Blog Posts: Law Students

CLARIFYING THE RECORD

To support the Board of Governors effort to prohibit the Center for Civil Rights from engaging in any direct representation or advocacy on behalf of individuals, families or communities, one BOG member circulated a memo to that mischaracterized the Center's work and mission. The following is to provide some context and clarification of that memo. 

Claim: The Center for Civil Rights has no oversight to ensure that it pursues UNC’s educational mission rather than the “personal causes and interests of center personnel.”
Fact:The Executive Director of the Center is a tenured member of the law school faculty and oversees the work of the Center, including its direct representation and advocacy. Additionally, before any litigation can commence, Center staff must submit a justification memo to the Dean of the Law School. The Center cannot engage in litigation without the Dean’s approval.

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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Thu. March 23, 2017 3:13 PM
Categories: General, Law Students

Mass Incarceration: A Civil Rights Crisis

The United States has merely 5% of the world’s population, yet nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners.

North Carolina Advocates for Justice hosted a conference in October 2015, presented by the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities (NC-CRED), titled “Understanding Mass Incarceration.”

The presentations highlighted the serious problems that remain deeply imbedded in the American criminal “justice” system; one presenter went as far as saying that he never referred to it as the criminal justice system, and instead opted for the more realistic phrase, “criminal legal system.” The problem of mass incarceration was referred to as a civil rights crisis, as it negatively affects access to housing, employment, voting, and education.

Blog by: Maria Lopez Delgado, 3L, UNC School of Law


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Fri. November 20, 2015 2:34 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Criminal Justice, Law Students, Race Discrimination

UNC Center for Civil Rights to Host National Election Protection Hotline

Election Protection Hotline

UNC School of Law students, with other community volunteers, are staffing a toll-free, non-partisan hotline to answer voter questions on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, as part of Election Protection, a national voter advocacy effort. Voters can call 1.866.OUR.VOTE (866.687.8683) or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (888.839.8682) with questions about their rights and the voting process. The hotline is open now for early voting, and will remain active through the closing of the polls on Election Day.

This November is the first major election after the passage of North Carolina House Bill 589, which significantly changed the voting laws in North Carolina. The Election Protection Hotline will provide resources to support voters at the polling place. Voters can call the Hotline to report any problems they encounter or witness at the polls, verify their registration status, or find their polling location.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. October 29, 2014 11:55 AM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights

A Letter of Thanks to the UNC Center for Civil Rights from a Moral Monday Lawyer

The following letter was posted by Attorney Scott Holmes after speaking at a forum we hosted yesterday on the Moral Monday trials. Read his original post on his blog.


Dear Friends of Civil Rights,

Thank you for inviting me to come spend time with you at the UNC Center for Civil Rights to talk about our adventures representing Moral Monday protesters. It was such an honor and pleasure to return to the same room and the same halls were I began my journey as an attorney. Your energy and commitment keeps my fire for justice burning hot and bright. I had some thoughts about questions that were asked during the panel and wanted to share those thoughts and ideas with you.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Thu. February 20, 2014 4:03 PM
Categories: Criminal Justice, First Amendment, Law Students, Race and the Law Series, Wake County

Center Launches Voter Education Presentations

Center Attorney-Fellow Bethan Eynon and UNC Law Students Kevin Delaney, Ernest Washington after making a Voter Education presentation at the Durham NAACP

The Center for Civil Rights has launched a pre-election voter education outreach program with the goal of ensuring that every eligible voter is able to meaningfully exercise the right to cast a ballot on Election Day. Through September and October, law students and Center attorneys will travel throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina to host voter education programs. These 30-minute presentations will focus on several common voting rights issues, including registration, early voting, absentee ballots, residency requirements, provisional ballots, campaign activities at the polls, voter identification laws, redistricting, access to and assistance at the polling place, and how criminal history affects the right to vote.


