News Archive 2004

July 1, 2004 - June 30, 2005

Duke Law GAL Program Wins NC Bar Association Pro Bono Award
Posted: June 29, 2005
Duke Law VITA featured in the Durham Herald-Sun

BY PAUL BONNER : The Herald-Sun Apr 3, 2005 : 10:35 pm ET DURHAM -- Some lawyers-to-be are gaining professional experience while saving people frustration and sometimes money on their income taxes.

Duke Law School students who take part in Durham's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project have been serving low-income taxpayers since late January and will be continuing the volunteer work this week. So far, they've spent thousands of hours helping taxpayers file their taxes. A number of other clubs and organizations also provide volunteers and other support for VITA in Durham, including N.C. Central University Law School. On Saturday, a half-dozen Duke Law students were among volunteers helping dozens of Hispanic tax filers at El Centro Hispano in downtown Durham. At a table, Duke Law students fluent in Spanish met with taxpayers, typing information from forms into laptop computers. Duke Law School's VITA volunteers also will be at a clinic from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Durham Community Land Trustees at 1208 W. Chapel Hill St. For more information, call Duke Law's VITA hotline, 425-2112. Eligibility for the free assistance is limited to households making less than $36,000 a year. Its participation in VITA is the largest of several community programs operated by Duke Law School. This year, the students have assisted at 15 locations in Durham, and Duke Law in January hosted IRS training of more than 130 volunteers in the program, not only from Duke Law School but from other graduate schools at Duke and from NCCU and Durham Technical Community College and non-students. More than 70 Duke Law students have been certified by the Internal Revenue Service to file returns through the IRS's e-file electronic filing system. So far this tax season, Duke Law volunteers have assisted on more than 200 returns involving about $300,000 in tax refunds, said Janna Lewis, a principal organizer. With VITA's help, some taxpayers are filing returns who wouldn't have done so otherwise, Lewis said. Those who might have used a professional tax preparer or service can save on the fees they charge. "For some, it means a higher refund," Lewis said. "It's fun when their faces light up because they get a $5,000 refund." In many instances taxpayers aren't aware of the government's earned income credit, designed for low-income parent wage earners. "The vast percentage of clients are eligible, but they don't know about it," said Zia Cromer, another student volunteer. "Taxpayer education is a big part of what we do," Lewis said. For the students, participation represents a big impact in the community for a relatively small time commitment, she said. Cromer said it also gave students a chance to develop relationships with community organizations. "For law students, it provides a first touch of servicing clients," Lewis said. And they work diligently on clients' behalf, both students said. "Although we may not know all the tax rules, for the rules we do know, we're willing to go the extra mile," Cromer said. Lewis left Duke after her first year in the three-year law program, and went to Los Angeles, where she started and ran a VITA program in a community center for two years while she obtained a master's degree in urban planning at UCLA. When she resumed her legal studies at Duke last school year, she discovered that the law school's participation in Durham's VITA, which had been small before, had dissolved. "Then it became my baby," she said. She started promoting it around Duke. Last year, 37 students were certified to file taxes. They assisted at 11 locations on 98 tax returns involving $126,000 in refunds, she said. This year, the school expanded its participation. An 11-member executive board that includes school faculty and administrators should ensure that it continues as a priority in the Law School after she graduates this spring, Lewis said. Pro-bono work by Duke law students isn't a requirement but is encouraged, said Cromer. Students can sign a pledge that they'll commit at least 100 hours a year to serving one of the school's pro-bono programs of VITA, a death-penalty clinic or a guardian ad litem clinic.

Posted: April 18, 2005
Faculty Lives in Public Service: Clinicians Panel
On April 12, 2005, 12:10 p.m., Room 4045, Duke Law clinicians Carolyn McAllaster & Allison Rice of the AIDS Legal Assistance Project and Jane Wettach of the Children's Education Law Clinic will talk about how they serve the public through their work, as well as their backgrounds in public service before they came to Duke. Beverages & burritos from Cosmic Contina served. Sponsored by the Office & Board of Public Interest & Pro Bono - Faculty Lives Co-Directors Garrett Levin & Jackson Nichols.
Posted: April 12, 2005
The Duke Living Wage Campaign

Message from 1Ls Kelsey Cameron and Heather Johnson. Join the Discussion on Tuesday April 12th, 3:45pm, Room 3032.

Duke is the largest private employer in the Piedmont region and the 3rd largest in North Carolina. Our school's labor policies have great impacts on many families, communities, and economies in the region. A campaign for a Duke living wage is well underway. Bringing together Durham community organizations and Duke worker, student and faculty networks, we're building a campaign to help Duke step-up and play a leadership role by committing to a living wage policy.

As a member of both Duke and Durham communities, find out how you can bridge your own civic commitments and gain valuable experience in labor law, administration relations, community organizing, public relations, municipal and university politics, or a host of other aspects of the campaign. Whether large or small, any part you might play in the campaign will help us reinvent the Duke-Durham relationship. No matter if you're leaving or staying in Durham for the summer, there are many ways you can help the campaign.

Join students and professors at Tuesday's meeting to find out how to help, ask questions, and join the discussion about how a living wage policy can help advance Duke's vision of academic, ethical, and professional excellence! Cookies will be provided!

Please contact Heather at or Kelsey at if you have any questions.

