Alternative Spring Break

This year the Howard University Alternative Spring Break (HUASB) program is celebrating 27 years of continued service. HUASB has been committed to serving communities in need and involving students in meaningful service projects in order to develop the next generation of servant leaders. Howard University School of Law (HUSL) is proud to participate in the University’s Alternative Spring Break program by focusing on service learning and social justice projects.  Our ASB program is open to all HUSL students and the projects are listed below. Contact Kelli Neptune, Director of Externships and Public Interest Programming at 202-806-0533 or with any questions. 


**Deadline--The Legal Aid Society (New York)**
The Legal Aid Society applicants must submit their application by Tuesday, February 16th at 12:00pm

After your application has been approved and Prof. Neptune has contacted you, students must apply directly to The Legal Aid Society before Friday, February 19th and the link will be provided to you by Professor Neptune.

You can apply to multiple ASB placements. Feel free to submit your application to LAS on or before 2/16/21. However, you must submit a second application for all other programs. More information can be found on the application.

**Deadlines--All Other Placements**
All other applications must be submitted by Friday, February 19th at 12:00pm

Applications to all ASB applications can be found here. 


-All law students may apply to the HUSL ASB Program.
-You can apply to multiple ASB placements. Be mindful that the deadline for The Legal Aid Society has an earlier deadline of 2/16/21.
-Hours can be counted towards the voluntary Pro Bono Pledge. For more information on the Pro Bono Pledge see here:
-All work at the placements is virtual.
-Unless otherwise specified by the placement, students can choose to work the following schedules:
     -5 full-time days (40 hours)
     -3 full-time days (24 hours)
     -5 part-time days (20 hours)



Legal Area: Re-entry
Preferred Work Schedule: 5 days per week (20 hours)
Application info: Recommended training on 2/24/21 from 8:30pm-10pm; Students can begin on Tuesday, 3/16/21, but they are expected to work a remote clinic on Saturday 3/20/21.
Application Requirements: In the personal statement, students have to demonstrate an interest in criminal justice and issues that affect people in marginalized populations. 

Location: Austin, TX
Legal Area: Post-conviction
Preferred Work Schedule: 5 days full time (40 hours)
Application Requirements: In the personal statement, students have to demonstrate an interest in indigent criminal defense or a related field; commitment to culturally-competent representation; and interest in working with diverse populations. 

Location: New Orleans, LA
Legal Area: Criminal Defense
Preferred Work Schedule: 5 days full time (40 hours); 5 days part-time (20 hours); or 3 days part-time (24 hours)
Application Requirements: In the personal statement, students have to demonstrate an interest in indigent criminal defense.

Location: Cambridge, MA
Legal Area: Environmental/Transactional Law
Preferred Work Schedule: 5 part-time days (20-25 hours)
Application Requirements: In the personal statement, students should have an interest in environmental action and legal research. Work will be centered around accelerating pro bono programming and analysis of state-specific policies on issues faced by climate entrepreneurs and green NGOs. We welcome students' interest in nonprofit management, writing, and communications.

Location: New York City, NY
Legal Area: LGBTQ+ Rights
Preferred Work Schedule: Students must commit to 5 days full time (40 hours).  (If you can also work 3 or 5 days part-time, indicate this on your personal statement. However, there is no guarantee that a schedule other than 5 days full time will be accommodated.)
Application Requirements: Include in your statement of interest what you hope to gain by working for HRC during spring break and describe how this ASB experience has the potential to impact your career path.

Location: Washington, DC
Legal Area: International/Human Rights Law
Preferred Work Schedule: 5 days full time (40 hours) or 3 days full time (24 hours)
Application Requirements: The Center is seeking students to work closely with our regional staff attorneys, human rights groups and pro bono attorneys to provide legal assistance to human rights defenders who are the subject of harassment in retaliation for their advocacy efforts. The HUSL ASB intern will be assigned to one of the five regional teams depending on the needs of the program at the time and the interest and experience of the intern. The five regional teams are: Eastern Europe and Eurasia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Include in your statement a region preference and the type of human rights law in which you are interested.

