We wanted to thank everyone who came to the EJF membership meeting last Friday and the social at the Mill afterwards. We had a great time, and were really glad to get to meet some of our newest members.
For those of you who were unable to attend the meeting, we wanted to recap the meeting and give everyone another chance to get involved.
What is EJF?
For those who don’t know, the purpose of the Equal Justice Foundation is to promote and support Iowa law students who want to do public interest work. The primary way we do that is by raising money throughout the year and giving it away in the form of grants to first and second year students who are doing unpaid public interest work over the summer. Our fundraisers are basically just fun events we put on that raise money. We have two events during fall semester and two spring semester. We also have EJF Booksales—all the proceeds go to EJF. And we have a Donate-a-Day program where students who are fortunate enough to get paid summer work can donate one day of their pay to EJF. We are also very fortunate in that the Dean matches our gross proceeds from the auction. Finally, EJF administers a spring break service trip to New Orleans, Louisiana (known as the NOLA trip) where volunteers work at various public interest organizations. EJF started doing this service trip just after Hurricane Katrina and it has been very popular ever since.
Who is EJF?
EJF is its members—everyone who is involved with and attends our events. Everything we do is organized through our Executive Board. The Executive Board is listed below. If you have any questions about EJF, you can talk to any one of these people and they can point you in the right direction. You can also email Co-Presidents Mike and Grace for any reason. We have a stellar board this year, and we’re looking forward to a great and successful year.
How do EJF grants work?
Our grant application process starts in the spring. The application is anonymous. Grants are distributed by the Centralized Grant Committee. The Committee consists of Dean McGuire, a faculty member, the two EJF co-presidents, and a 3L that is not an active member of EJF. Last year, EJF raised and distributed about $47,000. Grants typically range between a hundred and several thousand dollars. Combined with additional funds available to the Centralized Grant Committee, nearly $80,000 were given to students doing unpaid public interest internships. There are a number of criteria for applying for a grant. You must be planning to do a public interest job, and it must be unpaid. The application committee will look at, among other things, your application, which includes an essay, and generally at your commitment to public interest work, including your engagement both with this law school community and the community outside the law school. The primary way we do this is by looking at your logged Boyd Service Hours, so always report them, and do so in a timely fashion! Most likely, in the spring semester, we will have a meeting to go over the application process and the selection criteria in more depth.
The fun part—fundraising events
EJF events are always really fun and well-attended. Each event is run by an event chair-person or chair-persons, and anyone else who is interested in helping. For each event, we also do tabling in the BLB Lobby for 1-2 weeks beforehand to sell tickets, sign up acts, and advertise. If you are interested in getting involved with any one of the below events, please feel free to email the event chair directly. Each chair will also be asking for people to table in the weeks before their event.
Mr. Iowa Law
September 20th, at Blue Moose
A law school talent show. Students vote for the best by donating cash to their favorites. The winner is crowned Mr. or Ms. Iowa Law. If you’re interested in getting involved/volunteering/performing, please contact Stephanie Hernan (Stephanie-hernan at uiowa dot edu)
EJF Public Interest Auction
October 12, at the Coralville Marriott
EJF’s fanciest event—put on your finest and join students and faculty at the Coralville Marriott ballroom. Great food and drink. There is a silent auction and then a live auction of items and events donated by students, faculty, and local businesses. In the past, lots have included, for example, “Hockey with Yockey, dinner and a game,” “Golf and lunch with Professor Carlson,” “Dinner and mojitos for six” with Professor Carasco, Wine tasting with Profs Sheerin and Pettys, “Mini-golf and the secret to the rule against perpetuities” with Professor Gallanis. This is also our biggest and highest earning event. Lots of volunteers needed. Please get in touch with Rachel Zander if you’d like to get involved ( rachel-toenjes at uiowa dot edu).
NEW EVENT FOR 2012:
Competitive baking comes to the College of Law. We’ll need bakers and eaters. We’ll provide the coffee. Students vote on different categories, such as “Best Tasting,” “Best Looking,” and “Most Creative.” To get involved, email Elizabeth Etchells (Elizabeth-etchells at uiowa dot edu).
EJF Chili Cook-Off
Think you cook a mean chili? Prove it! Winner gets their name on the Chili Cook-Off trophy and bragging rights all year. The winner for the past three years graduated last year! New: Second category for best cornbread. Hilary Moise and Lauren Ulrich would like a few volunteers who are passionate about good chili. Email them at hilary-moise at uiowa dot edu and lauren-ulrich at uiowa dot edu.
A music concert festival featuring local bands and law school bands. If you have connections to local bands, want to play, or just want to get involved, email Erich Priebe at erich-priebe at uiowa dot edu.
We encourage everyone to get involved whenever they can. We know you guys are busy, but we work better when we work in teams, and we always have a fun time, plus we’ve got a worthy and important mission.
Please look for more information soon about the NOLA Trip—applications will start earlier this year. For questions or expressing interest in the meantime, please talk to Rae Bimmerle (raechel-bimmerle at uiowa dot edu).
Finally, I just want to encourage our 1Ls to use us as a resource whenever you need help with or advice about anything. We’re a very friendly and open organization—talk to us any time.
Thanks and see you all at Mr. Iowa Law!
Grace & Mike