Our students complete pro bono projects in a variety of ways. If you have a special area of interest or discover an unmet legal need that a pro bono project could address, we encourage you to reach out to a member of the Pro Bono Board who can help connect you with ongoing projects and community partners..
Throughout the academic year, attorneys post pro bono projects for students including research, interviewing and legal writing. These projects encompass a wide variety of practice areas and can be completed both remotely and in-person. Students sign up on the bulletin board near the student lockers on a first-come first-served basis.
Winter Break and Spring Break
Much like attorney-sponsored projects during the academic year, the program gathers projects from attorneys and organizations during winter and spring break. Winter break projects are a popular way to get involved in pro bono work, especially for first-year students ready for practical experience after a semester in the classroom.
During academic year breaks, the Pro Bono Program sponsors trips to areas beyond the Triangle to host clinics with legal services agencies. Students have worked on wills, divorces, expungement, advanced directives, health insurance enrollment and more.
- Bryson County
- Folkston, GA
- High Point
- Jackson, MS
- New Bern
- New Orleans, LA
- Roanoke Rapids
- Rocky Mount
- Scotland Neck
- Siler City
- Sugar Grove Trenton
In addition to soliciting projects from attorneys and organizations, the Pro Bono Program manages several projects like the Cancer Pro Bono Legal Project, Lawyer on the Line and Wills for Heroes. Additionally, the program organizes special clinics and events, allowing students to complete a project during orientation or work on a short project during lunch.
Many student groups create and manage their own projects, clinics and trips based on chosen focus areas of the groups. These range from ongoing – like the Innocence Project – to seasonal or one-day – like the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance project and Lambda Law Students Association’s transgender name change clinic. Student organizations work with the Pro Bono Board’s Student Group Projects Coordinator to ensure that pro bono projects provide proper attorney supervision and comply with State Bar Regulations.
Our 13-member student board is responsible for finding and organizing pro bono opportunities in a variety of different substantive areas and throughout the state. The board is led by a student director and works closely with the director of pro bono initiatives.
Meet the Board
- Student Director: Alex Rutgers
- 3L Class Coordinator: Wilson Greene
- 2L Class Coordinator: Cayla Rodney
- 1L Class Coordinator: Jaaz Catterall
- Alumni Outreach Coordinator: Laura Medlin
- Attorney Projects Coordinator: Andrew Benton
- Public Relations Coordinator: Chloe Altieri
- Special Projects Coordinators: Jacob Brannon and Liliya Oliferuk
- Special Trips Coordinators: Maria Carisetti and Sam Spalding
- Student Group Projects Coordinator: Chennell Coleman
- Winter and Spring Breaks Project Coordinator: Cameron Ervin
Each spring, we advertise and solicit applications for open positions on the Pro Bono Program Board within the UNC School of Law student body. Board terms are based on the academic year. Prior to open board selection in the spring, the board’s Student Director is selected from the pool of students who have previously served on the board. Current board members may also apply to remain on the board through an internal selection process. Remaining board positions are advertised by email and at an interest meeting. Board members are selected based on a written application and interview process.
The Director is responsible for overseeing the operation of the program. The Director facilitates board meetings, manages the board members and day-to-day operation of the board, and plans the end-of-year reception and certificate ceremony.
The Attorney Projects Coordinator establishes and maintains contact with attorneys who submit postings to the program. The Attorney Projects Coordinator is the initial contact person with students after they have signed up for a project and will resolve any difficulties that may arise with the attorneys regarding the postings they have submitted. The Attorney Projects Coordinator is responsible for recruiting and developing new relationships with attorneys for locating projects for interested students in requested areas.
The Class Coordinators are responsible for recruiting students from their respective classes to take postings and for managing those students who have taken postings. Management of the students from each class will include maintaining contact with the students as they work on projects, ensuring and verifying that work hours submitted by students qualify as pro bono work, and collecting those hours so that students will receive appropriate recognition by the law school and community. Additionally, the Class Coordinators will meet and brainstorm to identify student interest and needs in order to create programming that reflects those interests and needs.
The 1L Class Coordinator is selected from the first-year class shortly after the fall semester begins.
The Student Group Projects Coordinator organizes all projects that involve student groups. The Student Group Projects Coordinator will establish and maintain contact with all attorneys who supervise group projects for the program and will resolve any difficulties that may arise with these attorneys regarding the projects they supervise. The Student Group Projects Coordinator serves as the liaison to student groups at the law school to assist them with developing, maintaining, and managing their own pro bono projects. The Student Group Projects Coordinator is also charged with the duty of meeting with the pro bono chairs of the student groups, educating each student group as to what does and does not qualify as pro bono, coordinating group trainings if needed, and handling all student group nominations to the North Carolina Bar Association for awards pertaining to group projects. Finally, the Student Groups Coordinator is responsible for creating and executing pro bono opportunities for groups of students not necessarily part of an existing student organization.
The Public Relations Coordinator is responsible for publicizing the program in the university, local, and state communities. The Public Relations Coordinator will also be responsible for maintaining the content of the Pro Bono Program website, calendar and social media. Finally, the Public Relations Coordinator is charged with coordinating the Pro Bono Week events and developing and creating the Annual Report.
The Winter & Spring Break Projects Coordinator is responsible for coordinating the winter and spring break projects. This will include recruiting and contacting attorneys, maintaining the database of attorney contacts, recruiting students to take part in the projects, and conducting meetings regarding those projects. The Winter & Spring Break Projects Coordinator will be the initial contact person for students after they sign up for a project and will resolve any difficulties that may arise with the attorneys regarding the postings they have submitted.
The Special Trips Coordinators is responsible for coordinating group pro bono project trips during academic breaks. This includes assessing needs in remote areas around the country, recruiting community partners with whom to work, recruiting students to take part in the trips, conducting meetings regarding the trips, fundraising for those trips, and coordinating all trip logistics.
The Alumni Outreach Coordinator is responsible for working with other members of the board in addressing their needs for alumni contact and/or outreach. The Alumni Outreach Coordinator will be charged with collaborating with the Pro Bono Alumni Board, maintaining an alumni database, and publicizing the program to alumni of UNC School of Law in hopes of fostering a continued commitment to performing pro bono work, supervising law students who are doing pro bono work, and giving back to the program. Finally, the Alumni Outreach Coordinator is responsible for working with alumni to create and execute pro bono opportunities.
The Special Projects Coordinators is responsible for special projects as determined by the director and faculty advisor, including but not limited to the Cancer Pro Bono Project and the Lawyer on the Line Project. The Special Projects Coordinators may also identify ideas for projects that can be developed throughout the year. The Coordinators may manage all aspects of the projects, including coordinating with community and student group partners, recruiting student participants, coordinating trainings, and executing the project. The Coordinators will then evaluate the projects’ sustainability and, if appropriate, transition it to a student group or student leader.