Dozens of NYU Law students each year devote their winter and spring breaks to work and service projects around the globe. Students participating in this year’s trips, which range from tax preparation for native Alaskans to refugee rights in Jordan, take advantage of opportunities that combine legal and research skills with first-hand experience working on fascinating issues. Below is a list of 2015-16 trips organized by students, for students:

SPRING BREAK TRIPS, March 12-20, 2016

Tax Preparation for Native Alaskans
Students will train in tax preparation and then fly to remote Alaskan villages in bush planes to prepare tax returns for rural Alaskans, mainly Native Alaskans who are Inuit, Athabascan, or Aleutian. The Alaska Business Development Center sponsors and coordinates training and travel for this Alternative Spring Break trip.

Public Defense in Charlotte, North Carolina
Students will assist the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Bronx Defenders recently trained the office in its holistic defense model that includes legal as well as social support services. Students have opportunities to attend court for bail hearings and trials, ride along with attorneys on civil commitment hearings, work on pressing research projects, moot attorneys for upcoming trials, and meet with federal judges.

Asia Law Society Delegation to Hong Kong
Nearly two dozen 1L, 2L and LLM students are heading to Hong Kong for an Asia Law Society trip. The itinerary includes meetings with 11 law firms and Amnesty International. This is the 10th annual spring break trip to Asia for the student group.

WINTER BREAK TRIPS, January 2016

Refugee Rights in Jordan
Four NYU Law students joined a dozen others from around the nation to work at the International Refugee Assistance Project. Students met with representatives of the Sudanese and Somali refugee communities in Jordan, who are in especially difficult circumstances because they have no legal status as refugees and thus receive no welfare or services and are unable to work. They also met with the International Office of Migration and US State Department representatives, received training and conducted intake interviews with refugees, and observed a training conducted by the International Office of Migration for refugees about to resettle in the US.

Black Allied Law Students Association members in Dakar.Inaugural Africa Summit in Dakar
A group of 18 students from the Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA) spent a week in the Senegalese capital over winter break in an effort to expand the organization’s global community and develop ties to legal, political and grassroots communities. On what was expected to be the first of many trips to the area, BALSA students visited and engaged with law students and faculty at the University of Cheikh Anta Diop, met the secretary general of Dakar’s Court of Appeal and other leaders, and volunteered at local community service organizations.

Immigration Enforcement in Southern Arizona
A team of students headed to Southern Arizona to explore immigration enforcement issues at the US-Mexico border, focusing on border crossing, race and class. Students worked for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project assisting immigrants detained in the cities of Florence and Eloy, spent time exploring the physical border with the Green Valley/Sahuarita Samaritans, and visited Operation Streamline, a federal program that expedites prosecutions in order to deter immigrants from crossing the border.

Alternative Winter Break: Honolulu
In the Alternative Winter Break’s inaugural trip to Honolulu, nine students worked on a range of projects. Three of them reviewed client court transcripts for the Innocence Project at the University of Honolulu Law Center and produced digests for one of the clinic’s criminal case files. Three researched mental health law and policy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and three conducted research on the state’s property taxes at the nonprofit law firm Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice, culminating in a 10-page memorandum.

Public Defense in New Orleans
Students assisted Orleans Public Defenders in representing their adult indigent clients facing criminal charges. Students also attended training about issues that affect OPD clients, such as education, race, and class.

Posted March 14, 2016