Individual Pro Bono Opportunities

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In addition to the many pro bono opportunities that are available to Duke Law students through the Duke Law Student Pro Bono Project groups, students also may pursue individual pro bono placements with local non-profit legal services offices, government organizations, and private attorneys and firms engaged in pro bono practice. Kim Burrucker (Director, Public Interest & Pro Bono) is happy to work with you to identify your areas of interest, and to help you find a pro bono placement that suits your skills and interests. Students in the past have gained experience in a wide variety of pro bono practice areas. Noted below are just some of the public interest law topic areas and organizations with which Duke Law students have worked as pro bono volunteers in the past few years.

Arts and Intellectual Property

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
The UAC of Raleigh and Wake County strives to build communities through support of the arts.

Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF)
EFF is the leading civil liberties group defending the rights of individuals in the digital world.

Children and the Law

Durham County, Office of the County Attorney - Representing Department of Social Services, Division of Child Protective Services
This division of the office of the county attorney provides legal representation for the Department of Social Services' Division of Child Protective Services in child abuse and neglect cases. The goal is to either reunify families or establish an alternative permanent placement. There also may be opportunities to volunteer in Child Support Enforcement and Adult Services. Child Support is the division of the Department that establishes paternity and child support and then enforces support collection. Adult Services division files for guardianships on behalf of disabled adults.

Legal Aid of North Carolina - Advocates for Children's Services
The mission of Advocates for Children's Services (ACS) is to advocate on behalf of court-involved children as rights-bearing citizens who are entitled to safe, permanent homes, as well as medical and educational services currently promised by law.

Civil Rights & Civil Liberties

American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina

Disability Rights North Carolina
As North Carolina's Protection and Advocacy Agency, Disability Rights North Carolina provides legal representation and advocacy of individuals with disabilities throughout North Carolina through individual and systems advocacy.

Institute for Justice
Through strategic litigation, training, communication and outreach, the Institute for Justice advances a rule of law under which individuals can control their destinies as free and responsible members of society. The Institute litigates to secure economic liberty, school choice, private property rights, freedom of speech and other vital individual liberties and to restore constitutional limits on the power of government.

Community Development Law

North Carolina Bar Association - NC LEAP
NC LEAP (North Carolina Lawyers for Entrepreneurs Assistance Program) is a project of the North Carolina Bar Association and the NCBA Foundation that provides free legal services to low-wealth entrepreneurs who are in the process of starting or expanding their businesses. NC LEAP attorneys employ direct legal representation, small business legal clinics and production of self-help materials.

Consumer Rights/Business Regulation

NC Attorney General's office, Consumer Protection Division
Pro bono volunteers engage in legal research and writing, interviewing victims and drafting affidavits, researching companies that are under investigation and, in some cases, posing as customers of companies under investigation. In the past, pro bono volunteers have drafted pleadings for enforcement actions, and worked on legislative issues.

NC Secretary of State
The NC Department of the Secretary of State works to protect citizens, the business community and governmental agencies by facilitating business activities, by providing accurate and timely information, and by preserving documents and records.

Criminal Defense (indigent)

ACLU Capital Punishment Project
The ACLU-CPP challenges the unfairness and arbitrariness of capital punishment while working toward the ultimate goal of abolishing the death penalty. The Project's litigation is conducted throughout the country, with particular focus on the South.

Center for Death Penalty Litigation
The Center for Death Penalty Litigation provides direct representation of capital defendants, primarily at the state and federal post-conviction levels. The Center also serves as a clearinghouse for death penalty representation for the State of North Carolina, providing consultation and support services to private attorneys appointed in capital cases.

Fair Trial Initiative
The Fair Trial Initiative is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of indigent capital representation in North Carolina.

Indigent Defense Services - Forensic Resource Counsel
The Indigent Defense Services Forensic Resource Counsel creates and maintains resources for public defenders and private assigned counsel who need assistance in investigating and litigating issues relating to forensic science in criminal cases.

North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services
NCPLS provides comprehensive legal services for the inmates of prisons and jails located in North Carolina.

Domestic Violence Law

Legal Aid of North Carolina - Battered Immigrant Project
This project provides deportation legal defense services to immigrant survivors of violence, and provides legal assistance to file: VAWA applications to remove conditions on residence U-Visas for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; and T-Visas for victims of human trafficking.