Posted: April 12, 2005
Duke Alumna Equal Justice Works Fellowship Recipients Speaks at Duke
Maya Horton, a Duke Law alumna who won an Equal Justice Works post-graduate fellowship to do education law reform work in New Jersey, will speak at Duke Law School Friday. She will speak briefly at 4:00 and will be available for individual consultations from 11:00 to 12:00 in Career Services.
Posted: March 31, 2005
Everything You Need to Know About Student Loans and Consolidation
Todd Balsley with Graduate Leverage will discuss student loans, debt management, and consolidation. The talk will cover recent changes in federal loan programs that are of interest to all students. Food will be served. Sponsored by the Duke Bar Association and the Office of Financial Aid. Tuesday, March 29, Blue Lounge
Posted: March 29, 2005
Women Judges Forum at Duke Law on Thursday
Women judges discuss what it is like being a female judge in today's political and legal environment. Presenters include NC Court of Appeals Judges Linda McGee & Robin Hudson, and Superior Court Judge Yvonne Mims Evans (Duke Law '76). A 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. Sponsored by the Office & Board of Public Interest & Pro Bono and the Women Law Students Association.
Posted: March 22, 2005
Interrupt your spring break for a $1000 loan voucher - on March 16!

Equal Justice Works is offering a $1000 voucher towards the loans of 250 law students who work in qualifying public interest jobs this summer. (This is in addition to your salary or other fellowships.) They will be given out on a first-come-first-serve basis, by region, to all qualified applicants.

Unfortunately, the application start date is over spring break -- Wednesday, March 16. So get to a computer on that day and submit your application.
(However, if you don't get this email until your return from spring break, try anyway. Last year, all fellowships were distributed in the first three days, but with the regional distribution, perhaps all from the "southern region" will not be distributed before you apply.)

To learn about the program, go to:

Here are a few keys points, but go to the web site for the whole story:

Regional distribution: "Once the application is available online, each region’s slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so long as applicants turn in a complete application and meet all the eligibility criteria. If regional slots are unfilled after the application deadline, the extra slots will be released and distributed in a manner that maximizes the representation of our member schools in the program."

The specific web site for which jobs are eligible, or not eligible, are listed at:

Posted: March 10, 2005
New International Development Summer Fellowship Offered by Class of 2004

Sarah Dadush '04 and Sohini Chatterji '04 have contributed $5000 and are gathering another $4000 from 20 of their classmates for a new International Development Fellowship.
Applications are due Thursday, March 31, 2005 by 5:00 p.m. and can be submitted to the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono. We encourage you to submit your application electronically - and to send it to

An administrator/faculty committee will make the selections.

While this fellowship in some ways is modeled after our other summer fellowships, it has unique features:

* it is dedicated to "summer interning at a non-governmental organization, or pursuing an independent research project in a developing country, working on issues such as women's rights, foreign direct investment, land and water rights, or international trade"
* the amount awarded will vary based on need, including travel expenses and the number of weeks of your fellowship -- applicants must submit a budget
* it is open to 3Ls as well as 1Ls and 2Ls -- but all fellowship recipients must document their experience and return to Duke Law the next year to share their experience with those interested in applying and to help raise funds from future classes
* applications possibly may be at times of the year other than the summer but the applicant must have at least six weeks of time available
* the number of fellowships awarded (probably one or two) will depend on the amount raised and the budget needs submitted by the winning applicants

Those who need help selecting an NGO as a sponsor, or getting project ideas, might consider:
* talking with faculty who work in relevant areas
* talking with the deans in International Affairs, Public Interest and Pro Bono
* using the PSLawNet database or organizations worldwide
* reviewing "Serving the Public: A Job Search Guide, Vol. II - International" by Harvard and Yale Law School. (It is available for browsing in the Office of Public Interest & Pro Bono and available for check-out in the Office of Career Services), or
* contact Sarah Dadush, Sarah encourages anyone interested to email her.

Posted: March 10, 2005
Faculty Lives in Public Service Features Dean Bartlett
On Wednesday, March 9, we will have our third Faculty Lives in Public Service event of the year. Dean Katharine Bartlett is the featured speaker. Among many other accomplishments in her life, she has a background as a legal aid attorney (in Oakland, CA) and is a board member and immediate past chair of the Durham County Department of Social Services. This event is Wednesday, March 9, at 12:10 in Room 3041. Pizza is served. Contact Faculty Lives Co-Directors Garrett Levin and Jackson Nichols for more information.
Posted: March 7, 2005
Mytrang Nguyen of Equal Justice Works Visits Duke to Promote Post-Graduate Fellowships
On Thursday (March 10, 2005) we are fortunate that Equal Justice Works is sending its Director of Public Interest Law Opportunities to Duke Law School to promote its post-graduate fellowship program -- the largest in the nation. Mytrang Nguyen will speak in Room 4045 at 12:10:00 PM. Pizza is served.

Equal Justice Works selects over 50 law graduates each year for this two year fellowship. You can apply in September of your third year or in any subsequent year for up to 10 years after graduation. Most fellows are in their first year after graduating from law school and quite a few do it after clerking.

Who should attend?
1Ls -- it is not too early to start thinking about the best record to make for your application and which organization you would want to sponsor you for your application. You might even want to try to get a 1L summer job at that organization.
2Ls -- you should definitely attend if you plan to apply. It is time to start pulling your application together in earnest. They are due very early in the fall.
3Ls -- if you didn't apply last fall, it is too late for this year. However, you can apply this fall to work a year from now, perhaps after your clerkship ends.

For more information on Equal Justice Works Fellowship program, see
Sponsored by the Office & Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: March 7, 2005
Message from student leaders on new PILF fellowship policy - outside funding can be added to grants!

Last week, the PILF Board voted to increase the amount of money each PILF grant recipient is allowed to make during his/her summer. This new approach is designed to encourage applicants to seek alternative funding sources to maximize the total amount of funding that every Duke Law student doing summer public interest work receives. To that end, outside funding sources of up to $1000 will not affect or subtract from your overall PILF grant. In previous years, for example, if a qualifying employer paid you $1000 for the summer, PILF would reduce your PILF grant by $1000. But not anymore...

