The Center’s Alternative Spring Break trips give students a chance to spend a week immersed in an area of law, engaging in related pro bono service. Students work with licensed attorneys to receive training and put their skills into practice. Participants can earn 40 hours of pro bono service through each Alternative Spring Break trip.
- Combat Housing Instability and Learn About Its Impact on Kids: This trip offers participants an opportunity to learn more about how place-based neighborhood lawyering positively impacts low-income children by stabilizing housing and reducing absenteeism. Law students will spend the week with advocates from Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation’s Standing with Our Neighbors Program and the Truancy Intervention Project, working to break the cycle of poverty and improve student outcomes by focusing on the intersection of housing conditions and education. Law students will gain an understanding of how a lack of affordable, stable housing increases student transiency and affects classroom performance – and how lawyers can make a difference.
- Work with Survivors of Domestic Violence: Law students will work with lawyers and advocates from the Victims Legal Assistance Network (VLAN) to learn how to serve survivors of domestic violence. With rates of domestic abuse on the rise, understanding how to meet survivors’ legal and social services needs is as critical as ever. Law students participating in this trip will work with a number of legal services organizations and social services partners to learn how to empower survivors of domestic violence to know their rights and be able to act upon them.
- Learn about School Discipline Cases: Working primarily with Georgia Legal Services Program, law students will learn what it takes to represent children who are being unfairly or inappropriately disciplined in schools. Because of the frequent connection between overlooked/undiagnosed disabilities and disruptive behavior, law students will also gain knowledge of the expertise required to recognize and advocate for children with special needs so they receive appropriate treatment for mental health issues and support for any learning disabilities, to allow them to improve their behavior and scholastic performance.
- Collaborate with Stakeholders to Improve Disaster Legal Services and Preparedness: Georgia Team Ready is a collaboration between Georgia Legal Services Program, Alston & Bird, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, State Bar of Georgia, and Troutman Pepper, focused on providing statewide civil legal assistance during a disaster. Georgia Team Ready works with a number of partners and agencies to enhance the organization and utilization of pro bono volunteers in disaster-relief efforts. Law students participating in this trip will learn the basics of FEMA support and state-level assistance available in the event of a disaster and will work with stakeholders from across the state, including legal services organizations, law firms, corporate counsel, and disaster relief agencies to understand how lawyers can be deployed to help in the aftermath of a disaster.
Community Lawyering in Atlanta
Immigration Detention in Lumpkin, Georgia
Rural Justice in Dougherty County, Georgia
Landlord/tenant law in Atlanta
Criminal court observation in Jackson, Mississippi
NEWS: Alternative Spring Break Students Choose Service Learning Over Downtime
A cornerstone of the Center for Access to Justice’s Pro Bono Program is the Alternative Spring Break, which allows students to spend a week immersed in a substantive legal area while engaging in related pro bono service. For the second year, the spring break program received more applications than available spots.
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