Students

Elon Law Pro Bono Project Descriptions

Below is a list of projects currently ongoing at Elon Law.  We strive to offer a diverse range of pro bono volunteer opportunities -  whether presented to students by either the Pro Bono Board or other student organization - and project availability is subject to change.  All of the opportunities offered to students are done so with the help and support of licensed attorneys and/or other organizations that provide free or reduced cost licensed legal services to members of the public with a demonstrated need.

If you are in need of legal assistance, we ask that you work through the sponsoring organizations or see our Legal Help for the Public page.

East Market Development Corporation

The East Market Development Corporation (EMDC) is a nonprofit organization working to rehabilitate the development along East Market Street just outside of downtown Greensboro.  Elon Law students have teamed with EMDC's counsel to assist with short-term legal research and drafting projects dealing with a number of issues related to the mission of bringing new small business commercial and residential opportunities to this area of Greensboro.  Past projects have touched on issues ranging from zoning, approved signage, leasing, and property liability.  If you would like more information about the availability of projects with the EMDC, please contact probono@elon.edu.

Expunction of Records with IRC Greensboro: 

The Interactive Resource Center of Greensboro (IRC) provides support and resources to the homeless and about to be homeless.  Elon Law students have partnered with local attorneys and the IRC to provide advice and assistance with regard to the expunction of records and certificates of relief for those who qualify.  Student involvement in the project is 2-fold: researched based opportunities and client based opportunities.  The research based involvement is very time-flexible, operating almost entirely by email and requiring locating and analyzing applicable laws.  The client based opportunities send students to the IRC to take part in the interviewing and conducting background checks for the clients.  Students interested in getting involved with the IRC project may email the 2014-2015 project leader Elizabeth Coltrane at ecoltrane@elon.edu

Guardian Ad Litem

Elon Law students partner directly with the North Carolina Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Program and serve as advocates for abused and neglected children in court. Responsibilities include conducting an independent investigation of a child's home and family situation, prepare and submit court reports, and appear in court to testify on behalf of the child's best interests.  GAL is open to anyone who completes the required training program but to qualify for training, an applicant must first submit an application and interview process that includes a background check and reference requests.  Trainings are offered semiannually - usually summer, fall, and winter - and are held at Elon Law School.  Students seeking more information on how to apply may email the 2014-2015 Elon Law coordinator Kaitlyn Bailey at kbailey8@elon.edu.

Guilford County Teen Court
 
The Guilford County Teen Court works as an alternative to juvenile court. It prevents youth from developing a juvenile criminal record and is specifically designed for children ages 8-17, who are first-time offenders with misdemeanor charges. The youth who are referred to Teen Court admit responsibility for their charged offenses and are sentenced by a jury consisting of other children. Typical offenses that show up in Teen Court include communicating threats, larceny, driving offenses, assault, drug and alcohol possession, as well as many others. Teen Court is a great alternative to juvenile court because it alows for more rehabilitative options for first-time offending youth. Teen Court is held in Guilford County three times a motnh on Tuesday nights. Law students have the opportunity to work with the Teen Court by serving as a judge, an attorney, an exit interviewer, or as a clerk. Teen Court is a great opportunity to learn more about the juvenile justice system, as well as to get court experience and further oral advocacy skills. Elon Law students interested in participating should contact Lauren Shoffner at lhelton3@elon.edu.
 
Hospice Project
 
The Elon Law Hospice Project works with Hospice of Randolph County, a non-profit hospice organization, to provide patients with advanced directives. Volunteers will provide a service to individuals in great need, and perform a function Hospice is unable to provide on a regular basis. Volunteers can expect to learn how to prepare Advanced Directives including: Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Powers of Attorney. Along with this, volunteers can expect to gain practical experience working with clients by outlining each option available to the clients and explaining what those options entail. Trainings are offered semiannually, with trainings currently scheduled in the summer and fall of 2014. Students seeking more information on how to become involved should e-mail Evan Freemyer at efreemyer@elon.edu or Victoria Hinton at vhinton@elon.edu.
 

Innocence Project

The Innocence Project operates as an independent student organization that partners with the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence.  Students work on initial case reviews for individuals who have exhausted their appeals and are currently unrepresented, preparing a review memo and transcript summary seeking new, unexplored evidence that may exonerate the individual.  All students may join with the majority of the new members signing up during the student organization fair at the start of the fall semester.  However, interested students may join throughout the year by contacting a member of the executive board.  The 2014-2015 contact for the Innocence Project student organization is Genna Petre. Genna Petre may be contacted at gpetre@elon.edu.

Pro Bono Legal Research Projects:

While many of the pro bono projects available to students at Elon Law have a research component, the Research Project was created to provide legal research opportunities on a broad range of issues not directly tied to any one particular ongoing initiative or student organization.  A current example is research into state and federal benefits available to certain segments of the population for the creation of a "benefits manual" for the reference of volunteers working in the community.  We welcome input from both interested students and our community partners in the creation of new projects and encourage those wishing to get involved to email probono@elon.edu.

Tax Assistance Project:

Elon Law's Tax Law Interest Group partners with the AARP to assist low and middle income families, and the elderly in particular, with the filing of federal and state tax returns.  The project runs yearly, beginning in February and will run through April 15, 2015.  The project is open to all students and begins sign-up each January.  Participation requires completing a required training on the TaxWise tax preparation software used to file the returns.  For more information, please contact the 2014-2015 project leader Chad Archer at carcher4@elon.edu.
 
Lawyer on the Line
 
The Lawyer on the Line Law School Co-op program (LOTL) is "Pro Bono made easy." The LOTL program is conducted in collaboration with Legal Aid of North Carolina. The program is designed to let 2L and 3L students work with real clients developing their interviewing skills, research skills, and application and analysis of the law. LOTL is a flexible program that allows student volunteers to control their level of involvement, while making it convenient for students to work around their busy schedules. For more information, please contact Bree Shadrick at sshadrick@elon.edu.
 
Walk-In Legal Help Days:
 
Elon Law partners with state and local bar associations, Young Lawyers Division, Legal Aid, and other professional groups to support or host occasional walk-in legal help programs.  In October 2012, Elon Law hosted their first Ask-A-Lawyer Day in conjunction with Legal Aid of Greensboro at the law school in conjunction with the American Bar Association's Celebrate Pro Bono Week. This October, Elon Law will kick off Pro Bono Week with their second annual Ask-A-Lawyer-Day event. The Pro Bono Board will continue to make the event an annual pro bono week occurance.  In the past, Elon Law professors and students have organized to host Wills for Heroes events at the school and continue to keep in contact with the event organizers regarding future events when the event cycles back through Greensboro.  Additionally, Elon Law students have assisted the YLD and North Carolina Bar Association in support of the annual 4ALL call-in legal assistance program each March.  For more information about how Elon Law students can get involved with walk-in legal assistance projects please contact probono@elon.edu.