this year. We will give a full report at the end of the season.


$92,078 total refunds

Posted: February 27, 2004
 
Duke Law Alumni Couple Creates New Endowment for Public Interest Initiatives

Thanks to the generosity of a Duke Law alumni couple, Candace Carroll ‘74 and Len Simon ‘73, the Carroll and Simon Endowment is making new public interest initiatives possible. In 2004, the interest from this endowment will fund:

1. An additional endowed fellowship of $3000 for a student to work in an otherwise unpaid public interest summer job. It will be called the Carroll-Simon Fellowship.

2. Support for the expenses of the Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip. This program began in 2003 and gives students the opportunity to volunteer over spring break with prestigious social justice organizations in the South. This spring, we will return to two locations – doing civil legal aid work in Appalachia and death penalty defense at the Alabama Equal Justice Initiative. Also, we are adding an opportunity for five students to work on a new collaborative project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Mississippi Center for Justice in Jackson, Mississippi. They will be addressing severe, and nationally publicized, deficiencies in Mississippi’s juvenile justice system. Student leaders are busy finding housing and meal coverage with in-kind contributions from alumni and others, and students will pay some of the expenses themselves. The Carroll and Simon Endowment will contribute $1200 to partially cover expenses, and make this opportunity feasible for students who could not otherwise afford to participate.

3. Increased level of Duke Law School’s membership with Equal Justice Works. The Carroll and Simon Endowment funds will be used to increase the level of Duke Law School’s membership to the “Leaders” level. This level of sponsorship will support Equal Justice Works in its vital mission, and will give Duke Law more visibility in the national public interest community. Benefits of the higher membership level also will include a greater number of free registrations to the Career Fair and Conference, and a personalized visit from an Equal Justice Works staff member.

Posted: February 20, 2004
 
Duke Law Students Receive Competitive North Carolina Fellowships

Kielmanovich and Varmazis
It was a clean sweep for Duke Law School when two of its students, Dimitri Varmazis '04 and Sebastian Kielmanovich '04, were recently awarded the highly sought-after Clifton W. Everett, Sr. Community Lawyer Fellowships. Funded by the North Carolina Interest on Lawyers' Trust Accounts (IOLTA), only two such fellowships are offered each year for entry level, one-year staff attorney positions in selected Legal Aid of North Carolina offices.

"We are thrilled that both of this year's Everett Fellowships were offered to our students," said Duke Law School's Associate Dean for Public Interest and Pro Bono Carol Spruill. "This is an extremely competitive fellowship, and I am very pleased that Legal Aid of North Carolina has recognized the talent and strength of commitment to public service that Dimitri and Sebastian offer."

Spruill said the Office for Public Interest and Pro Bono works collaboratively with the Office of Career Services to help students interested in pursuing careers in public interest research and apply for post-graduate fellowships.

As Everett Fellows, Varmazis and Kielmanovich will serve low-income, rural North Carolina communities. They will each handle a general caseload addressing issues in poverty law such as housing, employment, consumer, domestic and public benefit. Kielmanovich will be located in Legal Aid's Wilmington, N.C. office and Varmazis will be working out of its Gastonia, N.C. office.

Varmazis has always been interested in pursuing a career in poverty law. Since his first year of Law School, he has worked for Legal Aid of North Carolina, which makes him a natural fit for the Everett Fellowship.

"I wanted to be able to gain practical experience while serving people who are truly at their last line of defense," Varmazis said.

Kielmanovich described the Everett Fellowship as a valuable and meaningful way of furthering his career. "I am absolutely thrilled about this opportunity. I will be able to help those in the community who most need legal assistance while gaining a great deal of professional and personal experience. I don't see what other path I could have taken as a lawyer that would provide me more happiness," he said.

Posted: February 20, 2004
 
Faculty Lives in Public Service features Visiting Professor Denny Lewis, Wednesday, March 17

On Wednesday, March 17, at 12:10 p.m.(Room 3037) Visiting Professor Denny Lewis, a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell (New York) and past chair of its pro bono committee, will be the speaker in the Faculty Lives in Public Service series. At Duke Law, as soon as he arrived, he came to the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono asking how he could help. He accepted an offer to work with 3L Emily Marroquin on a research policy project involving farm workers.
Mr. Lewis has chaired Davis Polk’s pro bono committee and has been extensively involved in pro bono litigation, primarily death penalty, political asylum, employment discrimination, and landlord-tenant cases. Other civic activities include board chair of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Citizens Union of the City of New York, and the Executive Committee of the New York Law Institute. He serves on the advisory board of Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A.

Professor Lewis' "paying" client work has been in three principal areas of trial and appellate practice: representation of financial institutions in numerous capacities (bank syndicates, creditors committees, indenture trustees, corporate trust departments) in large Chapter 11 reorganizations; drug product liability and mass tort defense (including class action and multi-district litigation); and general complex civil litigation.

Lunch will be served. Bring your own beverage.

This is the third season of Faculty Lives in Public Service at Duke Law School, sponsored by the Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono. For more information, contact Kelsey Weir, this year's Student Director.

Posted: February 12, 2004
 
Steve Berzon, former Legal Director of the Children's Defense Fund speaks at Duke Law Friday

Message from Bruce Elvin, Asst. Dean for Career Services:

We are fortunate to have Steve Berzon coming to the Law School this Friday, February 13th. Steve has spent his entire career in public interest and policy law, including the past 25 years at the litigation law firm of Altshuler Berzon. The firm is based in San Francisco and specializes in labor and employment, environmental, constitutional, campaign and election, and civil rights law.

Similar to Paul Hoffman (The Keynote Speaker at the Public Interest Retreat this past weekend), Steve's career has combined work at public interest organizations with the practice of public interest law at a private firm. Steve will lead a discussion on alternative ways to develop a career in public interest law and the different types of small progressive firms like Altshuler Berzon.

We will be meeting in Room 4045 on Friday from 12-1.

Please respond to Abby Relue by 3PM on Thursday, February 12th, if you will attend. Lunch will be provided, so we need an exact count.


Below is Steve's bio, and I encourage you to visit the firm's website - altshulerberzon.com - to see some of the matters they have worked on.

Stephen P. Berzon is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Judge Alvin B. Rubin of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He was formerly the Legal Director of the Children's Defense Fund, a public interest organization in Washington, D.C. He has also practiced with the Legal Aid Society of Alameda County and the National Housing and Economic Development Law Project of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall). He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, has served as Chair of the City of Berkeley Police Review Commission, and serves on the Board of Directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Association, and the Board of Directors of the Urban Strategies Council.

