The Law School Outreach Committee (LSOC) of the Philadelphia Bar Association's Public Interest Section is comprised of public interest and pro bono coordinators at the area law schools, including Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Rutgers School of Law – Camden, Temple University Beasley School of Law, Villanova University School of Law and Widener University School of Law. The Committee's mission is to increase the visibility of the public interest community and public interest work to law students during the academic year and summers. The Committee also works to bring more pro bono opportunities to students, and often collaborates to accomplish this.
The 2011 Chair of the Law School outreach Committee was Maureen Olives. The Committee met informally as needed throughout the year and had two official meetings.
- Summer Brown Bag Series: Nine weeks of programming for law students who spent Summer 2011 working at public interest and government agencies in Philadelphia. Programs included a panel on Post Graduate Fellowships, Government and Criminal Work and panel discussions centered on a particular topic. Many discussions revolved around topical events: the struggling economy, legislation involving immigration, the incarceration debate and health care reform. Other sessions featured representatives from agencies speaking on issues such as change through policy work; making pro bono part of one's career; hot topics in direct service; hot topics in immigration rights; impact litigation; and systems advocacy.
- Summer Bus Tour: Sponsored by area law schools and coordinated by Community Legal Services, this bus tour took law students to the neighborhoods of the clients they served and introduced the students to various community-based initiatives affecting these clients.
- Supervision to Aid Re-Entry (STAR) Program: With help from the Committee, local law school students provided intake service to participants in the STAR program, a federal reentry court program for Philadelphia residents on supervised release from prison.
- Heather Jarvis, national expert on student debt relief: LSOC helped to bring Heather Jarvis to the Bar Association to discuss federal loan relief programs for government and public interest attorneys.
- Public Interest/Public Service (PIPS) Job Fair Reception: Held in February before the annual PIPS Job Fair, the reception provided an opportunity for law students, public interest attorneys and public service attorneys to network. This year's event was held at Fox Rothschild LLP.
- Summer Reception: Held in July and hosted by Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky PC, the reception provided an opportunity to celebrate the work of law students spending their summer in public interest and public service organizations in Philadelphia.
- Law Student Pro Bono Award: Given annually at the Philadelphia Bar Association's June Quarterly Meeting, this award recognizes the significant pro bono contributions of graduating law students from each of the area's schools.
- Law Student Award: Given annually at the Public Interest Reception in December to current third-year students at each of the area's law schools.
The Law School Outreach Committee hopes to work with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to bring training to Philadelphia School District employees as a result of the intergroup conflicts at area schools.
© 2012 Philadelphia Bar Association