Nearly 200 Students, Faculty, and Staff Volunteer for "In My Backyard" Day of Service

Nearly 200 incoming students, faculty, and staff participated in the In My Back Yard (IMBY) Public Service Day on Aug. 20, volunteering at a number of city and non-profit organizations in local Washington, D.C. neighborhoods.

IMBY is organized each year by the law school’s rising 2L Public Interest/Public Service (PIPS) Scholars.

The annual event kicks off JD orientation, and allows new students to become acclimated to the city while returning students and staff reconnect with their community. Participation in IMBY also counts toward the law school’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.

One participating organization,  Life Pieces to Masterpieces, provides after-school art programs for young African American men in poverty-stricken Washington, D.C. neighborhoods. IMBY volunteers helped to organize recently renovated classrooms by mopping floors, cleaning windows, and painting the walls.

“We were happy to contribute to their efforts to provide an outlet for young men and boys who may not have many resources for support,” said Alia Al-Khatib, a second-year student and IMBY organizer.

IMBY volunteers also spent time at Martha’s Table, Food and Friends, SEED, Carpenter’s Shelter, Sasha Brush Youthwork, and the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

“I think participants were happy to be contributing to an organization in a city where they plan to spend the next three years, said Al-Khatib. “A number of the participants were new to Washington, D.C., so it was beneficial for them to learn about the different racial and class disparities within the city, and to hear about some of the amazing work that is done at various organizations to provide solutions. I think volunteering at IMBY Day is a wonderful introduction to law school and living in Washington, D.C., and it was a great success this year.”

IMBY and The Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program are an integral part of the law school’s focus on public interest work and community engagement.