Here is how the system works. For the first $1000 you raise in outside funding (from your employer, other grants, etc.), PILF will not penalize you; therefore, you will receive a full grant award penalty-free (subject to our other guidelines). For funding you raise after the first $1000, the amount you receive from PILF will decline at a rate that will always be smaller than dollar-for-dollar (up to a ceiling cap that the Board will set in April). Bascially, PILF will not penalize you dollar-for dollar up to a set ceiling cap in total funding.

As is the case every year, the amount of each grant wholly depends on the amount of money PILF raises. As a result, we cannot guarantee a certain amount of funding until we meet to award our grants in April. However, PILF is striving to raise enough money this year so that we can give grants, even small ones, to dedicated PILF volunteers who receive other major grants, like the Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel/Carroll-Simon, IOLTA, or Stanback.

So, if you plan to apply for PILF funds this year, please consider applying for alternative funding, such as those mentioned above or the Equal Justice Works grant. Also, consider asking your employer for any available funds to help subsidize your summer experience. Our hope is that by maximizing the funding available, this change will encourage more Duke Law students to participate in public interest programs each summer.

Please don't hesitate to contact either Brett Stohs or Margot Pfohl if you have any questions.

Posted: February 8, 2005
Anti-Poverty Lawyers Seeking Duke Law Pro Bono Students for Spring Semester Placements

Several new pro bono opportunities are available where you would be working one-on-one with lawyers who do anti-poverty work:

1) Jack Holtzman, Senior Litigation attorney with the Poverty Law Litigation Project of the NC Justice Center (see more on the Justice Center below) and Chris Graebe, a pro bono lawyer with Womble Carlyle, need 2 law students (2Ls or 3Ls would be best, but 1Ls gladly accepted as well) for a variety of litigation-related tasks, including research, review of discovery materials in a public housing class action against a Housing Authority. Not all work needs to be done at the Raleigh-based NC Justice Center. Atty. Holtzman lives in Durham and, possibly, he could arrange to meet with students here, but some travel to Raleigh likely.

The NC Justice Center (located in Raleigh) is an outstanding statewide "back-up center" that does policy work, legislative work and litigation in many areas including housing, consumer, living wage, education, immigration, tax policy, etc. See its great web site at (There are likely to be several more good placement possibilities here if you like policy and have specialty interests. If you read about and are interested in other attorneys and their work at this Center, I'd be happy to call them about placements.)

2) Kelly Clark of Legal Aid of North Carolina - Raleigh office (she has worked 2.5 years in legal services; is a U. of Denver law grad; and clerked with Federal District Court Judge Britt) needs law student help (all classes eligible). She will talk with whomever is interested about what they would like to do among the many types of cases she is handling (which include employment, housing, and consumer cases). The consumer case is an investigation of whether her client should file a lawsuit that parallels another case on an alleged $23 million mortgage fraud scheme. It involves pulling documents at the courthouse, interviewing the client, and potentially pulling a complaint together. Could possibly do intake interviewing too. Some time could be done away from office but at least half should be in the office.

3) Vic Boone, the Senior Managing Attorney of Legal Aid of North Carolina - Raleigh office, needs two students (I think from any class) to help him with on-going work -- writing letters, getting additional information from clients, drafting wills and advance directives.

4) One position may still be available with a domestic violence attorney in Raleigh with the central office of Legal Aid of NC (LANC). (Not yet sure if 1Ls eligible, but will check if anyone is interested.) Likely there will be some client contact, some court preparation, some research, etc. Not all work has to be done in Raleigh.

[To learn more about Legal Aid of North Carolina and all its branches across the state, see]

If interested in any of these placements, please contact me at

From the Duke Law Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono: If you found this information helpful, tell your friends to join the public interest listserv. Send a message to: with no subject line or signature and type subscribe publicinterest in the body of the message.

Posted: February 7, 2005
Pro Bono opportunity to represent your own client at an unemployment hearing
A Raleigh legal aid attorney (who is a Duke Law alumnus) is giving 2L and 3L Duke Law students a chance to represent a client at an unemployment hearing. Those interested will be assigned a case, prepare for a hearing under the attorney's guidance, and then appear at the hearing. Several positions are available. I need to notify the attorney by Feb. 2. so please let me know in the next two days.

Each case has about 30 pages of documents to review. The hearings will probably take place in the period 2/14 to 3/1. Work would need to begin the week of 2/1 preparing for the hearing in each case.

More details are available for those who may be interested. Please contact me if you would like more information or want to accept one of the placements.

Carol Spruill
Posted: January 31, 2005
EJW offering 250 "education awards" of $1000 each nationwide for public interest summer employment

The Office of Public Interest & Pro Bono has been telling many of you about the EJW Summer Corps program and we've just received a bit more information about it, which is copied in below. It is not yet clear how it will interact with other fellowship money or compensation that you might receive. Also, we do not yet know if they will give it out first-come-first-serve or will have a selective application process. We will keep monitoring the situation so that Duke Law students will receive notice to apply as quickly as anyone. You will need to have lined up your sponsoring organization to apply. (Attend Monday's program to learn about all summer fellowships available to Duke students.) If you would like to help us monitor this opportunity, the Equal Justice Works website is at

Here's the message from EJW:

This year, Equal Justice Works is offering $1,000 education awards to 250 law students through our Summer Corps program! The online application will be available to law students in mid-March. Students with qualifying public interest internships are encouraged to apply. Additional information, including eligibility criteria for the 2005 program, will be sent to your career services office next month.

