Tips and Guidelines
1. Begin by discussing within your city group what your goals are for your GALILEE immersion. Are there particular issues that interest you? Particular experiences that you hope to have? Particular types of practice that you want to see?
2. Reach agreement as early as possible on the dates of your visit. Participants will need to make travel plans well in advance.
3. Do some research on your own about what organizations may be in your target city. Some cities have web directories of public interest groups (such as the Public Interest Law Initiative in Chicago). The GALILEE Concourse page and student Mentors also have information about organizations that have been visited in the past in many cities.
4. Meet with the student mentor assigned to your city group. That leader will have information about past visits to the city and organizations there. The leader can help you strategize about your itinerary.
5. Seek advice from an NDLS alumnus in the city. Your student mentor can help connect you with an alumnus who is engaged in public interest or who has offered to help GALILEE groups.
6. Based on the above, select a preliminary list of organizations to contact.
7. Divide up contact responsibilities among group members; have each person participate in setting up visits and/or arranging lodging. Do not rely on e-mail alone to contact groups. Use the telephone.
8. Consult with your student leader as you go along.
9. Obtain approval from the Faculty Coordinator before finalizing your itinerary.
Tips and Guidelines
1. Schedule three days of activities.
2. Visit five or six organizations in addition to the service project.
3. Strive for a variety of experiences.
4. If you have an issue of particular interest, consider visiting more than one group that works in that area. For example:
- Criminal: Consider visiting a public defender, a prosecutor, and perhaps a law enforcement agency (police ride-along, FBI, etc.) or a prison.
- Environmental: Consider visiting a non-profit advocacy group and also a governmental unit such as a state or federal EPA office or a state Attorney General’s environmental division.
- Domestic violence: Consider a legal services group and a prosecutor’s office.
5. Do not visit more than one private law firm.
6. Try to visit a “people’s court” such as a landlord-tenant court or a family court, where a high volume of cases are handled. You do not need an appointment, but you may need to create space in your schedule to do so.
7. If your group has an alumni contact in the city, consider trying to schedule a meal with that person.
8. Plan carefully for travel times and transportation between appointments. Make sure you leave enough time to get from place to place. Think about scheduling groups that are geographically close to one another in the same day. Make sure you also leave enough time for your visit with each group; some visits may last multiple hours.
9. Block out time together with the entire city group to reflect on your experiences. Meal times can be ideal for processing what you’ve experienced.
10. When you speak with your contact at an agency about setting up a visit, make sure to discuss:
- How much time you should expect to spend at the organization. Make sure you are on the same page.
- Do they have a service project you might do?
- What other groups would they recommend you contact?
- What else should you see/experience while you are in the city?
11. In big cities where there are multiple groups (e.g., NYC, Chicago, D.C.), the groups should coordinate with each other so that they can combine visits to certain agencies where appropriate. Do not have multiple groups hit up the same agency separately. Students can coordinate both through the city group Mentors and by using the GALILEE Concourse page.
12. Plan well ahead. It may take weeks to get things nailed down with a particular group. Begin contacting groups in early November.
13. In particular, plan the service project early. Service trips tend to needs more head start time. Strive for a law-related service project. Have a simple fallback alternative if the main project falls through.
14. Give each city group member a specific job to do; each member should take ownership over the visit to at least one group or over the service project, i.e. research the group, set a goal for the visit, make the contact, develop questions to ask, and plan to lead the discussion with that group.
15. Be prepared with questions for each agency visit; brainstorm questions with your group. Look at the sample questions on the web page.
16. Use your alumni contact(s) to help plan your itinerary.
17. Be flexible. Have a backup plan in case a visit falls through at the last minute.
18. During the visit:
- Make sure you obtain names/contact information for the people you meet.
- Wear closed-toe shoes