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OU College of Law Encourages Public Service and Pro Bono Work

February 25, 2010

Students for Access to Justice (SATJ) at the University of Oklahoma College of Law hosted the Sixth Annual Public Interest and Pro Bono Fair on February 24 to provide law students the opportunity to meet with representatives from organizations seeking volunteers for spring and summer work. Almost 100 students attended the fair to learn about the participating organizations and the positions available.

SATJ was created to utilize law students in meeting the legal needs of the community and promote a spirit of service within the College of Law. The student-coordinated Public Interest and Pro Bono Fair provides an easy connection for groups needing legal services and law students seeking volunteer opportunities. As of April 2009, OU law students had volunteered 18,000 hours since the inception of the program in 2004.

Organizations attending this year’s event were Oklahoma Child Support Services, Oklahoma Attorney General, Oklahoma County District Attorney, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices), Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, Oklahoma County Public Defenders, Trinity Legal Clinic, American Civil Liberties Union, Catholic Charities and the OU Legal Clinic. SATJ will now begin making placements for the balance of the spring semester and tentative plans for summer placements.

“Gaining practical experience and working relationships with judges, public agencies, nonprofit and public interest advocacy organizations is the best way for our students to make progress in establishing their professional credentials,” stated Professor Judith Maute. Professor Elizabeth Bangs worked with Maute and student coordinators Amy Kamp, Kayna Stavast-Piper and Annie Nagle in organizing and hosting the event.

By: Jonella Frank