Posted: February 11, 2004
 
George Soros Speaking at Duke on Tuesday, 5:00 p.m.

From the Duke News Service:

George Soros to Lecture at Duke Feb. 17
The international investor, philanthropist and author will present a public lecture based on his book, "The Bubble of America Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power"

DURHAM, N.C. -- International investor, philanthropist and author George Soros will present a lecture based on his book, "The Bubble of America Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power," on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Duke University.

The 5 p.m. lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Reynolds Theater at the Bryan Center. Parking is available in the parking garage adjacent to the Bryan Center.

In his latest book, Soros argues that the current U.S. administration has based its foreign relations on military might rather than on principles of international law. Soros believes this assertion of American power in the world resembles a financial "bubble" -- the boom in a boom/bust cycle that promises to deliver long-term negative consequences.

Immediately following the lecture, Soros will take questions from the audience and Duke Provost Peter Lange, former chair of the Duke political science department with expertise in comparative politics and Europe, will moderate a panel discussion. The panelists include Duke political science professor Peter Feaver, an expert on U.S. defense policy; political science professor Robert Keohane, a scholar of international finance and international relations; and Bruce Jentleson, director of Duke's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and author of a book on U.S.-Iraq relations.

"George Soros long has been a leading figure in international affairs and the world of philanthropy, and we are pleased the Duke community will have this opportunity to engage with him," Jentleson said.

Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, is founder and chairman of the Open Society Institute (OSI). He also established a network of philanthropic organizations working on social, legal and economic reform programs in more than 50 countries -- primarily in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union -- but also in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the United States. OSI and the Soros foundations spend more than $400 million annually.

A native of Hungary, Soros founded Central European University in 1992, with its primary campus in Budapest. His previous books include "George Soros on Globalization" (2002); "Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism" (2000); "The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered" (1998); and "Opening the Soviet System" (1990).

Soros' visit is co-sponsored by the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and the Duke Center for International Development, along with the Office of the Provost, the Center for International Studies' Program on Globalization, Equity and Democratic Governance, and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Posted: February 11, 2004
 
Pro Bono Opportunity at the Durham Crisis Response Center

Message from Jenny Cook & Serena Baig, Co-Directors of the Duke Law Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Advocacy Project (formerly known as DVAP):

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING WITH DURHAM CRISIS RESPONSE CENTER?

For two weeks, DCRC will be training volunteers from the law school to volunteer with their legal advocacy program at the Durham courthouse. Volunteers will be trained to assist battered women with filling out their protective orders and signing up for help from the DCRC. Some volunteers will also be able to assist with DCRC's Courtwatch program, helping to gather information on Durham cases involving domestic violence.

Training will take place on February 17th, 19th, 24th, and 26th, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The sessions will take place at the law school and at the DCRC office downtown. To sign up, please e-mail Jenny Cook or Serena Baig by February 13th.

Posted: February 9, 2004
 
Tuesday, Feb. 10 Workshop to Distribute Summer Public Interest Fellowship Information

On February 10 at 12:15 in Room 4045, we will give information about Fellowships that are available only to Duke Law students and also distribute the fellowship application forms for several of the programs. There are:

*five $3000 IOLTA Fellowships (for working at any of a large number of North Carolina non-profit legal organizations, or district attorney or public defender offices); and

*five $3000 Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel Fellowships (that can go to any law-related non-profit or government job in the U.S. or the world).

*the brand new $3000 Carroll-Simon Fellowship (more details about this new fellowship later) with the same criteria as Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel.

The IOLTA and B/S-W/S-C fellowships are for 10-week long summer 2004 employment. The applications are due on Friday, March 19 (after Spring Break). Winners will be selected by a committee.

Also at the February 10 meeting,

*a Nicholas School representative will explain the Stanback environmental fellowships ($4000 each) (the Stanback application process is already underway; contact the Nicholas School Career Service office to apply); and

*a PILF student leader will explain the eligibility and the process for applying for PILF fellowships (for more information contact Co-Chairs Merrill Hoopengardner or Debbie Murphy).

*Career Services and the Office of Public Interest & Pro Bono will talk about other opportunities

After the main presentations we will have break-out session for 1) In-State IOLTA-eligible organizations 2) Environmental Stanback-eligible organizations 3) Other opportunities outside North Carolina

In the meantime, keep researching and thinking about which eligible employer you would like to ask sponsor your fellowship application.

Posted: February 6, 2004
 
Summer Fellowships Available Only to Duke Law Students - application process
On February 10 at 12:15 in Room 4045, we will give information about and distribute the fellowship application forms:

*for the five $3000 IOLTA Fellowships (for working at any of a large number of North Carolina non-profit legal organizations, or district attorney or public defender offices); and

*the five $3000 Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel Fellowships (that can go to any law-related non-profit or government job in the U.S. or the world).

The IOLTA and B/S-W fellowships are for 10-week long summer 2004 employment. The applications are due on Friday, March 19 (after Spring Break). Winners will be selected by a committee.

Also at the February 10 meeting,

*a Nicholas School representative will explain the Stanback environmental fellowships ($4000 each) (the Stanback application process is already underway; contact the Nicholas School Career Service office to apply); and

*a PILF student leader will explain the eligibility and the process for applying for PILF fellowships (for more information contact Co-Chairs Merrill Hoopengardner or Debbie Murphy).

In the meantime, keep researching and thinking about which eligible employer you would like to ask sponsor your fellowship application.
Posted: January 30, 2004
 
Pro Bono Position available with North Carolinians Against Gun Violence
The non-profit group North Carolinians Against Gun Violence would like a student to look into the degree of enforcement of the 1999 Tracing All Guns Used in Crimes Law. Lisa Price, the Executive Director states, "It is important to trace these guns because they often lead to rogue gun dealers, gun thieves, and others who traffic in guns and supply criminals and others who should not have guns. The trace involves law enforcement filling out a form and sending it to the ATF. We know that the law is not being enforced statewide but do not know the degree of enforcement." Under the supervision of a private attorney at the Parker Poe law firm, the volunteer will develop a game plan to interview officials at the SBI and local law enforcement agencies across the state, and possibly the ATF in NC and the US attorney in Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh. If interested, please contact Carol Spruill.
Posted: January 30, 2004
 
Public Interest Retreat Coming Up This Friday

The Public Interest Retreat is this weekend, February 6-7. Forty-five Duke Law students will head to the woods to contemplate the life of the publicly-committed legal professional. They will be joined by Duke Law faculty, administrators, alumni and a keynote speaker. A few more spots may be available. The retreat features a woodsy retreat setting; inspiring speakers who have found a way to provide public service from several different sectors; communing with nature and each other; hiking, canoeing, basketball, volleyball, board games, and yoga with guru Chris Farmer; ice breakers; a party; rustic bunk rooms nestled under a pine forest; great food; companionship, conversations and time for reflection with your peers.

