Pop Up Survey Results – #3

Question #3: If you’re managing a pro bono program virtually, what are you doing?

-Laura Burstein, Director of Public Service & Academic Services, SMU Dedman School of Law

Basically, tracking student hours and referring students needing hours (we have a mandatory pro bono grad requirement) to a few remote projects that we know can accommodate them. Basically living on the computer sending tons of emails and tracking data. I am also reaching out to our nonprofits to see how they are doing and if they anticipate having summer internship programs this year….

-Tara Casey, Associate Clinical Professor, University of Richmond School of Law

Connecting with legal aid partners to identify needs; providing information to students on ways to engage within existing structures for volunteerism; create remote opportunities for students to assist with client intake of legal aids assisting individuals on issues ranging from eviction to uncontested divorces; thinking about how to expand participation and partnership with pro bono attorneys through Virginia Free Legal Answers.

-Allison Standard Constance, Director of Pro Bono Initiatives, UNC School of Law

We regularly recruit research projects from attorneys and have students sign up for them on a bulletin board. We’ve moved our bulletin board online, and since we’ve just announced pass/fail grades for the semester, students are enthusiastically signing up for projects.

-Anna Davis, Director of Pro Bono Programs, UC Irvine School of Law

Reaching out to alums and local legal service organizations to develop, remote projects (research, document delivery, and an online clinic).

-Ted De Barbieri, Associate Professor, Albany Law School

Remote brief advice clinics over Zoom (using breakout rooms), starting with small businesses/ commercial tenants, considering doing seniors (maybe over telephone) and others vulnerable during this time.

-Jill Friedman, Associate Dean, Pro Bono and Public Interest, Rutgers Law School

We are soliciting and exploring student pro bono opportunities, circulating them to students, supervising some of them directly. Examples include tenant advocacy, various pro bono research projects for returning citizens and people with disabilities, help for small businesses, and many others.

-David Johnson, Assistant Dean for Pro Bono & Advocacy Programs, GW Law

GW would begin to do that in May. It is our policy not to promote pro bono activities during December and April out of deference to exams.

-Darcy Meals, Assistant Director, Center for Access to Justice, Georgia State Law

Only two of our regular organizational partners currently have remote opportunities to help with short research questions and intake. Even those have been shifted in some cases to students who were enrolled in externships and can’t complete their positions remotely. (Totally fair). Would love to hear what others are doing to promote remote volunteer opportunities.

-Jennifer Mencarini, Director of Career Development, Elon University School of Law

Videoconferences with student leaders of pro bono projects (e.g. Lawyer on the Line), regular email contact.

-Vivian Neptune, Dean, University of Puerto Rico School of Law

Webinars, zoom workshops, compilation of legislation and regulations in webpage, online courses in projects of access to legal education.

-Pamela Robinson, Director, Pro Bono Program, University of South Carolina

Virtual VITA; responding to questions posted on SC.FreeLegalAnswers.org; recording and assembling them into a movie, announcements as to new Pro Bono Board members and Pro Bono award recipients Continuing the creation of flyers for our public defenders; research and updating of a manual for Root and Rebound; translation of public information into Spanish; and trying to keep spirits high and anxiety low.

-Angela Schultz, Assistant Dean for Public Service, Marquette Law School

Using a Google Doc to act as the intermediary between the ABA Free Legal Answers site and law student involvement. See it here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18nW6cXUKYNeabNRsQgTSYaTHLhDo-ZRYj8oAWojFSQk/edit#gid=0

Also managing appointments with clients with our self-help center. We have scheduled nearly 100 online appointments with law students, lawyers, and clients meeting to complete divorce paperwork. I just did my first round this morning with success.

-Leslie Wilson, Director of Legal Career Services, UMass Law

I reached out to our ‘go-to’ placements to inquire if they had opportunities for students to perform pro bono hours, under attorney supervision, remotely.

-Mike Winn, Director of Pro Bono & Externship Programs, Stanford Law School

I’m working with our nonprofit partners to determine if students can provide service remotely. In some cases, we’ve been able to move work online. In other cases, we’ve been able to adjust the type of assistance students provide.

-Gregory Zlotnick, Director, Pro Bono Programs, St. Mary’s University School of Law

Zoom advocacy trainings; promoting and developing remote opportunities with new and existing partners; transitioning certain in-person projects to hotlines or virtual clinics; developing alternate award ceremony/recognition for excellence in public service.

-Kiva Zytnick, Pro Bono Coordinator, CUA Law

Being in touch with legal service providers. Sharing remote pro bono opportunities via email and GroupMe. Remaining available via email and video chat (google hangouts). Thinking about ways to celebrate pro bono virtually. Being flexible and trying to evolve with changing circumstances.


Book Review: Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

By Stephanie Land – Reviewed by Eve Ross*

New York: Hachette, 2019. 288p. $27.00, hardcover. Also available as e-book or e-audiobook. Find it at a local library through worldcat.org. If purchased through bookshop.org, sales support independent bookstores.

Stephanie Land, a talented writer, was not much older than the average law student when an unplanned pregnancy and insufficient support derailed her plans for college. She relied on housekeeping work, food stamps, and WIC to provide for herself and her daughter.

Land’s story is reminiscent of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, in the sense that she is writing about her housekeeping work while believing that she would not always be doing that work. The major difference that Ehrenreich took housekeeping jobs entirely by choice. Ehrenreich wrote the foreword for Maid.

Law students might see themselves reflected as much in Land as in her clear-eyed descriptions of the government workers who process her benefits, and of her housekeeping clients whose lives she comes to know in intimate detail.

*Eve Ross, 2020. Reference Librarian, Law Library, University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina.



Upcoming conferences:

The ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference

Equal Justice Conference Law School Pro Bono Advisors Pre-Conference

Please join us for our 4 Part Equal Justice Conference Law School Pro Bono Advisors Pre-Conference! Each Thursday in July at 1pm ET, we will be focusing on a different aspect of law school pro bono. Register for our Week 1 Session, “Engaging Law Students in Pro Bonohere.  During later weeks, we will focus on project ideas and collaboration, addressing challenges and strengthening your pro bono program, and connecting with your pro bono colleagues. We hope you will join us for this free series. Contact [email protected] with questions!


AALS Section on Pro Bono – Newsletter Archive


AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (Fall 2019) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (Summer 2019) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (Spring 2019) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (Fall 2018) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (Summer 2018) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (March 2018) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (December 2017) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (July 2017) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (April 2017) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (December 2016) (PDF)
AALS Pro Bono Section Newsletter (August 2016) (PDF)