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Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Fri. September 28, 2012 2:48 PM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights

“The Future of Civil Rights Law” - Local Social Justice Lawyers encourage Center interns in 2012 Summer Speaker Series

Center Interns with Attorney Dhamian Blue at the Center's 2012 Summer Speakers Series

During the Center's annual Summer Speaker Series, local social justice attorneys talk about their work and career paths with Center for Civil Rights interns. These weekly roundtable discussions are an important part of the Center's mission to encourage and train the next generation of civil rights lawyers. This summer, eight outstanding public and private attorneys who have dedicated their careers to different aspects of the struggle for civil rights shared their stories.

Summer Intern Kelly Anderson (2L, UNC Law) commented on the Summer Speaker Series:

"I found it inspiring to listen to the stories of so many lawyers who have developed innovative ways of doing civil rights work and dedicated large portions of their careers to serving the public. This gives me great hope for the future of civil rights law and reinforces my desire to continue incorporating civil rights work into my legal career."


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Mon. August 20, 2012 10:00 AM
Categories: Law Students, Professional Development, Race and the Law Series

Center for Civil Rights Welcomes Summer Interns and Externs

Since its founding, the Center for Civil Rights has fulfilled its goal of helping train the next generation of civil rights lawyers by providing volunteer opportunities to dozens of law students during the school year and employing paid law student interns each summer.

Interns with Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Death Penalty Project. Ms. Stubbs came for the Center's Summer Speaker Series, where social justice attorneys speak about their work.

Summer interns work directly with Center clients and attorneys to develop a first-hand understanding of civil rights law. They play a major role in the Center's legal research, litigation, case investigation and preparation, client counseling, and outreach, and critically enhance our capacity to help communities throughout the state. This summer we are proud to be working with several outstanding students.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Wed. June 27, 2012 11:38 AM
Categories: Law Students

Center and partners submit Comment on RTT-D proposal, call for high-quality diverse schools

The Center for Civil Rights submitted comments to the Department of Education on the proposed 2012 “Race to the Top District” (RTT-D) guidelines. The NC Justice Center, Great Schools in Wake, and the Concerned Citizens for African American Students joined the Center in calling for the Department to ensure that the proposed guidelines prioritize the development and maintenance of high-quality, racially and socioeconomically diverse public schools.

The Center’s comments highlight that the RTT-D guidelines entirely omit consideration of racial and socio-economic diversity in schools, despite compelling evidence that such diversity is a core component of a high-quality education.


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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Mon. June 11, 2012 10:39 AM
Categories: Education, Law Students, Segregation

Center Community Inclusion Fellow Peter Gilbert Receives Prestigious Equal Justice Works Fellowship

Peter with NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber on the NC Poverty Tour

I became a lawyer to help individuals as a public defender and had little hope that lawyering could produce significant systemic change. During law school, I interned at both a public defender office and at the UNC Center for Civil Rights. Although I found my criminal work rewarding, I was captivated by the effectiveness of the Center’s approach to challenging entrenched systemic racism, the legacy of de jure segregation that is the greatest obstacle to progress in the U.S. South.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Mon. May 14, 2012 12:24 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Law Students, Professional Development

Fourth Circuit COA Rules in Favor of Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children

Plaintiffs and concerned citizens, Center Attorneys, and UNC Law Students outside the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals after January 2012 oral arguments in Everett v. Pitt County Schools

On May 7, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Everett et al. v. Pitt County Board of Education affirming the efforts of African American parents and community members to stop Pitt County Schools from implementing its 2011-12 student reassignment. The UNC Center for Civil Rights represents the Pitt Coalition for Educating Black Children and several individual parents of children attending Pitt County Schools.

“This is a great victory for the people,” said Mark Dorosin, Managing Attorney at the Center. “The court affirmed what decades of desegregation law, from Brown vs. Board of Ed. to the present, require: that a school district which remains under a desegregation order has an affirmative duty to eliminate the vestiges of racial discrimination, and until the court rules that the district has fulfilled that duty, current racial disparities are presumed to be the result of the past unconstitutional conduct.”


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Mon. May 7, 2012 5:19 PM
Categories: Education, Law Students, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation
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