The following projects create consistent opportunities for students to get involved. Additional opportunities, organized by faculty, the Office of Public Interest Programs, outside organizations, and/or student groups, spring up every year. Past projects have included the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Citizenship Day, the ATLAS project offering interpretation assistance to pro bono attorneys through Philly VIP, Election Protection with the Committee of Seventy, and Wills for Heroes. To find out more about service opportunities, contact Director of Public Interest Programs, Lisa Hurlbutt, at 215-204-3705 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Domestic Violence Assistance Project (DVAP)
This project, developed by The Women’s Law Project, in cooperation with Philadelphia Legal Assistance, helps domestic violence victims who are filing for a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order in Philadelphia Family Court. Trained law students staff the PFA filing site during business hours, providing information on the legal process and safety planning as well as referrals to free legal assistance. Volunteers bridge the information gap for many victims who are experiencing the court system for the first time under very stressful circumstances.
Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) Adopt-a-Shelter
Volunteers for this project are trained by a HAP staff attorney to help run at a legal assistance clinic at a homeless shelter near the law school campus several times per semester.
Law Education and Participation (LEAP)
Temple-LEAP’s mission is to educate non-lawyers, particularly middle and high school students from Philadelphia area schools, about the law and citizenship. Started in 1974, LEAP reaches these goals by teaching about principles of democracy while developing critical reading, writing and thinking skills. The cornerstone of Temple-LEAP is the John S. Bradway High School Mock Trial Competition. The Temple-LEAP office administers the Philadelphia competition together with other programs that engage non-lawyers to learn more about the law and civic education. The Young Lawyer’s Division of the Philadelphia Bar Association also collaborates with Temple-LEAP on coordinating the camp and recruiting coaches and judges.
The Pennsylvania Innocence Project
The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, which is housed at Temple Law School, works to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit and to prevent innocent people from being convicted. Student volunteers are trained to help investigate applicants’ cases twice a year. In addition, the Innocence Project offers a clinical experience to students for credit.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Each spring, members of the law school community are trained and partner with programs to assist hundreds of low income wage earners with their federal and state tax returns in one of our most popular pro bono projects. Providing income tax assistance is truly a family affair, with J.D. and LL.M. students, faculty, and administration volunteering their time.