It begins Friday afternoon, February 6, and ends mid-Saturday afternoon, February 7. It is at The Summit, a retreat center a little over an hour away at Brown Summit, NC, a few miles north of Greensboro.

The Friday night keynote speaker is Paul Hoffman, a constitutional and civil rights litigator with a private firm in Venice, California who has handled several major asylum cases in affiliation with the ACLU and Amnesty International. His practice has included litigation on the First Amendment, discrimination, privacy, general business litigation, and copyright and trademark, as well as civil and criminal appeals.

Four alumni speakers are slated for Saturday:
*Lauralyn Beattie '98, who filed a successful US Supreme Court cert. petition for a mentally retarded death penalty client while working at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and who is now staff counsel for Georgetown University;
*Keith Ernst '96, who works for the Center for Community Self-Help and will talk about CED and predatory lending as well as how he lived on the Law School's loan assistance program;
*Valecia McDowell '98, who is a litigation associate in the Charlotte office of Moore & Van Allen doing broker-dealer securities arbitration, criminal defense, health care and telecommunications law. She has represented indigent clients in federal trial and appellate courts, and has presented a CLE on citizen suit activity and the Clean Water Act. She is also active in the Community School of the Arts.;
*Frances Turner Mock '00, who works in the Greensboro office of Smith Moore doing general civil litigation and criminal defense work in the Middle District (including the Middle District's first death penalty case), and giving advice to non-profits on risk management including the outdoor industry, the United Way and the Junior League. She won a death penalty case at the Fourth Circuit and just argued in the NC Supreme Court against a new fee imposed on indigent defendants;

For further information on whether any spots are available, contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. Many thanks to the Retreat Planning Committee: Robyn Rone, Student Director of the Public Interest Retreat; Bret Stohs, past direct; and committee members: Utaukwa Brown, JP Davis, Chris Farmer, Chad Nicholson, Janey Rountree, Brett Stohs, Cindy Adcock, Anne Micheaux Akwari, Kim Burrucker, Laura Collins and Carol Spruill.

Posted: January 30, 2004
 
Pro Bono Placement at Duke Univ. Office of Institutional Equity
The Duke Law Office of Institutional Equity is looking for a student to gather research articles related to the influence of race, gender, and cultural background on judgments of guilt, innocense and the severity of punishment. Estimated time is 3-5 hours per week. The Office of Institutional Equity seeks equity in services to students, staff and patients. If interested, contact burrucker@law.duke.edu in the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: January 23, 2004
 
Pro Bono mobile home fraud case with Durham attorney, Duke Law alum
Jim White, a local attorney with Moore and Van Allen and 2003 Duke Law graduate would like a pro bono student for a case referred to his office by Legal Aid. This case involves a woman who went to a manufactured home dealer and signed a commitment to buy a manufactured home. The dealer learned that the land on which the home was to be installed did not have water and sewer service, but represented to the woman that it did. A year and a half ago, the dealer delivered the home, and it still sits there uninhabited. His client is suing the dealer for fraud. Jim would like for a Duke student to be "second chair." Mediation in mid-February. Mock jury possibility. 2L preferred. If interested contact burrucker@law.duke.edu.
Posted: January 23, 2004
 
Guardian ad litem training begins Jan. 26

The Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono has received the training schedule for January-February from the Guardian Ad Litem office, and it is pasted in below. Students who volunteer receive training on how to represent abused and neglected children in the court system and how to help judges decide where the children should be placed. Duke Law School students have been volunteering with the GAL program for the last two decades. Four students participated in the fall semester. Unlike most pro bono placements, the GAL program asks volunteers to keep the commitment for a couple of years. If you are interested, please contact Kim Burrucker burrucker@law.duke.edu and she will give you the contact information for the GAL office. Training begins January 26, so you need to start the application process ASAP.

Guardian ad Litem Training
January – February 2004

Monday, January 26, 2004 Welcome/Orientation
5:30-8:30pm Video
Introduction of Staff & Trainees
Distribution of Manuals
Chapter 1-GAL Volunteer Role
Chapter 2
Homework Chapter 3
Parker-Solano Training Case

Wednesday, January 28, 2004 Department of Social Services
5:30-8:30pm Chapter 3-Exploring Cultural
Awareness
Homework Chapter 4& 5

Tuesday, February 3, 2004 Chapter 4 & 5-Understanding the
5:30-8:30pm Families
Homework Chapter 6

Thursday, February 5, 2004 Center for Child and Family Health
5:30-8:30pm

Monday, February 9, 2004 Chapter 6-Understanding the
5:30-8:30pm Children
Homework Chapter 7
Wednesday, February 11, 2004 Chapter 7-Communication as a
5:30-8:30pm GAL Volunteer
Role Play
Homework Chapter 8 & 9

Monday, February 16, 2004 Chapter 8-Practicing the GAL
5:30-8:30pm Role
Gathering Information
Assignment of Cases
Chapter 9– Reporting and Monitoring
Homework Chapter 10

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 Chapter 10- Putting It All Together
5:30-8:30pm Attorney Advocate
GAL Panel

Thursday, February 19, 2003 Swearing- In Ceremony &
9:00am-12:00pm Court Observation



Purpose of Training—To train community volunteers to become guardians ad litem for abused and neglected children.

Place of Training- All training sessions excluding the Thursday, February 5th session will be held in the basement of the Judicial Annex Building, Durham, North Carolina. The February 5th session will be held at the Center for Child and Family Health in Durham.

* All training sessions include one 15 minutes break.

