Impact Center Take Action and Summer Reading Guide

Sections

Civil Rights  |  Criminal Justice  |  Education Law  |  Family Law, Children’s Rights, and Juvenile Justice  |  Government and Public Policy  |  Housing and Civil Legal Services  |  Immigration  | Racial Justice | Diversity and Inclusion in the Law | Teaching Black Lives Matter

Civil Rights

The American Constitution Society (ACS) – Volunteer Opportunities 

Join the NYLS Chapter of the ACS. The ACS’s national office provides opportunities for law students to engage in projects related to expanding voting rights—both on the ground and remote research opportunities. There are also additional research and writing projects available. Sign up to volunteer for any of these projects. 

The ACS National Convention

This virtual convention featured a wide array of fantastic speakers and panels on today’s key legal issues as well as discussions about the legal, economic, and social impact of COVID-19. Speakers included Stacey Abrams, Vanita Gupta, Hon. Keith Ellison, and Tina Tchen.  

Defending Protestors in Criminal Court

A continuing legal education (CLE) program by the National Lawyers Guild that’s free for law students.

Good Call NYC – Volunteer Opportunities
Get involved in this critically important work assisting individuals who are arrested (and their friends and family). Fill out this interest form.

New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) Protest Monitoring – Volunteer Opportunities 

The right to protest is critical to a functioning democracy, and you can help ensure New Yorker’s first amendment rights are respected. Join the team and receive a free training and serve as NYCLU’s eyes and ears at local demonstrations. E-mail volunteer@nyclu.org with the subject line “Protest Monitor.” 

Read, Watch, Listen

Criminal Justice

Chicago Community Bond Fund – Pro Bono Project 

The fund is operating a hotline that is being used to interview people incarcerated in Cook County Jail about conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. These interviews are being used to draft decelerations for a civil rights lawsuit challenging conditions inside the jail. They are looking for volunteers that can commit at least six hours a week to working the hotline on a regular schedule. Volunteers sign up for shifts of about three hours at a time. To sign up, email Matt McLoughlin (matt@chicagobond.org). 

Equal Justice Talks Webinar Series: Police Use of Deadly Force as it Relates to People with Behavioral Health Issues

NYLS Professor Heather Cucolo will be speaking on Thursday, June 18 from 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET on police use of deadly force and best practices for reform in dealing with vulnerable populations for The Arc’s Criminal Justice Advocacy Program. Register for the webinar.

Grassroots Law Project Volunteer Opportunities

Grassroots Law Project bridges the gap between grassroots organizing and legal expertise in criminal justice reform by bringing millions of us together to address the most pressing and egregious failures of the system, hold powerful actors accountable, and advocate for deep structural change. The Grassroots Law Project seeks volunteers for legal work including law students.

Parole Preparation Project (PPP)  – Volunteer Opportunities

PPP’s volunteers form the core of the organization and are critical to the direct assistance they provide to people in prison. They train volunteers to work with parole applicants to develop comprehensive release plans, create compelling advocacy materials, and practice interviewing skills. Volunteers often establish transformative relationships with applicants that continue post-release. The next training will be in October 2020. Fill out the volunteer application here 

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Education Law

Volunteer Opportunity With the Charter High School for Law and Social Justice 

Two law students are needed to assist legal instructors in delivering daily distance learning lessons to high school students, reviewing student work, and providing feedback. Program dates: July 13 –24. Some additional training hours may be required prior to the start of the program. For more information, please contact Professor Amy Wallace at amy.wallace@nyls.edu 

Street Law Research and Volunteer Opportunity 

Two law students are needed to research additional United States law school-based Street Law sites. Assist Professor Wallace in compiling national directory in order to promote sharing of techniques and information across experiential programs. For more information, please contact Professor Amy Wallace at amy.wallace@nyls.edu 

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Family Law, Children’s Rights, and Juvenile Justice

Remote Family Forms Clinic – Pro Bono Opportunity  

Bay Area Legal Services located in Tampa Bay, Florida are currently seeking law student volunteers to remotely assist pro se litigants in completing the necessary family law forms to start and respond to their case. No experience in family law or Florida-specific law is required. Volunteers will be utilizing Zoom and the screen-sharing capabilities to complete the forms with the clients. Training and opportunities to shadow and observe are available. For more information, please contact David Gomez, Family Forms Clinic Coordinator, at dgomez@bals.org. 

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Government and Public Policy

Center for New York City Law at NYLS

The summer internship at the Center for New York City Law provides a unique opportunity to launch a career in local government, public service, land use, and related private practices. An intern will work primarily on CityLaw, a bi-monthly journal that provides an overview of the City’s regulatory developments, and CityLand, an online publication that reports on land use developments in New York City. Find the posting on Symplicity, or email brian.kaszuba@nyls.edu to apply.   

Brooklyn Volunteer Lawyers Project – Pro Bono Opportunity 

The Brooklyn Volunteers Lawyers Project is seeking 3–4 NYLS students to assist with a pro bono project this summer to provide representation for the day at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). Volunteers will represent low-income homeowners in cases where the New York City Department of Buildings has issued a summons or violation. Volunteer opportunities with the OATH project are held every Monday between 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and students are expected to commit to volunteering every Monday for the summer, and can continue on into the fall semester if interested. Interested students should send their resume and a short email describing their interest in the project to Peter White at pwhite@Brooklynvlp.org and Anne O’Grady at aogrady@Brooklynvlp.org. 

