There are many opportunities at Mizzou Law to engage in pro bono work while you are in law school so that you can get the Mizzou Law Pro Bono Certificate and give back to your community.
Over winter break, both EJLA and Lambda Legal sponsor trips to New Orleans, LA, where students either volunteer at AIDSLaw or Southeast Louisiana Legal Services which are both non-profit organizations who provide legal services to indigent clients. During this week in New Orleans, students participate in legal work and meeting with clients and also have the chance to explore New Orleans. For more information on these trips, contact Lambda Legal and/or EJLA.
Another way you can get involved in Pro Bono Services and get great experience is by volunteering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA). VITA is a program that allows students to actually prepare tax returns for low income clients. This opportunity not only allows students to use the knowledge they have gained from Federal Taxation, but it also allows them to have the chance to work one-on-one with clients, which is an invaluable skill. For more information, contact Professor Cecil.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in Mizzou Law’s Alternative Spring Break, where students volunteered at large law firms in both Kansas City and St. Louis, and worked directly with seasoned attorneys on pro bono cases during spring break. During last year’s program, all of the students who participated in the alternative spring break were able to earn the Mizzou Law Pro Bono Certificate by logging at least 10 (1L’s) or 20 (2L’s) hours at these firms. For more information, contact Jennifer Riedy in the Career Development Office.
During spring break of last year, students also had the opportunity to travel to Salem, Missouri for the Spring Break Estate Planning Pro Bono Trip, where five students spent part of their spring break helping low-income individuals in rural Missouri with simple wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. The law school partnered with Legal Services of Southern Missouri’s Rolla office, and staff attorney, Michael Spillane, ’11, provided training and supervision for the program. During the trip, the students also participated in alumni networking events as well as tours of the St. James Winery and Maramec Spring Park. For more information on the Spring Break 2015, please contact Jennifer Riedy in the Career Development Office.
While these programs are only a few of the opportunities Mizzou Law students have to engage in pro bono legal services during their law school career, they outline and emphasize the amazing opportunities that exist. Not only do these programs offer a chance for law students to engage in real legal work and client contact, it is also a way to have a little fun at the same time.
If you want to be involved in any of these activities, please stop by 103 and we would be more than happy to discuss them with you.