Posted: January 21, 2004
 
Organizational Meeting for the Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip
Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip Do you have plans for spring break? If not, how about doing social justice work at a high prestige legal advocacy organization in the South? We anticipate having placements in the coal mining region of Appalachia and at a death penalty defense non-profit in Alabama. Also, this year we are adding a placement (for up to five students) in a collaborative project on juvenile justice between the Southern Poverty Law Center and the new Mississippi Center for Justice (based in Jackson, Mississippi). A short organizational meeting is Tuesday, January 20, 2004, 12:00, Room 4047. For more information, contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono, or student leaders Keri Richardson and Carolin Spiegel.
Posted: January 15, 2004
 
"Justice at Stake"

Join us on Thursday, January 14, for a lunch program on how big money politics is escalating in judicial elections across America plus an examination of North Carolina's ground-breaking response. Thursday, January 15 at 12:10 p.m. (Pizza served at 12:05) in Room 3043

Discussion will include a view of some of the most mean-spirited campaign ads for statewide judges aired in the country.

Speakers include:
Bob Phillips -- Executive Director Common Cause North Carolina, State Senator Wib Gulley -- lead sponsor of the North Carolina's judicial campaign finance reform law who will discuss how and why NC now has the most comprehensive judicial reform law in the land, and Judge Linda McGee -- NC Court of Appeals who will discuss the stress and complexities of what it's like to have to run for judicial office.

Posted: January 9, 2004
 
Francisco Prat Errazuriz becomes the first Duke Law student to receive a Certificate of Merit for Meeting the Pro Bono Pledge

Francisco Prat Errazuriz becomes the first Duke Law student to receive a Certificate of Merit for meeting the Pro Bono Pledge

Chilean exchange student Francisco Prat Errazuriz, who will soon return to Chile, becomes the first Duke Law student to receive a Certificate of Merit for meeting the new voluntary Pro Bono Pledge established by the Duke Law Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. Students who meet the pledge -- to contribute over 50 hours of law-related service to the community through clinics and pro bono over their three years of school -- will receive the certificate when they graduate. Though here for only one semester, Francisco contributed 58.5 hours to the pro bono cases of attorney Stewart Fisher of Glenn, Mills and Fisher, a Durham law firm. Associate Dean Carol Spruill and Coordinator of Public Interest and Pro Bono Kim Burrucker presented the award. (See picture on Public Interest home page.)

Posted: January 6, 2004
 
Looking Ahead to Spring Break -- The Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip

Before you go home for the holidays and start making your spring break plans, don't forget to consider spending spring break on Duke Law School's Southern Justice Mission Trip. In addition to returning to last year's placements -- anti-poverty legal advocacy organizations in the coal mining region of Appalachia and death penalty defense in Alabama -- this year we will be adding at least one new location. The new Mississippi Center for Justice has agreed to participate.

According to the Stern Family Fund, one of the funders of the new Center, it "will mobilize legal talent and resources across Mississippi and create a coherent center for advocacy on initiatives as diverse as public education and consumer protection and immigrant worker rights.... [and] Advocate for solutions to social injustices, combining traditional legal tools like litigation and legislative advocacy with community organizing and media strategies.... The Center will be headed by Martha Bergmark. As stated by the Stern Family Fund announcement: "As a civil rights and legal aid lawyer in Mississippi from 1973 to 1987, Bergmark helped dismantle the legal apparatus of racial segregation and build the state’s legal aid and volunteer lawyer programs. Since 1987, she has been a leader of the national equal justice movement, serving as president and executive vice president of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington DC and directing the Project for the Future of Equal Justice, a joint venture of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and the Center for Law and Social Policy."

The Southern Justice Mission Trip is pleased to add this placement to the opportunities available to Duke Law students. We are still seeking a few more opportunities and will share them with you next semester. For more information, contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono or the Student Directors of the Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip, Keri Richardson and Carolin Spiegel.

Posted: December 5, 2003
 
Spring Semester Pro Bono Placement Announcements

Three new spring semester pro bono placement opportunities have been sent to the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. If you are sure at this point that you would like to do any of these in the spring, you can contact the Office to set it up for the spring:

1) Jim White, a 2003 alumnus of Duke Law School now working in the Durham Office of Moore & Van Allen, would like help in one of his pro bono cases assisting "an artist in structuring an agreement with a church to donate his paintings so that the church can sell them for charity. Will involve client contact, research of tax implications, and possibly drafting an agreement." 10-30 hours flexible time over the semester. Prefer 2nd or 3rd year with an interest in IP, Entertainment Law and/or Tax Law.

2) North Carolinians Against Gun Violence and the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence have together submitted a spring semester placement. They worked to pass the Homicide Prevention Act that becomes effective at the end of 2003. The Act requires judges who issue domestic violence restraining orders to require offenders to surrender their guns in high-risk cases and the project would involve studying the enforcement of this Act. There is concern that the law might not be enforced because, incredibly (as has happened in other states), there would not be space to store the guns confiscated from domestic offenders. One or two students could (1) check into storage plans; (2) see whether the court and advocates are checking, as they are required, into the presence of guns; and do a satisfaction survey with law enforcement agencies and judges as to the usefulness of the law to gauge resistance.

3) Womble Carlyle has submitted an opportunity to work on one of its pro bono cases -- a consumer case dealing with disputed car repairs.

Posted: December 5, 2003
 
Time to Turn in Evaluations and Time Logs for Your Fall Pro Bono Placements
Students who signed up for fall pro bono placements should turn in their time logs and evaluations of their placements before December 9 (or right now before you are immersed in exam studying). If you don't receive an email reminder, and you participated in pro bono, please notify the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. Even the modest are urged to turn in your hours. We know some of you feel that you should not "take credit" for your contributions, but it is important to turn in your time. Showing that a lot of pro bono work is done by a wide range of students helps to build critical mass. It encourages participation by others, and helps create an overall environment of a sharing and engaged community. It attracts other committed students to future classes, and lets others in North Carolina know that Duke is a place that is involved in the community.
Posted: November 26, 2003
 
VITA Project Will Give Tax Relief to Many in the Community – A Great Pro Bono Opportunity

The Duke Law Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) project is especially well organized this year and promises to help hundreds of lower-income workers in the community-at-large, as well as the university community. Under the able leadership of 2L, Janna Lewis, and Director of Academic Advising, Chris McLaughlin (and with advice and assistance from Andrew Foster, Kim Burrucker, Larry Zelenak and Carol Spruill), VITA has contacted numerous organizations to arrange training and extensive outreach to be sure that volunteer tax preparers reach the people who really need them. Already, over twenty Duke Law students, over twenty NC Central Law students, and about seven Duke faculty/administrators/staff have signed up to be tax preparers.

