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This Week is Public Interest Law Week — Celebrate By Donating Your Time

Published: September 8th, 2008

Category: Events, News, Students

Among the missions of the University of Florida Levin College of Law lies serving the public. Often in the stress of class, interviews and other activities that fill law students time the concept of service is lost. Donating time to public service while in law school has multiple rewards, such as:

  • Providing desperately needed legal services to organizations with limited resources;
  • Fostering law students’ pride in serving their community;
  • Giving law students valuable practical experience and professional feedback;
  • Letting students meet and interact with legal practitioners in the community;
  • Instilling goodwill on behalf of the law school, its graduates, and our community.
  • Developing professional responsibility in the practice of law.

What exactly is public interest law? Public interest law is a broad definition for legal practice areas that assist individuals equal access to justice. Public interest careers tend to focus in the areas of government, non-profit organizations, legal aid, and public defenders offices. Typical issues include poverty and welfare, domestic and family, immigration, civil rights, workers’ compensation, and bankruptcy.

Public Interest Week is an event at UF Law designed to introduce and facilitate law students’ interest and possible career in Public Interest Law. Currently scheduled events include:

Monday, September 8, 10 am – 2 pm: Volunteer Fair
Representatives from local Public Interest agencies will be in the courtyard in front of the library to answer questions and to sign up volunteers for their various programs. Agencies include: Three Rivers Legal Services, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Children’s Legal Services, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc., Teen Court, & Southern Legal Services

Friday, September 12, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: Public Interested? Do’s & Don’ts
Whitney Untiedt, from the Public Defender’s Office & former AmeriCorps Fellow, will reprise her program on the ins and outs of becoming a strong candidate for Public Interest & Pro Bono opportunities. This includes what potential employers are looking for on a resume, as well as what they don’t want to see, and the insiders scoop on how good applicants go wrong. Place TBA, watch your email for updates.

The Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) will also be holding many events this week, so watch for email regarding newly added programs.

Finally, although UF Law does not require service to graduate, we do recognize students achieving a certain number of pro bono or community service hours through out their law school career with a certificate.

For more information contact Kristen Bryant in Career Services at bryantk@law.ufl.edu.

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