Pro Bono Project offer students new opportunities to serve

Since taking charge of the Pro Bono Project in May 2012, I have been overwhelmed with the support and enthusiasm of local attorneys, non-profit organizations, and professors who are excited to supervise students and work to expand the areas of law that students are involved in.  The Pro Bono Board has worked tirelessly to find projects that will interest students while providing services to the underserved in our community.

This year, the Pro Bono Project is offering students several new opportunities.  Students will gain first-hand experience in immigration law by assisting immigration attorneys under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Students interested in criminal law will be able to file for expungements and retroactive adjustments.  Wake Forest law school is hosting a Domestic Violence CLE in October where interested students can attend the CLE and then partner with lawyers to file 50Bs (restraining orders).

We will also continue to work with projects that we have done in the past. The Pro Bono Project has been very fortunate to have a great relationship with Legal Aid and Pembroke, and will continue to assist with cases.  Students will also mediate disputes between Winston-Salem residents and their Wake Forest neighbors and serve as Guardians ad Litem.

Last year, Wake Forest’s Pro Bono Project had a very successful year. Students recorded more than 1,700 hours of pro bono work.  Through Reclaiming Futures, students served as mentors to local high school students and a documentary featuring Wake Forest law students will be released this year.  And most impressively, VALOR received the 2012 Judy M. Weightman Memorial Public Interest Award from the ABA Student Division for its February 2012 legal clinic for veterans.

I would like to thank and recognize last year’s board, which did a wonderful job developing projects and engaging students.  I am excited for the new year and am certain that this year will be another successful year.