Participants will receive instruction from IRS trainers in both tax law and e-filing. A special two-day course for the Duke community will be held at Duke Law (Room 4047) on January 10 and will continue on January 17. Participants must pass an open-book test at the end of the training.

All participants are asked to devote a minimum of 8 hours to tax preparation and/or community education.

The opportunity is still available for students, faculty, administrators and staff to participate. If you are interested in learning more about the project (or alternative training dates at other sites), please contact janna.lewis@law.duke.edu.

VITA tax preparers do more than prepare tax returns. They bring thousands of dollars into the low-income community through federal tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC):

*Nationally, the EITC program refunds over $30 billion to low-income working families. This is more than the amount that goes to either Food Stamps or TANF ("welfare"), and thus perhaps the largest "anti-poverty" program for working families.

*Many who are eligible for EITC do not know it and do not receive the benefit.

* In 2000, 17.6% of NC taxpayers reclaimed over $1 billion in federal taxes with the EITC.

*Families with annual incomes as high as $34,692 may be eligible for EITC (it decreases on a sliding scale after a peak). Single workers are also eligible but only to a maximum yearly income of $11.230.

*Often low-income tax payers go to places for "instant refunds" that are highly reduced from the refund they would receive normally.

The advantages to being a VITA tax preparer are:

* adding thousands of dollars to lower-income families through the Earned Income Tax Credit

* assisting these same families to avoid the exploitive tax preparers who target them

* helping the local economy

* learning more about tax preparation that might assist you in your own tax preparation and increase your own tax refunds!

To arrange numerous outreach sites, Janna and Chris have been in contact with: the Duke Credit Union, the Duke/Durham Neighborhood Partnership Initiative, Human Resources Communications in the Duke University and Health System, Holy Cross Catholic Church, NC Central School of Law, UNC Law, Legal Aid, Self-Help Credit Union, RSVP, the IRS, United Way, the Durham Chamber of Commerce's Money Wise program, Consumer Credit Counseling, and the Durham County Bar.

So, again, if you are interested in joining the students, faculty, administrators and staff who have already enlisted in this promising pro bono project, or need more information, please contact Janna or any of those on the planning committee.

Posted: November 20, 2003
 
Public Interest Retreat in February 6-7 -- Registration begins Wednesday, November 19

Public Interest Retreat in February 6-7 -- Registration begins Wednesday, November 19 - Get in touch with what motivated you to come to Law School! Join 44 of your classmates in a woodsy retreat setting; hear inspiring speakers who have found a way to provide public service from several different sectors; commune with nature and each other; come early for hiking and canoeing; enjoy ice breakers and a party sponsored by PILF; sleep in rustic bunk rooms nestled under a pine forest; eat great food; enjoy companionship, conversations and time for reflection with your peers -- the perfect antidote for all that ails you! And all for just $30.00!!!

Registration begins on Wednesday, November 19, from 11:30 to 1:30 at a table outside the library, and again on Thursday, November 20 from 11:30 to 1:30. To register, you must submit a check made out to Duke Law School and fill out the application form. Also, you may register in Suite 4050 at any time, beginning November 19. The first 45 to sign up get to go (but all registration must be completed before Dec. 3)!

The Public Interest Retreat begins Friday afternoon, February 6, and ends mid-Saturday afternoon, February 7. It is at The Summit, a retreat center a little over an hour away at Brown Summit, NC, a few miles north of Greensboro.

The Friday night keynote speaker is Paul Hoffman, a constitutional and civil rights litigator with a private firm in Venice, California who has handled several major asylum cases in affiliation with the ACLU and Amnesty International. His practice has included litigation on the First Amendment, discrimination, privacy, general business litigation, and copyright and trademark, as well as civil and criminal appeals.

Five alumni speakers are slated for Saturday:
*Lauralyn Beattie '98, who filed a successful US Supreme Court cert. petition for a mentally retarded death penalty client while working at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, and who is now staff counsel for Georgetown University;
*Keith Ernst '96, who works for the Center for Community Self-Help and will talk about CED and predatory lending as well as how he lived on the Law School's loan assistance program;
*Valecia McDowell '98, who is a litigation associate in the Charlotte office of Moore & Van Allen doing broker-dealer securities arbitration, criminal defense, health care and telecommunications law. She has represented indigent clients in federal trial and appellate courts, and has presented a CLE on citizen suit activity and the Clean Water Act. She is also active in the Community School of the Arts.;
*Frances Turner Mock '00, who works in the Greensboro office of Smith Moore doing general civil litigation and criminal defense work in the Middle District (including the Middle District's first death penalty case), and giving advice to non-profits on risk management including the outdoor industry, the United Way and the Junior League. She won a death penalty case at the Fourth Circuit and just argued in the NC Supreme Court against a new fee imposed on indigent defendants;
*Michelle Nowlin '92, an attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. (attendance pending confirmation).

For further information, contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono or contact Robyn Rone, robyn.rone@law.duke.edu, Student Director of the Public Interest Retreat, or other committee members: Utaukwa Brown, JP Davis, Chris Farmer, Chad Nicholson, Janey Rountree, Brett Stohs, Cindy Adcock, Anne Micheaux Akwari, Kim Burrucker, Laura Collins and Carol Spruill.

Posted: November 14, 2003
 
Public Summer Employment Spotlight is on John Donovan
The Executive Director of NC Prisoner Legal Services, Michael Hamden, has written the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono thanking Duke for "sending us John Donovan through an IOLTA grant last summer. John was highly regarded by all of those who had a chance to work with him directly. He provided invaluable assistance in evaluating a number of cases involving claims of inadequate medical services, and he was productively engaged in other projects, as well. Over the years, we have had excellent experiences with Duke law students and graduates, among whom are our most distinguished alumni (including, notably, Paul M. Green). We are fortunate to have so important a connection with Duke, and we are grateful for your involvement in strengthening that connection...."
Posted: November 14, 2003
 
Pro Bono Spotlight is on Ashley Grier
The Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono has received a letter from Raleigh attorney Jerome Hartzell thanking it “for arranging for us to have the excellent assistance of Ashley Grier, a student at Duke Law. Ashley assisted us with research on tax matters– specifically, the taxability of refunds that consumers receive as a result of disputes in connection with predatory mortgage loans. Through Ashley’s assistance, we are well into the process of negotiating an agreement under which a class of borrowers who receive refunds of overcharges will not be at risk of having those refunds subject to income taxes, and will not be receiving 1099's that would require them to retain the services of tax preparers in order to avoid taxation. On behalf of Hartzell & Whiteman and the Financial Protection Law Center, I want to thank Duke for facilitating Ashley’s assistance with this. I also, of course, am very grateful to Ashley herself.”
Posted: November 14, 2003
 
