Service Project Opportunities
Mock Jurors for Law School's Trial Advocacy Class
The Law School's Trial Advocacy course will be holding their end-of-the-year jury trials shortly, and as a result we are in need of jurors. Below are the dates that we need jurors. Trials generally last from 2-2½ hours. Pizza and beverages will be provided. If you or someone you know (spouses, relatives, friends) are willing to sit on a jury and is available on any of the dates listed below, please let us know. Also, let us know if you are willing to serve more than one night. Trial dates are as follows: Thursday, November 13 Thursday, November 20 Thursday, December 4 Thursday, December 11 *Start time is 5:30 p.m. and approximate end time is 8:00 p.m.* *Note: Please plan to arrive 15 min. beforehand Leigh Kirchner Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 540.458.8358
Prof. Matthew Engle seeks pro bono assistance with the direct appeal of a first-degree murder case. Students will assist in reviewing the trial record, identifying potential appellate issues, and conducting a modest amount of legal research on those issues for the purpose of drafting a petition for appeal to the Virginia Court of Appeals. Students should anticipate 10-15 hours of volunteer work. If interested, please email email@example.com to arrange a time to meet with Prof. Engle.
University CARA Program
The University CARA program has two new projects with RAPC. You can contact Lindy Stevens (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more detail, and she will put you in contact with the school’s supervisor. Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition (RAPC) is a community coalition, whose mission is to reduce substance abuse among youth in the Rockbridge area by increasing community awareness of substance use and other prevention related issues and by promoting a comprehensive network of prevention and intervention services and resources. RAPC has been collecting hard data since 2008 on substance use/abuse among teenagers, including alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs biennially, using a survey instrument that is used nationally.
Below are two research needs that RAPC has identified:
- Compliance Checks – RAPC would like to collect data on how well convenience stores are complying with laws on alcohol sale. This project will gather additional quantitative (but not self-reported) data to supplement surveys that RAPC already administers to youth.
- Understanding local policies/helping to formulate policies:
Existing local policies: RAPC is interested in finding out what local policies currently exist in Rockbridge around alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, and understanding some of the loopholes. For instance, in Virginia, smoking is not permitted indoors in public places. Though people can smoke in parks (outdoor space), through a loophole, pavilions can be considered to be an indoor space if a policy is written correctly and put in place. RAPC would also like to learn about policies/laws we do not currently have on substance use that may exist in other states and localities.
Developing new policies: RAPC is also interested in developing and proposing policies that local schools and businesses may be able to put in place around electric cigarettes, etc.
Other available Community Based Research projects are listed here: http://cbr.blogs.wlu.edu/status/open/
National District Attorneys' Association
The NDAA is seeking research assistance with a number of topics. Please see the list below. Interested students should contact Professor Charlie Martel (email@example.com) for additional details.
- Conviction Integrity Units in DA’s offices
- Use of digital evidence – new forms of evidence and how to use them in standard procedures like search warrants
- Naloxone programs – research for a potential article in the quarterly magazine, The Prosecutor
- Human Trafficking – research and writing on new models
- Sexual Assault on college campuses
- Legalization of marijuana – research about the experiences in states that have legalized marijuana
- Lethality assessments – research for an article and webinar on lethality assessments
Election Day Polling Monitor
Virginia Democratic Party
The Virginia Democratic Party is seeking law students to monitor polling places on Election Day (Nov. 4, 2014). This will be the first election with Virginia’s new photo ID requirement, and the Party wants to ensure smooth implementation. Students will be doing strictly non-partisan work and would not be conducting electioneering. All student volunteers will participate in a two-hour training, held on campus, prior to Election Day. On Election Day, students will monitor polling places in Lexington. Students may volunteer for all or part of the day. Both training and work on Election Day may be counted as service hours. If interested, please contact Gabe Gopen of the Virginia Democratic Party, Voter Protection Division. Mr. Gopen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 650-468-7019.
Legal Research Assistant
Save the Children
Save the Children, a leading US and global humanitarian organization is seeking a law student to assist with legal research. The project involves issues related to block grants provided for childcare after Hurricane Katrina. As an international non-governmental organization, Save the Children promotes children’s rights, provides relief, and helps support children in developing countries. Interested students should contact Prof. Charles Martel for additional details. Prof. Martel can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Organizing House Mountain Files
Rockbridge Area Conservation Committee
The Rockbridge Area Conservation Committee (RACC) is seeking a law student to organize files related to House Mountain, located outside Lexington. Interested students would be responsible for organizing and indexing files in the RACC office, located above Wells Fargo Bank at 101 S. Main St. Students could organize files whenever it is convenient for their schedule, with a goal of finishing before November 1st. Interested students should contact Lindy Stevens (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional details.
Indexing House Mountain Files
Rockbridge Area Conservation Committee
The Rockbridge Area Conservation Committee (RACC) is also seeking a law student to review documents housed in the historical collections at Leyburn Library. Students could review documents whenever it is convenient for their schedule, with a goal of finishing before November 1st. Interested students should contact Lindy Stevens (email@example.com) for additional details.
ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Legislation Committee
The ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Legislation Committee is launching a project to track state-by-state developments in state antitrust and consumer protection legislation. Each volunteer will track one or a few U.S. states, and occasionally write ABA blog entries on big developments. Volunteers will get a lot of guidance in how to do their work and to keep the time-commitment low. If interested, please contact Mr. Christopher Sagers, James A. Thomas Distinguished Professor of Law
Cleveland State University, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mock Trial Coaches
Assistant coaching positions are available for students interested in working with Professor Belmont and the undergraduate mock trial team. Undergraduate mock trial is a complex and competitive experience requiring that student participants master the Federal Rules of Evidence and the entire range of trial skills. Assistant coaches will work with the students as they develop case theories, prepare direct- and cross- examinations, formulate opening statements and closing arguments, and develop their objection colloquy. Mock trial tryouts are scheduled for the third week of September and the season runs through the spring. For more information contact Professor Belmont at email@example.com.
