|UNC Law students earn Pro Bono School of the Year award for work in New Orleans|
|Tuesday, December 09, 2008|
Students at the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been recognized with the Pro Bono Law School of the Year award for providing free legal assistance to New Orleans residents. UNC law students have been spending spring and winter breaks working in the area since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.
The students were recognized by the Pro Bono Project, a not-for-profit organization that serves low-income clients in the six counties that surround and include the city of New Orleans, said, Sandie McCarthy-Brown, the project’s Louisiana statewide volunteer coordinator. She estimates that students from approximately 20 law schools have volunteered their time in the New Orleans area since Hurricane Katrina. Between 15 and 20 UNC law students have gone each winter break, beginning with the first trip in winter 2005. While students now stay four to a room in hotels in New Orleans, the pioneer team slept on the floor of a relative’s home for the week.
“This award means that our work has made a difference to the Pro Bono Project. The goal is to make sure that people are getting all the benefits that they are entitled to. Proving they own their land or are legally separated or divorced is an important part of that,” said Sylvia Novinsky, assistant dean for public service programs at the law school. “Our students come back with a renewed sense of purpose, of knowing why they are in law school and the desperate need for access to legal services.”
The award was presented to Adam Feibelman, UNC associate professor of law, on behalf of the UNC School of Law by the Pro Bono Project on Dec. 4 in New Orleans.
Web site: Blog dating back to the first trip in December 2005, http://www.forthegoodofthegulf.blogspot.com/