Demand grows for UR law school's unique service-based orientation

August 19, 2015

University of Richmond first-year law students will complete a number of community service projects this weekend as part of their orientation experience.

On Aug. 22, the law students have the opportunity to volunteer at four sites, including:

  • Celebrate! RVA
  • Fit4Kids
  • Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden, and
  • Peter Paul Development Center.

Depending on their site, participants will help maintain gardens, perform maintenance, reorganize supplies, assemble birthday packages or write birthday notes for children.

“Community engagement and outreach is a crucial part of the Richmond Law experience, so five years ago we began to offer incoming law students the opportunity to get to know Richmond through the Orientation Service Project,” said Tara Casey, director of the Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service and program organizer. “It not only sends a message to our students that we are committed to educating them as purposeful civic stewards, it reinforces our commitment to our community as meaningful partners.”

“Also, it is a lot of fun for our new first-year law students to get to know each other in a service-oriented setting—you really learn a lot about someone when you are digging in the dirt together,” Casey added.

Last year 70 students registered for the voluntary service component of orientation. Registration has risen to 95 this year, requiring the addition of the fourth service site.

“I believe community service engagement is absolutely essential to law school education,” said Cassie Powell, a third-year law student who will be participating in one of the projects this weekend. “It is part of the ethical obligation of an attorney to give back to his or her community, and starting that early in one’s legal career fosters that community commitment.”

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