College of Law > About > News > DePaul law student selected as finalist for PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award
By Center for Public Interest Law /
October 24, 2013 /
Posted in: Public Interest Law, Pro Bono and Community Service, Student News /
Keen’s dedication to NLAP has gone above and beyond a typical student volunteer commitment. The first of its kind at DePaul, NLAP is a law student pro bono help desk for the homeless. NLAP takes place twice a month on Saturday mornings at a breakfast program for the homeless run by a local church. NLAP assists guests with sealing and expunging their criminal records and obtaining state IDs. NLAP also provides clients with brief advice about housing and family law, as well as public benefits and available social service resources. NLAP is staffed with a supervising attorney and four to six law student volunteers per session.
In addition to his pro bono work, Keen has completed internships that have allowed him to have a direct, positive impact on Chicago’s most vulnerable populations. One of his internships was with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, where he advocated for homeless youth in the Chicago Public Schools. After completing the internship requirements, he continued to work at the Coalition, logging 40 hours of pro bono work. Keen also spent last summer as an intern at the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) where he represented low-income clients facing homelessness in eviction court. Again, Sam continued to work at LCBH even after his internship was over, completing more than 50 hours of pro bono work. He has also volunteered with the Lawyers in the Classroom program and has served as a legal observer for the National Lawyers Guild.
“I went to law school because l knew that a JD would allow me to make a career out of being a force for positive change in my community,” said Keen. While he has yet to embark on a law career, Keen has already made a positive impact on many people in Chicago as a law student.