Posted: January 20, 2005
Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale Law
Yale sent this advertisement for its conference: The eleventh annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference, which will take place the weekend of February 18-20, is less than one month away! This year’s conference is shaping up to be as good, if not better, than ever. The conference will open Friday night with the event Video as Advocacy: Social Change Through Documentary Filmmaking, featuring the Kuntsler sisters of Off-Center Productions and Hakima Abbas of Witness. The keynote speaker is the always provocative Professor Paul Butler, whose recent work has included “Much Respect: Toward a Hip-Hop Theory of Punishment” and “By Any Means Necessary: Using Violence and Subversion to Change Unjust Law.” The conference is a can’t-miss event so please take the time to go to the website and register to reserve your spot!
Posted: January 18, 2005
Virginia Conference on Public Service & Law

A law student at UVA (Josh Burke has written PILF leaders Brett Stohs and Margot Pfohl asking them to promote the public interest conference at UVA on Feb. 11-12 among Duke Law students. He notes that the conference is free and they will provide free housing with UVA law students. If interested, read on:

Dear Brett Stohls and Margot Pfohl,

Hello again! I emailed you last semester about the University of Virginia Conference on Public Service and the Law. The Conference will be taking place in less than a month and I would really appreciate your help in publicizing the Conference at your school.

If you would be willing to forward this email to students in your organization and post the attached flyer on your organization board, that would be wonderful. I will also mail a Conference poster to the career services office at your school. The Conference is free and we are willing to
match students from your school with a UVA student who will provide free housing. We would love to welcome any interested students from Duke.

Please paste the following in an email to your organization:

The University of Virginia School of Law invites you to join us for the Sixth Annual Conference on Public Service and the Law, Friday & Saturday, February 11-12, 2005.
This year's Conference will feature panels and workshops on a wide variety of public interest topics, including:
*Can They Stay? Asylum Law & the Victims of Gender-Based Violence
*Faith Based Initiatives: How Do They Work and Do We Even Want Them?
*Working as a Lobbyist
*Father, I Cannot Tell a Lie: Juvenile Capacity for Confession
*Mountaintop Removal Mining: Energy Strategy or Environmental Tragedy?
*International Public Interest Jobs
*Judicial Election Campaigns: Free Speech, Public Dollars, and the Role of Judges
....and many, many more.
This year's Conference will also feature keynote speeches by:
*Nadine Strossen, President of the American Civil Liberties Union and Professor of Law at New York Law School; and
*Katie Redford, UVA Law Class of 1995, Co-founder & Co-director of EarthRights International
To register for free, including registration for free housing, or find out more about the Conference, go to our

Posted: January 14, 2005
Literacy Work with Teenaged Drop-outs: Course or Pro Bono

Lucy Haagen, the former Director of the Durham Literacy Council, is co-teaching a course at Duke U. that includes 20 hours of work with teenaged school drop-outs. She would like to have a few law students in this course, so if you are interested and have room in your schedule, read on (note class perk includes meeting James Earl Jones). Also, for those who are interested in this subject matter, but do not want to enroll in the course, she would like to talk with you to set up a pro bono placement. If you do this as a pro bono placement, please contact Carol Spruill as well.

Message from Lucy Haagen:

Do you have space in your Spring schedule and....

Believe that teen dropouts belong in college not prison? Want to personally make this happen in Durham? Learn coaching skills that promote winning in arenas beyond Cameron? Want to join a research team using technology to create access to education for teen moms, gang members, and other forgotten teens in Durham? Are interested in how North Carolina law is impacting access to quality
education for all students in the state? Meet James Earl Jones in person? (no kidding) If so, you may want to add a special Research Service Learning Seminar to your Spring schedule (Ed. 170S). It is being co-taught by Lucy Haagen, wife of Paul and former E. Director of the Durham Literacy Center and Seymour Mauskopf, Professor of History.
Class meets t/th at 1:15-2:30 in W. Duke 107F and includes 20 hours of pro bono work with teen dropouts through the Literacy Center. Lucy Haagen is also open to talking to law students interested not in the course, but in a pro bono assignment with the Literacy Center's Teen Career Academy.
For more information, contact her at or at 489-7311.

Posted: January 14, 2005
Public Interest Retreats & Conferences at Law Schools Around the U.S.

While Duke Law, of course, has the premier Public Interest Retreat (which many of you are attending on Feb. 4-5), there are others around the country. I think all of the others are multi-school retreats and are larger than ours. Some of you may be interested in mixing with students and speakers at other schools around public interest issues, so, FYI, I am sending you this non-comprehensive list of some of the ones I see advertised year after year. (In addition, many retreats and conferences are set up ad hoc each year.)
Carol Spruill, Associate Dean

*UVA is holding a Conference on Public Service and the Law, on February 11th and 12th. It's free for students, and they're also arranging free lodging for students with UVA law students. The link is Kelsey Cameron ''06 and Heather Johnson '06 are planning on attending this year.

*the Fourth Annual Norman Amaker Public Interest Retreat, entitled "Human Rights in the 21st Century," will be February 25 - 27, 2005. See I will probably be attending this (for the first time) due to having a meeting there at the time of the conference.

*The Robert M. Cover Public Interest Law Retreat is held each year in the woods (and the snow) near Peterborough, New Hampshire. This year it is March 4-6, 2005. Sponsorship is rotated among various New England law schools. This year Touro is host. A brochure is in our office, or see it at . Several of us have attended this in previous years, and, in fact, it was the inspiration for our own retreat.

*Yale Law School sponsors a Rebellious Lawyering Conference every year. The Eleventh Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference will take place on the weekend of February 18th, 19th, and 20th. See ..

