Planning an Itinerary
GALILEE participants are encouraged to plan activities that will give them exposure to a variety of lawyers engaged in public interest, public service and pro bono work and to the problems that those lawyers are addressing. Groups should consider visiting both direct service providers (e.g., legal aid groups) and lawyers involved in broader policy advocacy; including private, non-profit and governmental lawyers working in both criminal and civil practices. The visits need not be limited to law offices. For example, groups have gained broader perspectives on criminal law practice by visiting public defender offices, prosecutors’ offices, prisons, and also doing police ride-alongs. A group interested in housing law might visit both a legal services office and also a municipal housing court to see how justice plays out in a “people’s court.” One group interested in immigration law visited a non-profit immigrant advocacy office, a detention facility, and an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. Groups often meet with judges. Every group also visits a private law firm’s pro bono department to develop a sense of how pro bono work can fit into a private firm career, and also to see how the private bar and the public interest bar interact.
Participants should identify general goals for their visit. Are there issues of particular interest to the group? Particular kinds of experiences that members wish to have? The group should also formulate specific goals for each activity that is planned, i.e. what the group wants to learn at each organization. Those specific goals should be discussed with the organizations.
Each group is asked to plan a service activity. Ideally, the service project will be law-related, such as fielding intake calls at a legal aid office. Not every group is able to find a legal volunteering activity, however. Some past groups have served meals at a soup kitchen or volunteered at a homeless shelter. If a group plans a non-legal service activity, it should do something that puts students in direct contact with people in need. Past participants have learned that planning a service activity takes time; it should be started early.
A student mentor from a past GALILEE group will be assigned to each city group to help it plan an itinerary. The student leader will typically have information about past GALILEE visits to that city.