From Here to Next Tuesday: The Minnesota Public Service Program, Ten Years After
43 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 20, 2005
Minnesota's public service program for law students is unlike any other in America. A single organization administers and coordinates the program. All four of the state's law schools participate in the program and work together cooperatively to make the program successful. Students from each of the law schools often find themselves working together collaboratively on a single project. The program was created as a result of a partnership among the administering organization, the law schools, the state bar association, and lawyers from the legal services community and the private pro bono community. In its first three full years of existence, the program more than quadrupled the amount of volunteer public service work done by Minnesota law students.
At public service or law school conferences, a description of the Minnesota program elicits a common response from listeners hailing from other states: "Only in Minnesota! Do you know how many years of meetings we would have to have in our state to come up with something like that?!" The reality, of course, is that Minnesota's program is the product of years of meetings. This essay briefly traces the history of those meetings and the development of the program; details some of the principal accomplishments of the program; and discusses some of the challenges, foreseen and otherwise, the program continues to face.
Keywords: public service, law students
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