*As many of you know, Equal Justice Works always has a conference, in addition to its job fair, late October every year in DC. Many students and several faculty/administrators go from Duke. See

*Each November, Stanford Law School has a conference called: "Shaking the Foundations -- An Annual Conference on Progressive Lawyering." See Brett Stohs '04 attended last year.

*The Peggy Browning Fund "Education Law Students on the Rights of Workers," had its sixth annual conference last October. See Claude Platton '05 attended from Duke last fall.

Posted: January 13, 2005
Duke Law AIDS Legal Assistance Project Announces Summer Employment
THE AIDS LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROJECT, an in-house clinic at Duke Law School, has two positions for student interns to work full time in the summer of 2005. Students will have substantial client contact and will provide legal assistance to indigent HIV-infected clients under the supervision of Professors McAllaster and Rice. Summer interns will draft documents (e.g. wills, powers of attorney and living wills) for clients; assist clients in making permanent guardianship arrangements for their children; and represent clients in benefits and discrimination cases, among other legal matters. Students may also work on developing educational materials related to the clinic's work. Funding for the summer internships is available. We will be interviewing candidates soon, so if interested, please give your resume with references to Carolyn McAllaster, Room 3029, tel. 613-7036,
Posted: January 10, 2005
Pro Bono Project Tea - Thursday, January 27, 2005, Blue Lounge

You may know what pro bono groups are doing. But this is an opportunity to hear what students are doing in “individual placements,” i.e. working one-on-one with public interest attorneys in the community.

In fall 2004, there were 28 students doing such placements as working with Assistant District Attorneys; an Assistant Attorney General; an Assistant County Attorney; lawyers at the NC Justice Center; the Immigration Law Project; the ACLU; the National Health Law Project; the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Attorneys’ Institute for Equal Rights; the Financial Protection Law Center; NC PIRG (consumer and environmental law); Farmworkers Legal Services; Carolina Legal Assistance; and the NC AFL-CIO; and several private attorneys doing employment discrimination, immigration and criminal defense work.

Come if you are interested in a spring project, or if you just want to hear some good stories!

Refreshments of tea, coffee, scones and cookies
will be served.

Sponsored by the Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono. For more information, contact Sarah Citrin at

Posted: January 10, 2005
Summer Public Interest Fellowships for Duke Law Students - January 24
On Monday, January 24 at 12:10 in Room 4045, the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono will distribute applications for the IOLTA and the Burdman, Steckley-Weitzel & Carroll-Simon Fellowships. In 2005, we will have 3 IOLTA and 7 of the other fellowships for a total of 10. Representatives of all the Duke-only fellowship programs and OCS have been invited to tell what is available exclusively for Duke Law students. Stanback environmental fellowship, the new international fellowship, OCS & PILF reps confirmed. (No food served; only a chance for the job of your dreams.)
Posted: January 10, 2005
Preview of the Summer Public Interest Job Search - Nov. 29
The Search for a Summer Public Interest Job
Please join us on Monday (after Thanksgiving), Nov. 29, 12:15 - 1:15pm in the Nasher Room (2014) for an informal session with Mary Dillon, Senior Career Counselor, and Carol Spruill, Associate Dean for Public Interest and Pro Bono, to answer your questions about your summer public interest job search. (Lunch not served. Feel free to bring your own.)
Posted: November 18, 2004
Registration Begins for Public Interest Retreat

Public Interest Retreat - February 4-5 -- Registration begins Wednesday, November 17

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, canoeing and yoga; enjoy ice breakers and a DJ party; 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 17, from 12:00 to 1:30 at a table outside the library, and again on Thursday, November 18, and Monday, November 22 from 12:00 to 1:30. To register, you must submit a check for $30 made out to Duke Law School and fill out the registration form. Also, you may register in Suite 4050 at any time, beginning November 18. The first 45 to sign up get to go (but all registration must be completed before Dec. 8)!

The Public Interest Retreat begins Friday afternoon, February 4, and ends mid-Saturday afternoon, February 5. It is at The Summit, a retreat center a little over an hour away at Brown Summit, NC, a few miles north of Greensboro.

We will announce the keynote speaker later. We are ready to announce four of the alumni speakers for Saturday:

*Kim Bart '02 is a Teaching Fellow at the Federal Legislation Clinic at Georgetown Law Center. She formerly worked at Crowell & Moring and practiced regulatory law in energy, environment and international trade. She is a former PILF President.

*John Bolin '03 recently won an asylum case for a pro bono client from Nigeria. He is working with the New York office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockieus. At Duke Law, he founded the Refugee Asylum Support Project.

*Emily Friedman '98 works at Harpo Productions in Chicago where she represents The Oprah Winfrey Foundation. She received a Skadden Fellowship and worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago focusing on child care and welfare reform.

*Emily Marroquin '04 is a Fellow at the Fair Trial Initiative in Durham where she assists attorneys with capital cases at the trial level. Her wide range of activism includes Chicano/Latino social justice issues, incarcerated teen-agers, families in juvenile court, the Innocence Project, farm worker issues and the death penalty.

For further information, contact the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono or contact, Mark Chorazak,, Student Director of the Public Interest Retreat, or other committee members: Kimberly Beattie, Kim Burrucker, Emily Coward, Kate Gehret, Julia Kohen, Zach McNish, Jackson Nichols, Michael Oswalt, Claude Platton, Teresa Sakash, Carol Spruill and Marina Whelan.

Posted: November 16, 2004
Faculty Lives in Public Service Features Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky

Faculty Lives in Public Service holds its second event of the 2004-2005 series featuring Professor Erwin Chemerinsky who will talk about his civil liberties cases and the inspiration for his activism. The event is at 12:10, Room 3037.

Faculty Lives is sponsored by the Office and Board of Public Interest & Pro Bono. For more information, contact Faculty Lives co-directors Garrett Levin and Jackson Nichols.

