The College of Law held its third annual 1L
Service Day on Friday, August 22. This year’s service day brought in
just under 70 volunteers, a record number of participants. The College
of Law’s Pro Bono & Community Service Initiative (PBCSI) and University Ministry in the Loop organized the 1L Service Day, with support from the Center for Public Interest Law.
Interim Dean Bruce Ottley and PBCSI Director Cheryl Price welcomed
the 1L volunteers, many of whom congregated not just for the chance to
participate in works of service, but also to make new friends, meet
faculty members and explore Chicago.
College of Law Chaplain Tom Judge started by asking staff, faculty
and student site leaders to stand and discuss what motivates them to
give service. Answers ranged from "a sense of gratitude" to simply,
"it's the right thing to do." Shaye Loughlin, executive director of the
Center for Public Interest Law, defined service as a family value handed
down from the Greatest Generation.
Students then departed for one of six service sites: Pacific Garden
Mission, Cornerstone Community Outreach, Marillac House, Legal Prep
Charter Academy, Catholic Charities Bishop Conway Residence and Little
Brothers/ Friends of the Elderly.
At homeless shelters Pacific Garden Mission and Cornerstone
Community Outreach, students helped make beds, organize clothing
donations and serve meals. Marillac House, a site with countless social
services, gave students the opportunity to play with preschoolers and
clean out a closet in preparation for a move.
Student volunteers at Legal Prep Charter Academy got to work painting
classrooms and organizing the library. The students at Catholic
Charities Bishop Conway Residence visited with seniors. Lastly, the
students at Little Brothers/Friends of the Elderly worked in a food
pantry, prepared holiday ornaments, and decorated Thanksgiving food bags
for the seniors. It was a day of varied and valuable work.
the lunch break, service day site leaders readdressed the importance of
service and discussed its impact on all parties involved. The site
leaders were second- and third-year law students, as well as law staff
and faculty. Many 1L students said they found the day to be extremely
As Chelsea Geiger (JD ‘17) said, “The service day meant connecting
with other students and faculty, the community, and the opportunities
available to me as a DePaul student. I got to know a few of my
classmates on a more personal level than just at orientation. I learned
of an organization I had no prior knowledge of and who are doing great
things around Chicago. I also discovered what DePaul could provide for
me besides a legal education and how, combined, we could make a
Alyssa Bisanz (JD ‘17) added that the 1L Service Day “captured the
essence of community spirit. Between collaboration and compassion, we
were able to leave a positive footprint, as we upheld the DePaul brand,
and served alongside with and for the neighbors of our community. This
activity was the perfect way for me to start off my school year.”