North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) is a statewide non-profit membership organization providing support services to local domestic violence agencies and allied professionals across the state. NCCADV is committed to creating social change through eliminating institutional, cultural, and individual oppressions that contribute to violence against women. The agency's purpose is to strengthen the network of people working to end domestic violence in NC. NCCADV's Public Policy Initiative advocates improving statewide policies and legislation to positively impact the lives of survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Employment & Labor Law

Glenn, Mills, Fisher & Mahoney
The firm specializes in civil rights and employment discrimination, and has invited Duke Law students to assist with pro bono cases taken on behalf of lower-income individuals who otherwise cannot afford representation.

Legal Aid of North Carolina - Farmworker Unit
The LANC Farmworkers Unit represents migrant and seasonal farmworkers in NC on matters related to their employment. Pro bono volunteers have an opportunity to learn first-hand about injustices migrant farmworkers face living in isolated labor camps, often working under dangerous conditions.

Environmental Law

National Resource Council of Maine (NRCM)
NRCM is a non-profit advocacy organization founded in 1959 with objective to protect, conserve, and restore Maine's environment, now and for future generations. Past Duke Law pro bono volutneers have assisted this organization with legal research projects.

North Carolina Conservation Network (ConNet)
ConNet is a network of 150 environmental organizations throughout North Carolina whose legal focus is on influencing state environmental policy at the NC state legislature and within relevant governmental agencies.

North Carolina Sierra Club
The NC Sierra Club is a long-established agency that advocates across the state for a clean, healthy North Carolina environment that is safe for both current and future citizens.

North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA)
NCSEA is a Section 501(c)(3) corporation with its primary purpose being to further the use of sustainable energy in North Carolina, and to promote a sustainable energy economy.

RiverLink strives for economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River Watershed, in western North Carolina around Asheville, NC.

Health Law

Center for Adolescent Health and the Law
The Center for Adolescent Health and the Law supports laws and policies that promote the health of adolescents and their access to comprehensive health care. The Center addresses the full range of legal and policy issues influencing the financing, delivery, and utilization of comprehensive health services for youth. The Center conducts research, analyzes legal and policy issues, prepares publications, provides training and technical assistance, and engages in advocacy. The Center's work focuses on five substantive areas: inclusion of adolescents in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP); coverage of services for adolescents in public programs, insurance, and managed care; consent for health care; confidentiality of health information; and participation by adolescents in health research studies.

National Health Law Program
NHeLP is is a public interest law firm working to advance access to quality health care and protect the legal rights of low-income and underserved people. NHeLP serves legal services programs, community-based organizations, the private bar, providers and individuals who work to preserve a health care safety net for the millions of uninsured or underinsured low-income people. Pro bono volunteers have assisted the organization with legal research and writing projects that promote NHeLP's policy advocacy.

Immigration Law

Church World Service
Church World Service provides refugees, asylum seekers, and other humanitarian immigrants with low-cost immigration legal services including adjustment of status, naturalization, and family reunification.

NC Justice Center - Immigrants Legal Assistance Project
The NC Justice Center provides legal services to low-income immigrants residing in North Carolina.

Southern Coalition for Social Justice
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice is a community-led, multidisciplinary organization. The organization uses the combined skills of lawyers, community organizers, researchers, and media experts to respond to community-determined priorities. The organization views local social justice struggles from a global human rights perspective and takes a holistic, collective and interdisciplinary approach to address issues at their core in order to bring about sustained structural change, and alter power relations.

Poverty Law (civil legal aid)

Indigent Defense Services - Parent Representation Project
The IDS Office of Parent Representation provides training and support attorneys representing indigent parents involved in abuse/neglect/dependency and termination of parental rights proceedings.

Land Loss Prevention Project
The Land Loss Prevention Project provides legal support and assistance to financially distressed and limited-resource farmers and landowners in North Carolina.

Legal Aid of North Carolina - Durham, Pittsboro, and Raleigh
LANC attorneys provide free legal services in civil law matters to low-income individuals in North Carolina. LANC advises on a broad range of legal matters, including: housing, consumer, family law, administrative law, education, employment and elder law.

Tax Law

Legal Aid of North Carolina - Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (Durham)
The LITC provides legal representation to low-income taxpayers who have existing tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the NC Department of Revenue (NCDOR), and also provides tax assistance and education to individuals who speak English as a second language.