Public Service Projects at Orientation Highlight Brandeis Commitment to Service

Before fall semester classes even began, students at UofL's Brandeis School of Law took part in community service projects across the city of Louisville during orientation week. The public service projects included craft painting with residents at Masonic Homes; weeding and mulching an expressway ramp in downtown Louisville for Operation Brightside; painting a children’s playground fence at St. Vincent De Paul; constructing a Habitat for Humanity home in Louisville's West End; caring for animals at the New Albany/Floyd County Animal Shelter; making inspirational cards for Hosparus patients and their families; decorating apartments for new refugee families for Catholic Charities; weeding and invasive removal at Seneca Park for Olmsted Parks Conservancy; baking for residents at Ronald McDonald House; sorting food at Dare to Care Food Bank; assisting with a back-to-school backpack event for Family Scholar House; and processing donations at Habitat ReStore.

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Having orientation include a day of community service began in 2009. It honors the values of Justice Louis D. Brandeis, for whom the law school was named in 1997. Louis D. Brandeis is known as the “people’s attorney” for setting the expectation that all lawyers should provide service to the public. His work included advocacy on behalf of a number of social justice causes through his arguments before the Supreme Court and legislative advocacy on behalf of working conditions and regulation of transportation and other services.

The Samuel L. Greenebaum Public Service Program established in 1990, is one of the first mandatory public service programs in country and is a national model for other programs. All students must complete at least 30 hours of public service to graduate. Our students generally complete substantially more than the 30 hours. Through this work, the law school benefits from the impact of Justice Brandeis, and the community.

The Brandeis School of Law also hosts Lawlapalooza, the Louisville legal community's annual battle of the bands, staged since 2005, to benefit the Judge Ellen B. Ewing Foundation. The Judge Ellen B. Ewing Foundation was established at the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 2005 with generous gifts from the Louisville Bar Foundation and the Louisville-Jefferson County Women Lawyers Association. This fun event provides summer fellowship funding for a University of Louisville law student to work in the areas of family law, domestic violence and spouse abuse, and HIV/AIDS. Lawlapalooza 2013 will be held Thursday, October 17th, at Phoenix Hill Tavern.

Read more about the students' public advocacy initiatives in "Lawyers Care: It's Not the Job, It's the Person" (Bar Briefs, August 2013)