Students applying to The Legal Aid Society must submit their materials by Tuesday, February 16th at 12pm. After your application is approved and Prof. Neptune contacts you, students must apply directly to LAS and the link will be provided by Prof. Neptune.

Location: New York City, NY
Legal Area: Defense and Civil Legal Services
Preferred Work Schedule: 5 days full time (40 hours); 3 days part-time (24 hours)
Application Requirements: Please answer the following two questions in the Personal Statement: What life experiences have you had that would aid you in representing indigent clients? Why should you be selected to be an intern at The Legal Aid Society for the Spring Break Project?

Applicants should indicate in their personal statement their choices for each unit by ranking them 1-7. The Legal Aid Society will try to accommodate an applicant's first choice; however, students should be prepared to accept any Unit assignment given to them.

Students will be asked to rank desired placement in one of the 5 units for their Spring Break Project:
1. The Community Justice Unit (CJU) provides legal services/case consults in a specific catchment area in each of the five boroughs providing anti-violence services through the Cease Fire model (now called "Cure Violence"). This is a public health model originated in Chicago that responds to gun violence with services in the community--mediation, social services, violence interrupters, etc. The model works on the theory that if conflicts can be worked out by people in the community, further violence can be avoided.

2. The Immigration Law Unit (ILU) specializes in representing non-citizens with criminal convictions in removal proceedings at the New York immigration courts. Additionally, the Immigration Law Unit's experienced staff also provide immigration legal services to lawful permanent residents, non-immigrant visa holders, asylees and refugees, undocumented New Yorkers, and lawful permanent residents applying for citizenship. The Unit also provides immigration services to young people through its Youth Representation Project., and conducts monthly legal clinics and workshops at 10 community-based organizations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. Staff also advise criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of arrests and criminal convictions.

3. The Juvenile Rights Practice (JRP) represents children and young adults in all phases of litigation in New York City Family Courts in abuse and neglect proceedings, juvenile delinquency and Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) matters, and related termination of parental rights/ custody/visitation/guardianship proceedings. Ensuring that each client has a voice in all decisions made about their life, JRP staff work collaboratively with forensic social workers and paralegals.

4. The Homicide Defense Task Force (HDTF) is a specialized unit within the Legal Aid's Society's Criminal Defense Practice, which provides each client charged with homicide a multidisciplinary team comprised of attorneys, investigators, mitigation specialists, and paralegal case-handlers. We represent clients in the five boroughs of New York City and utilize the cutting edge resources of our nationally recognized DNA and Digital Forensic Units.

5. The Racial Justice Unit works across all three practice areas: Criminal Defense, Civil, and Juvenile Rights to identify, examine, and dismantle complex issues of racial inequity in our legal system. The Unit works to raise critical awareness of the systemic oppression that communities of color experience within every facet of our legal system through the use of research, policy advocacy, impact litigation, creative training, community engagement, and strategic communication.

6. The Women's Pretrial Release Initiative, Decarceration Project: The Women's Pretrial Release Initiative is part of the Legal Aid Society's Decarceration Project, a litigation and policy initiative dedicated to ending the pretrial detention of low-income New Yorkers and eradicating the criminal justice system's disproportionate impact on communities of color. The Women's Initiative's goal is to challenge the detention of cis- and trans-women detained on unaffordable money bail and secure our clients' return to their communities. The Initiative collaborates with alternative to detention programs to provide our clients unparalleled access to a wide range of support systems, including job training, counseling, help navigating an addiction, and mental health treatment.

7. The Law Reform and Special Litigation Unit of the Criminal Defense Practice (SLU) addresses systemic legal issues affecting the rights of Legal Aid's public defense clients, from police misconduct to the rights of incarcerated people, and from bail reform to parole reform. The Units develop ground-breaking impact litigation and innovative policy initiatives; build coalitions with other community organizations and leaders; engage in public education and media advocacy; and collaborate with our colleagues to grapple with novel legal issues arising in their daily practice. The Unit also houses several strategic initiatives designed to address the unmet needs of people whose lives have been affected by the police and prosecutorial systems, including projects focused on decreasing pre-trial detention, expanding the sealing of criminal records, and representing people in disciplinary hearings on Rikers Island.