Legal Launch Week Service Project
All incoming 1Ls participate in Service Project Day during Legal Launch Week. Supervised by a second or third-year student, the community service day is designed to help students meet other first-year students who share their interests, learn about organizations that appeal to them, see an area of St. Louis that they might not have found on their own, and of course, help the community. The Service Project for the entering Class of 2021 is with Beyond Housing, an organization that provides support and services to low-income families in reaching their long-term goals.
Pro Bono Pledge
The Class of 2018 performed over 100,000 hours of public service both through the Pro Bono Pledge, public service and clinic hours. Students who elect to participate in the
Pro Bono Pledge are encouraged to fulfill 50 hours of pro bono work before graduation.
Public Service Advisory Board (PSAB)
The Public Service Advisory Board is a student-led organization that creates and administers public service opportunities for law students. It is just one of over 50
student organizations that our law students can join.
Highlights of Community Involvement
Nicole Cortés and Jessica Mayo, 2012’s Public Service Student of the Year Award winners, were guided by one mission throughout their three years of law school: serving St. Louis’s immigrant communities. The two women were honored recently along with more than 50 of their classmates for demonstrating a substantial commitment to public service during their time in law school. Cortés and Mayo channeled their passion for pro bono work into creating their own nonprofit organization, the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project (MICA). Working with Senior Lecturer Peter Ruger and the Clinical Education Program, they navigated the maze of paperwork needed to officially register MICA as a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. Their mentors helped them to create a board of directors, received donated office space from Suzanne Brown, JD ’96, an experienced St. Louis immigration attorney. Cortés and Mayo have drawn upon the expertise of local practitioners to give them a firm foundation in starting their practice. MICA has been taking clients since 2012, and has recently hired a third staff member, along with a number of undergraduate and graduate interns.
WashULaw Professor Cheryl Block has a long-standing interest in adult and early childhood literacy. She was a co-founding director of the Literacy Volunteers of America, National Capital Area, and reads on a weekly basis to at-risk pre-school age children in St. Louis through the Ready Readers program. The Women’s Law Caucus also sponsors one-time and long-term service opportunities with Ready Readers.
Sandra Moore, President of Urban Strategies and alumna of Washington University (BA/JD), leads a team of professionals working in communities across the United States where mixed income housing communities have recently been completed or are in development. They help residents and community stakeholders transform distressed urban core communities into vibrant, safe residential neighborhoods with new housing, good schools, strong institutions and a range of human service supports and amenities.