Pro Bono Winter Break 2013 Day Two Post from Dean Novinsky

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It's been an amazing two days. I have the honor of serving as UNC Law's Assistant Dean for Public Service Programs. In that role, I work with our student directed Pro Bono Board to develop pro bono projects. This project developed as a result of our alums who serve on the Cherokee Tribal Court--the question came up: when are you going to bring some law students to Cherokee? After many conversations, conference calls, and a "planning" trip to the Cherokee reservation over Fall Break, we outlined a three day trip designed to provide students exposure to legal needs on the reservation as well as an opportunity to learn more about the Eastern Band of the Cherokee nation. What we got was all that, and a better understanding of our state and its great people.

I will let the students tell you about what they observed and learned.

I was so impressed at how insightful, thoughtful, hard-working and compassionate our students are. I saw their confidence grow with each client meeting--I saw them work through complicated legal issues and grapple with them with their supervising attorneys--I saw them excited when they were able to provide needed legal information to their clients--I saw them frustrated when the law did not address their client's situation--I saw them smile when they said good bye to their client and their clients smiled and hugged them. And, I looked back with an incredible sense of pride. Our students are simply awesome. And, I feel so lucky to have experienced this trip with them.

We are so grateful to Judge Saunooke, Judge Martin and Chief Justice Boyum as well as the Sylva office of Legal Aid of NC for their patience, lessons, time and support for our students' learning. Additionally, we are grateful for the warm hospitality and kindness we experienced from the Cherokee nation while on the reservation.

Group Picture with Cherokee Court Judges

Posted by Sylvia K. Novinsky on Sat. January 5, 2013 2:02 PM
Categories: Winter Break Trip 2013

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