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Beyond the Law: Pro Bono Is More Than Legal Services

One might  think that with all the studying and work that there is to do at the Wake Forest School of Law, that people would not have time for anything else.  This is certainly not the case.  Not only do people at WFU Law make the time to do other things, they use this time to help others.  With the Thanksgiving season coming up fast, there are many examples of this  pro bono spirit.

Three of our student organizations, SBABLSA, and VALOR have joined together to spearhead the law school’s annual food drive.  Not only do participants get to enjoy “immunity” from being called on in class, they aid their class in competing for free coffee and donuts and, win or lose, all participants assist in providing food for the Winston-Salem  Samaritan Inn Soup Kitchen.  If you have forgotten to bring your canned goods to school, and you have to face a tough class, check the Professional Center Library’s Twitter account.   It MIGHT be a day that the Library is providing cans of food to students who know the secret password.

VALOR  also conducted a veteran’s awareness week that culminated on Saturday the 12th,  in the First Annual Veteran’s Day 5K run. Those who would like to know more take a look at http://valor.law.wfu.edu/category/event/.   It was a brisk but beautiful day, in addition to an enthusiastic group of students, faculty and staff, and even members of the public, turned out to support the event.

Prof. Irwin-Smiler is congratulated after completing the 5K.


Not only do we have wonderful students, our staff has been doing a lot for those in need.  Our own Officer “D” and his wife are co-founders of Kids for Cancer, a foundation that raises money to support families whose children are battling cancer.  Motivated by their son Vinnie,who is fighting his own battle against cancer, they understand the many needs families might have.  The foundation tries to provide what is most needed, be it gas cards or help with medical bills to smaller shows of support in the form of  meals or toys.  The foundation also provides emotional support and helps parent to keep working and hoping for a cure.  Right now the Foundation is competing in the Pepsi Refresh Project, to win $50,000 for a down payment on a “Safe Haven Beach Home” for the use of the cancer patients and their families.  In order to win, the Foundation’s project must remain in the top 10 of the list of $50,000 projects, everyday during the month of November.  They were fluctuating between #9 and #11, and have recently risen to around #4.  You can help keep the votes high, particularly during that busy Thanksgiving weekend, simply by texting or with a couple of mouse clicks.

Those who frequent the 3rd floor lounge may have noticed a box for book donations.  One of our recent graduates, Shane Werley,  is now owner of  a used-book store, and has offered to sell  the books that we provide and donate 100% of the profits to the Kids of Childhood Cancer Foundation.  Ed Raliski is coordinating this effort, and has said to expect to see more of these boxes appear after Thanksgiving.  As you clean out your offices, desks, lockers, and book-bags, consider making a donation to a good cause while giving yourself the gift of having that much less to pack up at the end of the year.

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