Service fair briefs students on extensive volunteer opportunities

More than 50 law students attended the student service fair in an effort to learn more about volunteering with the College of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI). Organized by PBCSI Director Cheryl Price, the fair introduced students to the various service opportunities at the College of Law and beyond.

Price started the event with general information about PBCSI, including the college's recommendation that students commit to at least 50 hours of service while at DePaul. Students learned the basics of volunteering, such as how to report their hours to earn a service award.

Students heard from PBCSI student coordinators Jeffrey Boucher (JD '13), Rebecca Birger (JD '13), Sam Keen (JD '14), and Desalina Williams (JD '14), who discussed volunteer opportunities at PBCSI’s six partner agencies, including A.N. Pritzker Elementary School, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Center for Disability & Elder Law, Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, Croak Student Legal Services, and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights.

Students also learned about DePaul’s Neighborhood Legal Assistance Project, a pro bono legal help desk for the homeless and indigent in the South Loop, and PBCSI’s Donate-A-Days, day-long service opportunities for students who may not be ready to make a long-term volunteer commitment. PBCSI’s January 2013 Donate-A-Day took place at Our Lady of Charity School in Cicero, IL. Student volunteers painted and cleaned at the school. The Donate-A-Day was co-sponsored by UMIN in the Loop, and two student groups, the Society for Asylum & Immigration Law and the Latino Law Student Association.

DePaul’s Schiller Ducanto & Fleck Family Law Center’s Domestic Violence Courthouse Project and Spring Break Juvenile Detention Center project, DePaul’s Immigration and Asylum Law Clinic’s Spring Break Border Project, Illinois Legal Aid Online’s LiveHelp Operator training, the National Immigrant Justice Center’s upcoming U-Visa workshops, and summer internships with BENNU Legal Services.

PBCSI recommends the student service fair for students looking to gather information, or for first-year students who may be ready to start volunteering, but are not sure how or where to start. As Price explained, "PBCSI ensures that students get connected to service opportunities that fit their interests and schedules. It is wonderful to see so many law students ready to go out and help others. They truly make an impact while gaining hands-on legal skills.”

If you are interested in learning more about PBCSI, please contact PBCSI Director, Cheryl Price, at cprice13@depaul.edu.