Staff attorney for MJF, Rinal has an office in the Legal Practice Center.
Public Service: Making a difference
William Mitchell is ranked 12th among the nation’s best public interest law schools by The National Jurist magazine (November 2008).
The law school’s Public Service Program, directed by Professor Peter Knapp, operates in cooperation with the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF). Working hand-in-hand with our Clinical and Externship programs, Mitchell’s public service program provides opportunities for students to volunteer their time doing pro bono work.
Whether through MJF, clinics, externships, or student organizations, Mitchell students develop a commitment to public service, ethical understanding, and insight into the legal process. And, most importantly, they make a difference in the community.
Students volunteer to serve
Busy with studies, jobs and family, William Mitchell students still find time to donate thousands of volunteer hours every year. While we do not require students to do pro bono work, we encourage it and find that most do. Almost 50 percent of our students are recognized upon graduation for donating 50 or more hours to public service.
For example, ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Cost, Mitchell students have spent their spring breaks helping residents there with legal needs. Mitchell students regularly provide legal assistance for homeless people at Project Homeless Connect events in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.
Minnesota Justice Foundation: Serving those in need
The Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) is nonprofit organization committed to promoting social justice and improving legal services to those who have been under-represented by the legal profession. Every year, more than 50 percent of Mitchell students participate voluntarily in pro bono work through MJF.
A valuable resource
To facilitate pro bono work, the MJF matches interested law students with volunteer opportunities. MJF is a membership-run, nonprofit organization that promotes social justice and improves legal services to those who have been under-represented by the legal profession. Through MJF, students have the opportunity to work with lawyers in a variety of legal advice settings or to complete research projects for lawyers who have taken clients and cases on a pro-bono basis.
In addition, the MJF coordinates a Summer Clerkship Program, providing paid clerkships at public interest law offices in Minnesota.
Some places our students serve
- Legal Aid Society of Mpls., Senior Law Project
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS)
- Tobacco Law Center
- Public Defender’s Office (Buffalo, MN)
- Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Mpls.)
- Executive Office for Immigration Review, Bloomington
- Office of Regional Counsel, Minneapolis Veteran’s Hospital
- Neighborhood Justice Center
- St. Paul City Attorney—criminal division
- U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforce.
- MN State Tax Court Bankruptcy Judge
- Military Law matters (for returning service people)
- Ramsey County Guardian Ad Litem Program
- Minnesota Kinship Caregivers Association
Recent Public Service Storieshttp://web.wmitchell.edu/news
- Teresa Stanek Rea, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), will speak at the 4th Annual Patterson Thuente Lecture.
- If something unexpected happens and you can’t communicate your health care wishes, how will your loved ones know what to do? A completed advance health care directive can help ensure there will be no questions about what you want, and William Mitchell students and alumni are offering free assistance with legally documenting your wishes during [...]
- From fracking to global warming, the domestic natural gas boom is reshaping the policy landscape.
- Mitchell students who are looking for a career that combines law and public health have a nationally-recognized resource right on their campus. The Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law focuses on encouraging healthier lives, by working to reduce the harm caused by tobacco use, prevent childhood obesity, support healthy eating, and [...]
- It’s only been around for three years, but the student-run William Mitchell Self-Help Clinic has become a popular place for students to get hands-on experience while teaching people how they can help themselves. Mitchell students and alumni provide people representing themselves in court—called pro se litigants—with access to legal support. Co-sponsored by the Minnesota Justice [...]