Marc Rotenberg, Exec. Dir. of the Electronic Privacy Information Center speaks on public sector IP careers

To: Those Interested in Intellectual Property Issues and/or Public Interest Careers
From: Carol Spruill
The Center for the Study of the Public Domain has graciously invited the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono to co-sponsor one of the programs presented by Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (www.epic.org ), while he is at Duke Law School today and tomorrow. This session, to be held at 12:15 Tuesday in Room 3043, is especially focused on Rotenberg's work through a non-profit organization to tackle an important public issue. The announcement is below:


Careers in Digital Public Interest Law: Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (www.epic.org )

Date: 11/11/2003
Time: 12:15 p.m.
Location: Room 3043
Pizza will be served

Marc Rotenberg is a brilliant public interest advocate whose work has decisively shaped information privacy policy. During this lecture, he will discuss the growing field of digital public interest law, how students can get involved and pursue careers in public interest work, and his own extensive and influential work in the digital civil liberties area. This lecture is open to all, and is sponsored by the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono and Center for the Study of the Public Domain.

Rotenberg will also speak today. Here is that announcement:

Monday 11/10 at 5:30pm in Room 3043:

"Restoring a Public Interest Vision of Law in the Age of the Internet"

How will we safeguard privacy in the digital age? What will privacy even mean? Marc Rotenberg, one of the best-known privacy advocates in the world, will discuss the future of online privacy and free expression - in areas ranging from encryption and national security, to intellectual property and healthcare - as well as the (surprisingly influential) role of public interest organizations in shaping information privacy policy. This lecture will be followed by a reception on the 3rd floor loggia of the law school.

Posted: November 10, 2003
 
Equal Justice Works Career Fair Attracts 25 Duke Students (see photo gallery)

On October 23-24, 2003, approximately 25 Duke Law students traveled to DC for the annual Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference. Well over 100 government and public interest employers from around the country were at tables spread out over a huge hotel ballroom. Upperclass students could pre-arrange job interviews and first-year students could have informational sessions and leave resumes with the employers. 1900 students from law schools all over the country attended. See Photo Gallery.

Among the Duke Law students, perhaps the most surprising attendee was Emily Marroquin. Emily is an exchange student this semester in Mexico. Having received several job offers after interviewing at last year's event, she was eager to come back this year, despite the distance!

Associate Dean Carol Spruill, Assistant Dean Bruce Elvin and Career Counselor Laura Collins also attended. Career Services arranged a party for students and alumni at Le Tomate after the first day of interviewing, and a lunch with alumnus Chris Kang '01 at City Lights restaurant. Chris, who works for Senator Durbin on Capitol Hill, offered job advice to students.

The EJW event also includes a conference with panels and speakers on many topics. These year these included a plenary on the death penalty and another on affirmative action. Also some of the 140 young lawyers who are EJW fellows sit on panels talking about their two year experience as lawyers for low-income people.

The event next year will again be at the Washington Hilton on October 28-29, 2004.

Posted: November 3, 2003
 
Summer Public Interest Employment Day is Nov. 6

On Thursday, November 6, the Law School will recognize the approximately 95 2Ls and 3Ls who worked in the public sector last summer, and many of these students will share their summer experience with the rest of the student body. (This event may be of special interest to 1Ls who can begin planning for summer employment after November 1.) The day starts with a breakfast for the honored students, provided by External Relations. At lunch, in an event sponsored by the Public Interest and Pro Bono Board, Career Services and Student Affairs, the honored students sit at topic tables and share the stories of summer jobs with interested students. The entire student body is invited to the Blue Lounge from 12:00 to 1:30 for pizza, sodas, and conversations with students who successfully found fulfilling placements in the summer of 2003 -- all around the country (and world).

A special feature of this year's event is a new Summer Employment Video Project. Throughout the week, the third floor plasma screen will be featuring the exciting summer employment adventures of the some of the honored students. A longer version will be shown in the Blue Lounge during Table Talk. Special thanks for the video go to Kim Burrucker, the Public Interest and Pro Bono Coordinator; 2L Yemi Oladeinde, who is the student director of Public Interest Table Talk and Video Project; Todd Shoemaker from Educational Technologies; the many faculty and staff who served as interviewers; and, of course, to the 2Ls and 3Ls who shared their stories.

Table Talk will also provide access to employment materials from Career Services and Public Interest/Pro Bono, including numerous brochures brought back from the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and essays submitted by 2Ls and 3Ls about their summer jobs.

Posted: October 30, 2003
 
Pro Bono Participation Up! Half of the First-Year Class Participating!

Midway through the fall semester, the Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono is happy to report a high level of pro bono participation, especially from 1Ls! As of press date, 170 Duke Law students are in 212 placements (42 students have more than one placement!) The 1Ls are way ahead with 100 participants - or half the class - participating! These 100 students have 135 placements. Next come the 2Ls with 45 students in 51 placements. From the 3L class, 16 students have 17 placements. Finally, the LL.M.s and Exchange Students also have a high level of participation. Nine of these students have selected placements. Many thanks to all for your service to the community!

2Ls Gretchen Bellamy and Stephanie Bradford, who are the Public Interest and Pro Bono Board members in charge of pro bono recruitment, are stuffing mail folders with pro bono folders including all unfinished paperwork. They ask that pro bono participants finish turning in supervisor agreements and they give dates for end-of-semester time logs and evaluations to be turned in. Also, they ask that any students encountering problems, or unable to complete their placements, please check in with the office. Finally, all students with stories to tell about their placements are encouraged to send these to the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.

