Thursday February 12, 2009

Law Students Serve

On break from their studies, UD law students served their home communities across the nation.

In December, UD law students took the Marianist spirit of service home with them, volunteering at various organizations in their home cities.

The program, called UDSL Gives, is the brainchild of Lori Shaw, dean of students. It reinforces the School of Law's Pro Bono Commitment, which awards students who make outstanding contributions in community service and pro bono work, Shaw said.

"It was particularly nice to see our first-year students get involved with projects that don't require a high level of legal expertise," she said.

First-year law student Amanda Crosley said the holiday break was the perfect time to do service, as she had been hesitant to get involved during the semester.

"This is a good way to get started, when there are no classes and no exams," she said.

Student Julie Reiter, who helped coordinate the effort, said 38 students volunteered from Alaska to New York.

First year law student Jillian Marconi joined Rock Can Roll Inc. on Long Island, N.Y., in passing out fliers, collecting food items and delivering them to a food pantry. She said she plans to return to the work over summer break.

Shaw said finding opportunities in the students' hometowns was key.

"We anticipate that our students will volunteer in their communities upon graduation, and these events facilitate that relationship," she said.

Students who couldn't find work in their home cities helped do research and production on a resource manual for the nonprofit organization Stop AIDS Cincinnati. The manual highlights common legal issues encompassing Ohio and federal law that clients may encounter.

— Laura Edwards