Register Voters – Volunteer Opportunities

Help register voters for the 2020 Election. As an example, join Rock the Vote as a volunteer. 

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 Housing and Civil Legal Services

New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) COVID-19 Pro Bono Network 

The COVID-19 pro bono network is coordinated by the NYSBA  in partnership with the New York State Court System. New York State needs the help of attorneys and law students to handle a surge in legal matters resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic fallout. Find available projects here, at the top click on “Browse by Category,” and pick opportunities for law students.  

Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) Summer Training Series  

PILI will offer Zoom training sessions to all public interest focused law students on topics such as implicit bias, interviewing clients, post-graduate fellowships, community lawyering, and incorporating pro bono into your career.  Sign up for the training sessions here. 

Housing, Tenants, and Workers’ Rights Organizations – Volunteer Opportunities

Get involved in activism around housing, tenants, and workers’ rights. Join The Right to Counsel Coalition, Housing Justice for All, and The New Economy Project, and take part in their current actions to support their campaigns.   

Probono.net

Probono.net is online resource that connects attorneys to those most in need and creates legal tools to help individuals advocate for themselves. You can also subscribe to their a newsletter for curated pro bono opportunities and recent news access to justice topics.

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Immigration

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 

Consider joining the AILA. Student memberships are $50 a year (but may be prorated if you are just joining for the summer). They offer a range of free training programs and videos on various immigration subjects and skills development. Read more about what the membership includes in the AILA Student Membership Brochure.

New Sanctuary Coalition – Pro Bono Opportunities

New Sanctuary Coalition runs a weekly Pro Se Clinic staffed by non-attorney volunteers and supervised by experienced immigrants rights organizers and immigration lawyers. The clinic helps people identify ways to get relief from deportation and detention, access other immigration-related benefits, understand their rights so they can fight their own case, apply for asylum, prepare for court appearances or interviews, and much more. Clinics are on Wednesday evenings from 6–9 p.m.  Sign up here to volunteer and attend an upcoming training. You can also volunteer in other ways by giving direct emotional and spiritual support, pro se legal help, advocacy and bond support to get our loved ones out of detention, legal rights training, and physical sanctuary to people facing immediate deportation.

Remote Volunteer Opportunity to Support Asylum Seekers in Tijuana – Al Otro Lado 

Al Otro Lado is seeking the support of volunteers to help provide services virtually to asylum seekers trapped at the border. Law students can assist with country conditions research and prepare exhibit lists for pro se asylum seekers who will be representing themselves. Students should complete a Remote Volunteer Application. If you have specific questions, reach out to volunteer@alotrolado.org. Students and law professors may sign up for as little as one shift per week. Please note: this will only qualify for pro bono hours if the work is supervised by an attorney. Speak to the organization about if they can provide this supervision. 

Rapid Defense Network (RDN) – Immigration Pro Bono Project 

RDN was launched in January 2019 to provide emergency rapid response legal defense services on a pro bono basis to non-citizens facing imminent deportation or detention. RDN has ongoing research projects for students who are passionate about ensuring access to due process for non-citizens seeking immigration remedies. To get involved, contact Legal Directors Sarah Gillman at sarah@defensenetwork.org or Gregory Copeland at gregory@defensenetwork.org with a resume, statement of interest, and approximate availability. 

NYLS Immigration Law Summer Course

Professor Lenni Benson will be teaching a summer course on immigration law on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.  

Immigration Advocates Network Training Calendar 

Updated regularly with upcoming immigration training sessions, compiled from various immigration advocacy organizations.    

Feerick Center’s Immigrant Rights in the Time of COVID-19 Virtual Series 

Join the Feerick Center at Fordham University Law School for a series of summer programs on immigrant rights in the time of Covid-19.  Sign up for future programs by joining the Feerick Center’s mailing list at feerickcenter@fordham.edu  

Access to Asylum Project Seeks Law Student Volunteers

The Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), and OneJustice have collaborated on the Access to Asylum Project. They will be providing pro se legal assistance to asylum seekers by helping them fill out their I-589 asylum applications. Volunteers are needed June 8–August 2020.  Minimum of four hours per week of work. Sign-up using the Access to Asylum online form.

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Racial Justice

Harvard’s Project Implicit

Take an implicit bias test. 

Law for Black Lives – Volunteer Opportunities

Law for Black Lives is a Black femme-led national network of nearly 4,000 radical lawyers and legal workers committed to building a responsive legal infrastructure for movement organizations and cultivating a community of legal advocates trained in movement lawyering. Law for Black Lives is accepting volunteer support from all interested law students. Please fill out this form if you are interested in assisting organizers with legal support. The nature of the requests do range but can include bail support and release for protesters, security and surveillance, research or policy support, technical assistance and consultations.

NYLS’s Racial Justice Project 

Join us for upcoming Racial Justice Project roundtables and events throughout the summer. Check back for dates and registration information.

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Toolkit

An online guide for folks who want to offer concrete responses that call people in who are conflicted about protests because of the “violence” and property destruction narratives and to invite people into or towards racial and social justice movements.

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Diversity and Inclusion in the Law

Teaching Black Lives Matter