Posted: October 30, 2003
 
Public Interest Retreat Planning Committee
The first meeting of this year's Public Interest Retreat Planning Committee is on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 at 12:00 in Room 4039. If interested in attending this meeting and serving on this committee to plan for the retreat, which will be held on February 6 and 7 in Brown Summit, NC, please contact the Retreat Director Robyn Rone, robyn.rone@law.duke.edu.
To read about previous retreats, go to http://students.law.duke.edu/publicinterest/programs.html#retreat
Posted: October 6, 2003
 
Save the Date -- November 6 is Summer Public Interest Recognition Day.
On November 6, the Law School honors the many students who worked in the public sector last summer, and those students also share their experience with the student body, especially 1Ls who can begin planning for summer employment after November 1. The day starts with a breakfast for the honored students, provided by External Relations. At lunch, in an event sponsored by the Public Interest and Pro Bono Board, Career Services and Student Affairs, the honored students sit at topic tables and share the stories of summer jobs with interested students. Thus far, and based on evaluations turned into Career Services, we know that 93 students worked in the public sector last summer. This includes 78 2Ls and 15 3Ls. If you did not turn in an evaluation, or think we may not have your name, please contact Kim Burrucker. If you are willing to share a brief (1-2 page) report on your summer, please send to burrucker@law.duke.edu. If you are a 1L and want to be sure your questions about public sector employment are addressed on November 6, please send your questions to 2L Yemi Oladeinde, who is the student director of Public Interest Table Talk and Video Project.
Posted: October 6, 2003
 
Thomas Friedman speaking at Fuqua October 1
NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman to Deliver Crown Lecture
Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm - Location: Geneen Auditorium at Duke's Fuqua School of Business
Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, will deliver the 2003 Lester Crown Lecture in Ethics. Friedman is world renowned for columns and books, including the recently published Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11, a collection of his award-winning, post-9/11 columns for the Times, and The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, an international best-seller that makes understandable the concept of globalization.
Posted: September 30, 2003
 
Many Opportunities to Serve the Community Still Available

1Ls, LL.M.s and Exchange Students have been coming forward in great numbers to make their pro bono placement selections. We thank all of you and encourage more of the 2Ls and 3Ls to check on available placements after the busy interviewing season is over.

Here are highlights of some of the fabulous placements that we still have available. You can see full details and other placements on the Public Interest and Pro Bono web site or read it in hard copy in this Office.

Fair Housing - The NC Fair Housing Center has positions available to 3 students. First-year student can do intake, investigate complaints and compile information for discovery requests. Upperclass students can do investigations, interviews, legal research, assist in preparation of answers and interrogatories, and work on briefs. Ability to speak Spanish a plus, but not required. (Update: Lisa Parrington has just taken one of the three.)

The NC Justice Center has several projects: We already have filled the placements with its Immigration Law Project. Attorney Jack Holtzman a second volunteer (to join Janey Rountree) with a case against the State community college system for its blanket prohibition on letting undocumented immigrants matriculate. Attorney Carlene McNulty needs research on tax implications of consumer awards, and help for a client on a tax case.

Chris Graebe, a partner at Womble Carlyle who spoke at the Kick-Off has contacted us about an immediate need for an attorney in the Winston-Salem office for assistance with a pro bono case. Details TBA.

Sally Scherer Law Firm - This Raleigh attorney is doing a cert petition to the U.S. Supreme Court pro bono for her client -- the mother in a custody case. In this case, the NC Supreme Court ended the presumption in favor of the mother where the child is born outside of marriage. The out-of-state father had rarely seen the five-year old child and was not on the birth certificate. The attorney needs 2-4 upperclass students to help her research and prepare the cert.

Fulghum Law Firm - Recent Duke Law alumna Caitlin Fulghum seeks up to 3 students (2L and 3L preferred) to work on employment discrimination cases.

Leto Copeley of Patterson Harkavy & Lawrence wants 1-2 students to assist with a Workers Compensation case.

Mike Okun of the same firm seeks a second student (to join Michael Nissim) in revising a guide to litigating unemployment claims in NC and reviewing laws around the country on employee drug testing.

VITA - We now have a leader of the VITA pro bono group for 2003-2004. Janna Lewis, a 2L who previously has formed VITA chapters in California, will lead this group. Two 1Ls who are CPAs, Justin Coon and Chin Pann, have signed up along with Matthew Leerberg, who has previously done VITA work. Many others are needed, and no previous experience is required. Training is available. VITA does tax preparation for people with low-incomes, including getting benefits back for them through the Earned Income Tax Program. It prevents people from becoming victims of tax preparation scams. Organizing and training work may be done in the fall. Tax preparation will be in the spring. Andrew Foster, Chris McLaughlin and Carol Spruill will lend organizational assistance to the group. Interested students can contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono or Janna directly at janna.lewis@law.duke.edu.

Animal Rights - Professor Bill Reppy needs a student to work with him on a case that Justice for Animals is appealing to the NC Court of Appeals. The case deals with whether state law allows an animal shelter to immediately kill a cat that they determine to be "feral" or whether the 72-hour holding period statute applies to all cats. Open to any students who have finished at least one semester (summer-starters eligible). (Update: Lisa Fink has accepted this placement.)

Common Sense Foundation - This think tank seeks someone to research and write on one of its monthly research papers.

Carolina Legal Assistance - This is a law firm for people with mental disabilities. Two students are needed, preferably upperclass. 1) research, including civil procedure questions, related to pending litigation on behalf of guardian of mentally retarded woman versus trustee of estate 2) research about statutes and/or cases involving the use of seclusion and restraints on students with disabilities.

ACLU - The ACLU wants two students able to do legal research and writing "requiring strong analytical and research ability," and you must have had or be currently enrolled in Constitutional Law.

North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Attorneys has an Institute for Equal Rights. It seeks three students (2Ls or 3Ls preferred) to work with attorneys researching the effect of the Supreme Court's Laurence decision and the Canadian marriage law on NC laws, and also to work on the opportunity for second parent adoption in NC.

NC Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) needs one student to work on a clean water issue or a "democracy/health care" issue.

Environmental Defense needs one person, proficient in Spanish, to assist the Senior Attorney to produce a handbook on Cuban Coastal Zone Management Law and Policy in Spanish. They contact us again Thursday to reiterate this urgent need.

The NC Conservation Network (ConNet) seeks up to three students (2Ls and 3Ls preferred) on various projects.

The Center for Adolescent Health and the Law will give us a project on request.

NC DOJ Consumer Protection Division - Sarah Citrin and Kelsey Weir have taken two of the three spots. The third spot is still available. Open to all.

Legal Services - There are still spots at the Durham legal aid office, the Hillsborough legal aid office (and also its Environmental Poverty Law Program) and NC Prisoner Legal Services. We will contact the Raleigh legal aid office on request.