Erwin Chemerinsky joined the Duke Law faculty July 1, 2004. Since 1983, he has been a professor at the University of Southern California Law School, where he was the Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science.

He graduated with honors from Northwestern University (B.S., 1975), and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1978). He was a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and an attorney at Dobrovir, Oakes, and Gebhardt, in Washington, D.C. He is the author of over 100 law review articles that have appeared in journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Stanford Law Review and Yale Law Journal.

He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals. For example, last year he argued Lockyer v Andrade in the United States Supreme Court, a challenge to the application of California's three strikes law on behalf of an individual who had been sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for stealing $153 worth of videotapes. In September 2000, he released a report on the Los Angeles Police Department and the Rampart Scandal, which was prepared at the request of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

The U.S. Supreme Court has just accepted two more of Chemerinsky's cases for review this year -- one involving a free speech ban on a disgruntled former client of Johnny Cochran and the other relating to the removal of a monument with the Ten Commandments inscribed.

Posted: November 9, 2004
Table Talk in the Blue Lounge -- Students Working in the Public Sector in Summer 2004 Share Advice on Public Interest Summer Employment Recognition Day
Want to learn more about public interest summer jobs? Come to Table Talk which will feature many of the more than 80 students who worked in the public sector last summer. They'll sit at 10 topic tables (Legal Aid, Criminal, Environment, etc.) and take your questions. Pizza/sodas served. Thursday, Nov. 4, 2004, noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Blue Lounge. Co-sponsored by the Offices of Public Interest and Pro Bono, Alumni and Development, Career Services, and Student Affairs.
Posted: November 2, 2004
Offer of Assistance on Your Pro Bono Project from LexisNexis
There have been some questions as to whether your student online research accounts can be used for the pro bono work you do here at school. We have been told by LexisNexis that you may use your Lexis ID for any pro bono work that is NOT BILLED to a client. The company actually supports use of the system for pro bono purposes. Along those lines, if you have any research questions or need to know what your
Lexis ID is, Keri Richardson is a Lexis Associate (in addition to one of the Southern Justice Spring Break Coordinators) and can provide training, help with a pro bono project or any other assistance you might need. She has office hours in the library reading room every Mon.
8:00-9:30 a.m. and 11-12, Wed. 11-12 and 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Thurs. 11-12 and 1-2:30 p.m. If you need help with anything, feel free to come by or email her at and you can set up
individualized times to meet.
Posted: October 26, 2004
Domestic Violence Legal Aid Attorney Speaking Wednesday

On Wednesday, October 27 at 12:15 p.m. in Room 4049, TeAndra Miller, head of the Domestic Violence attorney group with Legal Aid of North Carolina, will be speaking about her work representing domestic violence victims. Pizza will be served. Bring your own beverage.

This event is co-sponsored by Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocacy Project, the Male Law Students Association, and the Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono. A brief introductory meeting on DVSAAP will be held after the event. For more information, contact Elisa Cyre and Audra Heagney.

Posted: October 25, 2004
Report on the Pro Bono Project - 1Ls Lead the Way!
This fall, at least 172 students have signed up for Pro Bono so far. The 1Ls lead the way with 92 volunteers, followed by 2Ls with 54 volunteers, 3Ls with 23 volunteers, LL.M.s with 2 volunteers, 1 exchange student and 1 visitor. Placement distribution includes 63 from the Innocence Project, 54 from VITA (which is organizing now for tax prep work in the spring), 23 for the Guardian Ad Litem program, and 9 for Street Law. We expect more names soon from the leaders of the Refugee Asylum Project and Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocacy Project. Twenty students have signed up for individual placements. These include working with assistant District Attorneys; an Assistant Attorney General; an assistant County Attorney; lawyers at the NC Justice Center, the Immigration Law Project, the ACLU, the National Health Law Project, the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Attorneys’ Institute for Equal Rights, the Financial Protection Law Center, NC PIRG, Farmworkers Legal Services, Carolina Legal Assistance, and the NC AFL-CIO; and several private attorneys doing employment discrimination, immigration and criminal defense work. Many placements remain. Visit the Office of Public Interest and Pro Bono to select yours.
Posted: September 30, 2004
Students Encouraged to Attend Oct. 28-29 EJW Career Fair & Conference - Info Session 2/21

Every fall, Equal Justice Works, a national organization devoted to helping students work in the public sector, sponsors the country's largest public interest career fair in DC. This year it is Oct. 28-29. Public interest employers from around the country gather at one hotel and talk with students. 2Ls and 3Ls can send cover letters in advance and get appointments. 1Ls can visit informally and drop off resumes during designated times called "Table Talk." In addition, a conference held at that same time features programs on finding a job, and programs around public interest issues.

An information session will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, at 12:15, Room 4000. Bring your lunch and come find out information about the Equal Justice Works Career Fair and Conference. Claude Platton (2L), Stephanie Bradford (3L), Dean Carol Spruill, and Senior Counselor Mary Dillon will provide information to help you decide whether you should go. We also will discuss other logistical details including: how to register to attend the Career Fair, how and when to arrange interviews with the employers at the Career Fair, car pooling, a reception with alumni in DC, the Awards Dinner, and the EJW Conference.

Posted: September 20, 2004
Community Economic Development Career Panel, Sept. 20th
CED Clinic Professor Andrew Foster and Vail Gardner in the Office of Career Services have arranged a panel of experts on Monday to talk about careers in community economic development. It is Monday, September 20, 12:15-1:55 Room 3043. CED work gives you the opportunity to combine business and community service. Whether you want a non-profit advocacy career in CED or want to learn how to make a contribution from private practice, this program should be a great way to learn about this area of law that has grown so much in the last couple of decades.

