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Rutgers Students Create Pro Bono Day to Reach Out to Local Underserved Communities

January 31, 2008 – 

A commitment to public service is one of the core values of Rutgers School of Law-Newark, so it’s not surprising that more than 130 law students have volunteered to participate in the first annual, school-wide Pro Bono Day on Friday, February 1. Placements at underserved organizations and institutions in Newark and East Orange have been arranged by third-year law student Emily Rodriguez and second-year Stephanie Scannell, the Eric Neisser Public Interest Program’s pro bono coordinators. In addition to strong student response, Pro Bono Day has the enthusiastic support of faculty, several of whom have challenged their classes to show the highest level of participation, as well as friends of the law school, including Coughlin Duffy LLP, which is sponsoring a breakfast at the law school for the volunteers, and the Newark Bears, which will provide the winning class with free tickets to a Bears’ game. 

On Pro Bono Day, Rutgers-Newark law students will volunteer their time at:

    Essex County Juvenile Detention Center (80 Duryea Street, Newark), where one group will conduct a writing workshop at 9:30 am, a second group will teach a Street Law class at 9:30 am, and a third group will do a role play and workshop on civil rights during a school assembly at 12:30 pm.
    • Isaiah House (238 North Munn Avenue, East Orange, 1 – 2:30 pm), where they’ll conduct a “know your rights” workshop about DYFS for teenager mothers.
    • William H. Brown Academy (695 Bergen Street, Newark, 8:40 am – 10:40 am, 11:40 am – 1:40 pm), where one group will help students participating in Math Conference Day to work through math word problems and present their results on posters, and a second group will teach a Street Law class.
    • University High School (55 Clinton Place, Newark, 8:30 am – noon), where they’ll serve as judges for a mock trial assembly for the entire school.
    • Soup Kitchen at Goodwill Rescue Mission (79 University Avenue, Newark, 10:30 am – noon, 4 – 6 pm), where they’ll help serve a healthy meal to the city’s homeless and lower-income residents
    • Habitat for Humanity (8 am – 4 pm), where they’ll help build a home in downtown Newark
    • American Friends Service Committee (89 Market Street, Newark, 6 pm), where law students from the Rutgers Immigrants Rights Collective will conduct a “know your rights” workshop for immigrants.