Beyond Pro Bono: Law Students Volunteer Time to Community Service

3/1/2011 | Facebook | Twitter | Email
Date: 03/01/2011

Student interns at the Albany Law School Law Clinic & Justice Center will make hands-on contributions to the community through two service projects on Wednesday, March 2.

"While pro bono services are the norm in the legal field, volunteer work on the ground is much less prevalent among practicing attorneys," explained Professor Joseph Connors, the Law Clinic & Justice Center's director. "We'd like to instill the value of community service, as well as gaining first-hand insight into the community, in all of our graduates."

A 2003 article in the Journal of Legal Education noted that, on average, attorneys volunteer less than half an hour a week, and contribute less than 50 cents a day, to charitable organizations.

A group of approximately 26 students will make approximately 100 brown-bag lunches for low-income individuals at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church on Whitehall Road in Albany, while another group of approximately 26 students will assemble household baskets for individuals moving into low-income housing at Phillips Hardware on Central Ave. in Albany. Both projects are the result of collaboration with Grassroot Givers, a local community outreach organization.

Students at the Law Clinic & Justice Center handle hundreds of cases for low-income individuals each year, spanning such areas as civil rights, health law, unemployment litigation and family violence prevention. The clinic also annually matches hundreds of students with field placements in government agencies, nonprofits and other organizations.

For more information on the Albany Law School Law Clinic & Justice Center, visit www.albanylaw.edu/clinic.

Grassroot Givers strengthens the community by making the connection between those in need of specific supplies and material goods and those who have resources to share. Grassroot Givers supports individual families and more than 50 programs run by nonprofit organizations in the Capital Region of Albany, N.Y. Visit http://www.grassrootgivers.com/.