Immigrant Rights Clinic Interpreters, Translators, and Client Liaisons
The Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) is looking for student volunteers to serve as interpreters, translators, and client liaisons. In order to serve as interpreters, student volunteers must be fluent in Spanish and willing to coordinate schedules with clinic students for their client interviews. Students with the requisite knowledge of written Spanish may volunteer to translate client communications and other documents in coordination with clinic students in need of this service. To serve as client liaisons, student volunteers must be willing take charge of one or more pending cases not assigned to clinic students, organize the written and electronic files, and ensure regular communications with clients as they await the outcome of their cases. Depending upon the number of hours students have available in their schedules to work with the IRC, they may choose to volunteer for one or more of these activities. All IRC student volunteers must be open to a client-centered approach to representation, committed to professional and respectful interactions with clients, and prepared to treat all client information as privileged and confidential. For more information contact Professor Baluarte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540.458.8334.
Project Horizon Advocates
Project Horizon Office
Project Horizon is dedicated to reducing domestic, dating, and sexual violence in the Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County area through crisis intervention services and prevention programs. Through its direct services to clients and outreach programs, Project Horizon offers survivors a 24-hour hotline (463-2594), emergency shelter, crisis intervention, counseling, applicable referrals, and court advocacy.
As part of the service requirement students must complete the Project Horizon training. Training typically happens once a semester, and the Fall 2014 training will begin September 20. For more information contact Kate Corr at (540) 463-3789 or email@example.com. You may also visit http://organizations.rockbridge.net/projecthorizon/volunteer.htm
TIPS Certified Students
Under W&L’s Health Department and Dean of Students Office, students may complete TIPS training and join the Risk Management Committee of the SBA. TIPS students attend SBA and other law school functions that serve alcohol to coordinate with SBA and security in order implement school policies and to maintain a safe environment. Training and committee hours may only count as Law Related Service Hours upon completion of at least one event as a TIPS student. Contact Ryan Redd, firstname.lastname@example.org
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Tammi M. Hellwig
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is an organization of highly trained adult volunteers that advocate for children in the foster care and child welfare system. CASA fights for childrens' rights and needs until they are in a safe, loving, permanent home. Each volunteer advocate works with a CASA staff supervisor who provides guidance throughout the court process. Volunteers must be 21 or older, undergo a background check and take part in a personal interview. Volunteer advocates are patient, open-minded people who have good communication skills, a history of following through on commitments and a willingness to accept guidance. Above all, they care about children.
CASA volunteers undergo 36 hours of initial training and 12 hours of continuing education each year and agree to accept a case thereafter. For those that completed training this past spring, CASA casework in the third year is eligible for law related service credit. For more information or if you have questions, please free to contact Tammi Hellwig, Assistant Dean for Clinic and Externship Administration at email@example.com.
Implementation of record retention/destruction policy for local non-profit preschool
Woods Creek Montessori
Student will assist Executive Director by reviewing organization’s records to determine which should be retained and which should be destroyed in accordance with the retention guidelines adopted by the organization. Estimated number of hours required to complete project: 10-20. Interested students should contact Caroline Russell, Interim Executive Director.
Southern Environmental Law Center
Southern Environmental Law Center has been the leading champion of the South’s air, water, and special places for almost three decades. Knowing how to work effectively in all three branches of government--and at the national, regional, state, and local levels--this non-profit organization has a powerful, flexible approach that consistently gets big results. Interested students should contact Julie Youngman at 919-945-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org for specific project details.
Bastian Center for the Study of Human Trafficking
Laura Lederer, director of the Indiana Weslyan University Bastian Center for the Study of Human Trafficking, is seeking research assistance. Please contact Ms. Lederer for specific project information. Please contact Ms. Lederer for specific project information. (703) 919-6828 http://www.indwes.edu/bastian-center/
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights
Professors Seaman and Martel
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR), a non-partisan non-profit, seeks students to assist with its Voting Rights Program in Virginia this fall. The Committee is one of the nation's leading and most respected civil rights organizations. The Voting Rights program includes impact litigation, research and advocacy. A link to the LCCR website description of the program is here: http://www.lawyerscommittee.org/projects/voting_rights
Students will participate in the program's Election Protection effort, which fields teams of lawyers on election day who observe voting in precincts and report on irregularities or problems, as well as pre-election day work related to voting rights. Students will be trained and supervised by LCCR Voting Rights lawyers and by pro bono lawyers from private firms. Professors Seaman and Martel are participating as well and will also be involved in supervising law students. Students who participate are eligible for service credit. If you would like to participate in the LCCR Voting Rights Program, please let either Professor Seaman or Professor Martel know.
Law Library, Washington and Lee University School of Law
In January and February Ms. Miller will be updating the Law Journal Rankings project: http://lawlib.wlu.edu/LJ/index.aspx Interested students will gather citation data from Westlaw. Interested students should contact Stephanie Miller.
Professor Joshua Fairfield seeks policy, planning, and research support for a project to move the debate on the NSA surveillance and commercial data privacy forward. email@example.com
Professor Mary Natkin – Assistance with Law Related Service Program Administration, including investigating and testing social media platforms for developing and reporting pro bono activities and outreach to community partners to develop projects. firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-458-8576.
Tammi Hellwig, Assistant Dean for Clinic and Externship Administration seeks assistance with externship related projects. email@example.com
Professor Jon Shapiro seeks assistance with Innocence Project cases. This opportunity applies only to existing students who have received written permission from Professor Shapiro. firstname.lastname@example.org