AUWCL 2019 Orientation Kicks Off with “In My Back Yard” Public Day of Service

August 12, 2019

IMBY volunteers

On Monday, Aug. 12, American University Washington College of Law kicked off its JD Orientation with the “In My Back Yard” (IMBY) Public Service Day.

Organized by AUWCL’s Office of Public Interest and its Public Interest/Public Service (PIPS) Scholars, IMBY brings 1L students, faculty, staff, and returning students together to volunteer in local Washington, DC neighborhoods. The annual event allows new students to get out, see the city and meet classmates, while returning students, faculty, and staff can reconnect with their community and meet new faces.

Anacostia Water Society

“I thought the day of service went wonderfully,” said 1L Alaska Samuels. “It was amazing to have the opportunity to give back along side my peers. I hope to continue to participate in IMBY in upcoming years.”

Over 130 participants volunteered this year at various city and non-profit sites across DC, including Free Minds Book Club, Anacostia Water Shed, and DC Central Kitchen. Some IMBY volunteers visited the Truesdell Education Campus, making sure local middle school students are ready for the new year by organizing school supplies. Truesdell is AUWCL and American University School of Education’s adopted school through District of Columbia Public Schools Adopt-a-School Program.

“I had a great time volunteering today, working to help our DC neighbors while getting to know the WCL community a little better,” said Professor and Director of AUWCL’s Program on Law and Government Fernando Laguarda. “It was very meaningful to be part of a group of students, faculty and staff all working with the common goal of making a positive difference in D.C.”

SOME volunteers

Professor Amanda Leiter, director of the Program on Environmental and Energy Law, called IMBY “my favorite day of the fall semester.”

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for WCL faculty, staff, and incoming students to get to know each other and to engage with and give back to the greater DC community,” Leiter said.

Participation in IMBY is counted towards AUWCL's Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program, which recognizes graduating students who have completed a minimum of 75 hours of pro bono legal assistance and community service.

City and non-profit sites visited during IMBY 2019:

  • A Wider Circle
  • Anacostia Water Shed
  • Bread for the City
  • Capital Area Food Bank
  • Catholic Charities: Community Options
  • Catholic Charities Sandwich Brigade
  • DC Central Kitchen
  • Food and Friends
  • Free Minds Book Club
  • National Park Service
  • So Others Might Eat (SOME)
  • Truesdell Middle School
  • Washington Youth Garden