2016 2016: UMass Law students top $4.5 million in service to the community

2016 2016: UMass Law students top $4.5 million in service to the community
UMass Law students top $4.5 million in service to the community

“Mission to pursue justice” has delivered more than 87,000 hours of assistance since establishment of the state’s only public law school. Boston, Brockton, Cape Cod, Fall River, Lowell, New Bedford, Quincy, Springfield, Taunton, Worcester among the communities served.

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Since the UMass School of Law was established at UMass Dartmouth in 2010 to serve the public interest, its students have delivered more than 87,000 hours of service to the community. This service has been valued at more than $4.5 million.

“UMass Law was created with a mission to pursue justice, and our students have lived that mission throughout the community every day,” said Dean Eric Mitnick. “Service is embedded in the DNA of UMass Dartmouth and its law school, deepening the quality of the education our students receive while improving people’s lives.”

Most of the service hours – 83,896 – were related to legal services through pro bono work, clinical programs and internships.  At $53 per hour (the amount paid to District Court-appointed lawyers in Massachusetts), the financial value of those hours is $4,446,488.

This service was performed in dozens of communities at nearly 100 different organizations including legal aid offices, district attorney offices, domestic violence centers, museums, food banks, environmental protection groups, local government offices, and homeless prevention centers.

The remaining 3,185 hours of community service were delivered in areas unrelated to legal services, such as helping the Dartmouth YMCA Farm harvest produce for area food pantries. At $27.82  (the value assigned to a volunteer hour in Massachusetts by the National Corporation for Community Service), the total value of these hours  is $88,607.

When combined, the total value of UMass Law community service to date is $4,535,095.

Examples of organizations and communities served since 2010:

Committee for Public Counsel Services - Mental Health Litigation Division (Multiple communities)

Catholic Social Services (Fall River)

Northeast Legal Aid (Lowell)

Justice Bridge (New Bedford, Taunton, Boston)

Women’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts (New Bedford)

New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park (New Bedford)

South Coastal Counties Legal Services (Multiple communities)

Bristol, Essex, Cape and Islands, Middlesex, Norfolk, Worcester District Attorney offices

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (Springfield)