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UT Law joins 2012 National Celebration of Pro Bono, October 21–27, 2012

During the week of October 21–27, 2012, the UT Law Pro Bono Program will participate in the fourth annual nationwide celebration of pro bono service. Launched by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the National Pro Bono Celebration focuses the nation’s attention on the increased need for pro bono services and celebrates the work of lawyers who volunteer their services throughout the year.

The UT Law Pro Bono Program will mark the week with a variety of events celebrating the Law School community’s pro bono service. On Monday, the program will host a lunch for students and faculty members who participated in the January 2012 winter break trip to the Texas-Mexico border region, to debrief them on the results of the Contract for Deed Prevalence Project for which they conducted fieldwork. On Tuesday, the program will convene leaders of student organizations to discuss the role of service at the Law School and in their organizations, a follow-up to a retreat held last spring. And on Thursday, the program will host a lunch to thank students, faculty, and community members who have volunteered this fall for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) clinics. The lunch will include an update on DACA developments from Professor Barbara Hines, clinic organizer and Director of the Immigration Clinic.

In its third year, the UT Law Pro Bono Program continues to grow. At orientation in August, over three-quarters of the entering class signed the Pro Bono Pledge, committing to perform fifty hours of pro bono service by graduation, and more 1Ls are expected to sign the pledge in the coming months. “This fall we have been able to increase the number of projects available to students and student participation has continued to rise,” said Tina Fernandez, director of the UT Law Pro Bono Program. “I am excited about the breadth and depth of the opportunities we’ve developed for students, from staffing the DACA clinics, to assisting with evening walk-in legal clinics, to working on asylum cases for American Gateways. And I am very pleased with the high level of student engagement in our offerings.”

To further heighten student awareness of pro bono opportunities and to encourage them to report their pro bono hours, and also in recognition of Celebrate Pro Bono Week, the Pro Bono Program will be tabling in the atrium on Wednesday, October 24, and Thursday, October 25. In addition to providing information about ongoing projects, students and staff will distribute applications for the January 2013 winter break trip and answer students’ questions about the trip. Students will also have the opportunity to sign the Pro Bono Pledge.

About the Pro Bono Program:

The Pro Bono Program’s vision is that students at the University of Texas School of Law will engage in pro bono work to increase access to justice and develop a lifetime commitment to providing legal services to those in need. Launched in 2009, the Pro Bono Program is a project of the Law School’s William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.

Related links:

Pro Bono Program

National Pro Bono Week

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law

Contact: Tina Fernandez, Director, Pro Bono Program, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, 512-232-6170, tfernandez@law.utexas.edu

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