Here is part of their description of the event:
Interested in a practice that allows you to work on highly complex and sophisticated deals in the biggest and best firms, yet still satisfies your desire to have a positive impact on the community? Do you want to help communities, developers, investors and lenders that do well and do good, too? If so, come learn about the practice of community development law.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear leading practitioners from across the US discuss their practices and career paths in this rapidly growing area of practice.

Led by Duke Law's Professor Andrew Foster, the panel will include Rochelle Lento, Director of University of Michigan's Legal Assistance for Urban Communities Clinic, and governing committee member of the ABA Forum of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law, Susan Ellinger, a partner with Nelson Mullins Scarborough and Riley's Affordable Housing and Community Development practice, Erik Rickard '97, an associate in Real Estate and Corporate Transactions at Squire Sanders, Marie Wadler T'85, a partner in the Syndication practice at Nixon Peabody, and Greg Yeutter '81, head of the tax credit practice group at Kutak Rock
Posted: September 17, 2004
Faculty Lives in Public Service begins its 2004-2005 series with Jim Coleman, Sept. 13, 2004
Faculty Lives in Public Service begins its 2004-2005 series with Jim Coleman, Duke Law Professor and Senior Associate Dean. The event is Monday, Sept. 13, 2004, at 12:10 p.m., Room 3037. Professor Coleman will talk about his current work with the American Bar Association and in North Carolina seeking a moratorium on executions. He will also discuss his role as a founder of the NC Innocence Project and the work done by the Wrongful Convictions course he teaches with Dean Newman. Pizza will be served. Faculty Lives is sponsored by the Office and Board of Public Interest & Pro Bono. For more information, contact Faculty Lives co-directors Garrett Levin and Jackson Nichols.

Coleman was formerly a partner in Wilmer Cutler in D.C. In private practice, he specialized in federal court and administrative litigation; he also represented criminal defendants in capital collateral proceedings. His most infamous client was Ted Bundy, whom he represented in Florida in the 1970s. In 1976, Coleman joined the Legal Services Corporation, where he served for two years as an assistant general counsel. In 1978, he conducted an investigation of two members of Congress as chief counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. In 1980, he served as a deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education. At Duke Law, he teaches criminal law, legal ethics, negotiation and mediation, and capital punishment.
Posted: September 10, 2004
Public Interest Kick-Off Features Prof. Chemerinsky
The Law School community is invited to the Public Interest Kick-Off this Thursday, September 2, in the Blue Lounge, which will feature Professor Erwin Chemerinsky as the keynote speaker. The event begins with a reception at 4:30. The program begins at 5:00. After the keynote address, you are invited to enjoy pizza, beer and other beverages as you mingle and go from table to table staffed by Public Interest and Pro Bono Board members. You can learn about many public interest events, activities, and pro bono service groups, such as: Public Interest Retreat, Southern Justice Spring Break Mission Trip, Guardian Ad Litem, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocacy Project, Refugee Asylum Project, Public Interest Employment and Career Services, Equal Justice Works Career Fair in DC, Street Law, Social Committee, and more. After the event, new students are invited to continue the evening and go out with Board members. This event is co-sponsored by PILF and the Office and Board of Public Interest and Pro Bono.
Posted: August 27, 2004
Guardian Ad Litem Volunteers - Info & Sign-Up Sept. 1
Interested in becoming a Guardian ad Litem volunteer? Serve area abused and neglected children while learning critical lawyering skills, including gathering facts, interviewing clients, preparing court documents, and navigating court procedures. A panel discussion for prospective volunteers will be held on Wednesday, Sept 1, from 12:10 PM to 1:30 PM in room 4045, with lunch provided (bring your own beverage). For more information, contact Matt Leerberg at
Posted: August 26, 2004
Street Law for Duke Law Students to Teach in Durham Schools - Sign Up August 24th
Leslie Cooley (3L), Director of the Duke Law Street Law pro bono program, has arranged for Duke Law students to teach a Con Law/Crim Law course to middle and high school students in the Durham School system. The Street Law program is a nationwide program enabling law students to help secondary school students learn about the Bill of Rights and how to apply it to their life. Most of the program placements will be in collaboration with the Street Law Clinic at NC Central Law School.

All those participating will be required to attend three class sessions at Central to get familiar with materials, and to learn about lesson planning and how to teach. The classes will be taught by Page Potter, an instructor at Central. Then you will go to your assigned school once per week to teach a class. You will teach the classes for most of the semester and at the end, you assist students in putting on a trial. The classes will be team taught with two of you at each location.

Unlike other pro bono placements, this one requires course registration. Duke Law students have the option of registering for a one-hour credit (not available to first-year students) or auditing the course. Either way, attendance at all three classes for training is mandatory.

We assume that very few first-year students will have a schedule that allows them to participate, but some summer-starters may have a schedule that does not conflict with the high school classes.

This opportunity is time sensitive. The first class training session at Central is Friday, August 27. The names of all who will be participating must be given to the instructor several days ahead of that.

Those interested should contact Leslie Cooley, immediately. A meeting to discuss requirements will be held Tuesday, August 24 at 12:30 p.m. in Room 3032. Be sure to bring your class schedule because you will have to match it with the school schedule.
Posted: August 20, 2004
Over $150,000 Awarded in Summer Public Interest Fellowships to 46 Duke Law Students

Summer 2004 Duke Law School
Public Interest Fellowship Recipients
Over $150,000 Awarded

Forty-six Duke Law students received summer 2004 public interest employment fellowships totaling $150,400. While even more students received fellowships in the summer of 2003 (when fifty-seven fellowships were awarded from funds of $131,780) this year, all students who were working for the entire summer received a full stipend of at least $3000, ten received $4000, and one summer grant was for $10,000.

