Spring Break of Service
Spring Break of Service is a group organized by and for those students interested in providing legal services as part of a weeklong volunteer opportunity over spring break. This past academic year (2009-2010) the Spring Break of Service sent fourteen students to Biloxi, MS to provide volunteer legal services in collaboration with the Mississippi Center for Justice, the largest public interest law firm in Mississippi. During that time the students worked closely with MCJ attorneys as well as students from other law schools on four major projects:
- Researching civil rights law and creating video presentations for use in community groups to help educate youth regarding police interactions on the street,
- Surveying property and alley use in Soria City, a historic African-American community,
- Researching Community Benefit Agreements through online sources and interviews with lawyers, architects, and city planners; outlining the next steps towards creating a CBA, and
- Interviewing homeowners who have been denied use of their "Mississippi Cottages" due to discriminatory zoning laws for use in upcoming litigation.
In addition to these projects, the students spent their time enjoying the local culture and entertainment of the Biloxi-Gulfport area. This included indulging in the local Vietnamese eateries and seafood restaurants as well as participating in a nearby trivia contest.
For the next academic year (2010-2011) the organization will continue to work with the Mississippi Center for Justice in order to provide much needed legal research and community advocacy. As Spring Break of Service continues to develop and grow we look to expand our organization's reach to help fund other independent student service trips.