Of course, the group pro bono projects continue to be open - the Innocence Project (see Walter Buzzetta), Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy Project (see Jenny Cook or Serena Baig), Street Law (see Patricia Festin), Anosmia Foundation of Canada (see Lisa Vatch), Refugee Asylum Support Project (See Elizabeth Noble or Shannon Frank), Swiss Banks Holocaust Review Project (See Kris Andreassen), Guardian Ad Litem (See Marika Athens), Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip (See Keri Richardson & Carolin Spiegel). And see Cindy Adcock to sign up for a number of criminal law placements.

Believe it or not, this is not a complete listing of available slots. Also, we continue to add opportunities. Other potential supervisors are still in touch with us as they develop their placement listings. We can also seek new placements if you do not see your interest area already offered. Please contact us if you see opportunities that match your interests and time availability.

To join the Public Interest Listserv and hear about opportunities first, send a message to: maiser@lists.law.duke.edu with no subject line or signature and type
subscribe publicinterest in the body of the message.

Posted: September 19, 2003
 
Coming to a Video Screen Near You! The Public Interest Summer Employment Video Project

As part of the annual Summer Employment Recognition Event, the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono is developing a video to be displayed on our web page and on the Loggia screen. The Loggia screen showing will run for approximately one week prior to Nov. 6.

The concept of the video came from stories shared by many of you. Those of us in the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono have been fortunate enough to hear many stories detailing the experiences of our students during the course of their summer employment. These stories range from comical to frightening, from those of great successes to those of disheartening experiences. Students have told of immense injustices, wild police rides that resulted in accidents and many other tales. Students have shared stories of inspiring attorneys, wonderful camaraderie, and of immeasurable learning experiences.

It is our desire for the entire Duke Law community to have the opportunity to hear these stories. Participation in the video would take less than 15 minutes of your time. We have a few questions regarding logistics and then a few questions to help get your story. Filming will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 24, in the Moot Court Room and on Thursday, Sept. 25 in Room 4039.

There are still time slots available for those students who would like to share their summer public sector employment experiences with other members of the Duke Law School community.

For more information or to schedule an interview time, please e-mail Kim Burrucker at Burrucker@law.duke.edu, or the student leaders working on this project, Yemi Oladeinde and Rob Stevenson.

Posted: September 19, 2003
 
Pro Bono Sign-Up
New students (1Ls and LL.M.s) please save the date - Thursday, September 11 at 12:10 in Room 3043. 1Ls and LL.M.s will have the chance to hear about placement opportunities that are open to them. Those who decide they want to participate this semester will be able to sign up on site. Please review the Master List of Pro Bono Placements ahead of the meeting. (see below) Lunch will be served.

Upperclass students may also attend the New Student Sign-Up event or sign-up at any time by going to the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: August 29, 2003
 
Review the Master List of Pro Bono Placements
Every interested student is asked to review the descriptions of pro bono placements ahead of the meeting, or other selection of a placement. The placement descriptions are now available in hard copy in the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono and will soon be available at www.law.duke.edu/publicinterest (click on Pro Bono Project, Information for Students, Master List of Placements).
Posted: August 29, 2003
 
The Pro Bono Pledge

This year Duke Law School has a new Pro Bono Pledge for students to sign to show their commitment and intention to commit at least 50 hours of law-related community service during their time in Law School. The hours can be met through pro bono, clinics, or the spring break mission trip. The new pledge was included in orientation packets for fall-entering 1Ls, but is also available for students in any class - including previous pro bono/clinic participants who are well on their way or have already exceeded their 50 hours. Please stop by the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono to sign the pledge!

The first person to take the pledge was 2L Fon Muttamara Walker. The first 1L was Lorri Clark. The first 3L was Shireen Matthews.

Posted: August 29, 2003
 
The Public Interest and Pro Bono Board
Over 30 second- and third-year students (and one LL.M.) have come forward to assume leadership positions for public interest and pro bono activities in 2003-2004. The Board held its first meeting on Thursday, August 28. Board members will be communicating with the student body on specific projects in upcoming editions of Herald.
Posted: August 29, 2003
 
Employment Fellowships over $131,000

57 Duke Law students received summer 2003 public interest employment fellowships totaling $131,780!

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2003 summer public interest fellowships from Duke Law School:

Burdman-Steckley-Weitzel Fellowships
These fellowships provide $3500 for each recipient in 2003, and are funded through Duke Law School endowments by the generous donations of Associate Dean Linda Steckley, her husband Pete Weitzel, and alumnus Richard Burdman. The recipients and their organizations are:

  • Vanessa Franco: Derechos Humanos/La Alianza
  • Emily Marroquin: Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • Nic Merrin: ACLU of Southern California

IOLTA Fellowships
These fellowships are for $3000 each and are funded by the NC State Bar’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account program. Placements are with designated NC organizations and agencies. The recipients and their organizations are:

  • Courtney Brewer: Legal Aid of North Carolina - Raleigh
  • Hannah Demeritt: Legal Aid of North Carolina - Advocates for Children’s Services
  • John Donovan: North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services
  • Daniel Harpole: AIDS Legal Assistance Project
  • Peter Reaves: AIDS Legal Assistance Project

Stanback Fellowships
These fellowships are for $4000 each and are provided through the Nicholas School for the Environment by donor Fred Stanback for recipients to work at designated environmental organizations. The recipients and their organizations are:

  • Bryce Burden: Conservation Council of NC
  • Alexa Chew: Clean Water for North Carolina
  • John Davis: Wildlaw
  • Matthew Hanchey: Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Michael Meyer: Appalachian Voices
  • David Prestwood: NC PRIG
  • Jeremy Reckmeyer: NC PRIG
  • Jeremy Reyes: NC Conservation Network
  • Lisa Walter: Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Julian Wong: Woods Hole Research Center
Posted: August 29, 2003
 
Public Interest Kick-Off
The Public Interest Kick-Off is Thursday, September 4, from 4:00 to 7:00 in the Blue Lounge. The Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono and PILF invite the entire Law School community to join us in hearing from a keynote speaker about lawyers and public service, and to visit with members of the Public Interest and Pro Bono Board to learn about many exciting opportunities coming up this year. The keynote speaker is Chris Graebe, a partner with Womble Carlyle, one of the largest corporate law firms in North Carolina. Chris is very involved with pro bono work and is heading up the law firm's new formal pro bono program. After the keynote speech, participants can enjoy pizza, beer and sodas and visit stations staffed by those leading activities this year.
Posted: August 28, 2003