The sources of these fellowships, which are available only to Duke Law students, are: an endowment from former Associate Dean Linda Steckley and her husband Pete Weitzel (three fellowships); an endowments from alumni Richard Burdman ‘56 (two fellowships); an endowment from alumni couple Len Simon ‘73, and Candace Carroll ‘74 (one fellowship); funds from the NC State Bar’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Program (IOLTA); Stanback Fellowships, provided through the Nicholas School for the Environment by donor Fred Stanback; the Howrey Helps Fellowship provided exclusively to a first-year Duke Law student by the Houston law firm of Howrey Simon Arnold & White; and funds raised by Duke Law students members of the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), supplemented by a $10,000 contribution from Duke Law School.

Burdman/Steckley-Weitzel/Carroll-Simon Fellowships

These fellowships provide $3000 each for six recipients in 2004, and are funded through Duke Law School endowments. The donors are: Associate Dean Linda Steckley and her husband Pete Weitzel; alumnus Richard Burdman ‘56; and alumni couple Len Simon ‘73 and Candace Carroll ‘74.
The recipients and their organizations are:

  • 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, Mexico
  • Kisha Payton – Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, GA

IOLTA Fellowships

These fellowships are funded by the NC State Bar’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account program and provided $3000 each for five Duke Law students in 2004. Placements are with designated NC organizations and agencies. The recipients and their organizations are:

  • 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 – 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 in order for students to work at designated environmental organizations. The recipients and their organizations are:

  • Elizabeth Avore – Appalachian Voices, Boone
  • Mayely Boyce – Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Chapel Hill
  • Yuan-Chen (Jessica) Chiang – Conservation Council of North Carolina, Raleigh
  • Maria Christopher – Appalachian Voices, Asheville
  • Rebecca Dixon – Neuse River Foundation
  • Lisa Fink – Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Chapel Hill
  • Dylan Fuge – Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Chapel Hill
  • Katie Hartman – NC Public Interest Research Group, Chapel Hill
  • Janna Lewis – Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), Atlanta, GA
  • Rebeka Plecnik – Wildlaw, Montgomery, AL

HOWREY “HELPS” Fellowship

The Houston, TX law firm of Howrey Simon Arnold & White awarded a $10,000 fellowship to a first-year Duke Law student who has a strong background and demonstrated interest in public service. This year’s recipient is:

  • Zachary McNish – Lone Star Legal Aid, Houston, TX

PILF Fellowships

The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF), a Duke Law School student organization formed to raise funds for summer public interest fellowships, raised $57,400 in 2003-04. These funds, along with a $10,000 contribution from Duke Law School, are providing 29 summer fellowships in the summer of 2004. The 2004 recipients are:

PILF Full Grants ($3,000 each)

  • Jesse-Galen Beardsworth – Paraguayan Senator Marciano Torales, Abogado
  • Stephanie Bradford – DC Public Defender Service and Legal Aid Society, Manhattan
  • Elisa Cyre – Advocates for the West (an environmental group), Boise, Idaho
  • Torrey Dixon – Southern Christian Legal Society
  • Virginia Frasure – U.S. Attorney’s Office, Maryland
  • Cullen W. Guilmartin – Office of Chief State’s Attorney, Division of Criminal Justice, Connecticut
  • Elisabeth Hanratty – ACLU
  • Regina Lennox – U.S. Attorney, ED of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Mike Levin – Los Angeles City Attorney
  • Apryl Mathes – Travis County District Attorney
  • Ian Millhiser – American Constitution Society, Washington, DC
  • Philip Mirrer-Singer – NY Office of Attorney General
  • Debbie Murphy – Office of Corporation Counsel, Child Abuse Division, Washington, DC
  • Julia Noone – Legal Aid Services of Oregon
  • Kristi Pranger – Marion County Prosecutor
  • Todd Relue – U.S. Attorney, ND of Indiana
  • Benjamin Stark – Georgia Justice Project, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Alicia Swingle – Children’s Legal Services, Boston Massachusetts

PILF Partial Grants ($1500-$2100)
(for those working less than a full summer)

  • Michael Crane – District Attorney, Harris County, Texas
  • Derek Dillman – Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office
  • Kristin Ely – The Hague Conference on Private International Law, The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Jackson Nichols – NC Dept of Justice, Consumer Protection Division, Raleigh, NC
  • Serena Paskewicz – Alamance County District Attorney, Burlington, NC
  • Teresa Sakash – NC Gay and Lesbian Attorneys, Durham, NC

PILF Thank You Grants ($1000 each)
(For those receiving other fellowships)

  • David Bernstein – Public Defender/Office of Legal Aid, Carrboro and Durham, NC
  • Leslie Cooley – NY County Defender Services, New York, NY
  • Audra Heagney – Greater Boston Legal Services, Welfare Law Unit, Boston, MA
  • Chad Nicholson – International Mission for Justice, Tegurigalpa, Honduras
  • Claude Platton – NC Justice and Community Development Center, Raleigh, NC
Posted: August 12, 2004
Zach McNish Featured in Houston Chronicle about Summer Job at Lone Star Legal Aid
Second-year Duke Law student Zach McNish was featured in the August 8, 2004 edition of the Houston Chronicle for his work this summer at Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston. He is the recipient of the new Howrey Helps Fellowship provided by the Houston-based law firm of Howrey Simon Arnold & White. The fellowship provides a stipend of $10,000 to work at Lone Star Legal Aid that goes only to a first-year Duke Law student who has a commitment to public sector work after graduation.

The article features Zach's work representing clients in landlord-tenant matters. The article can be seen at
Posted: August 12, 2004