Brooks and Parr-Carranza were nominated for the honor by Assistant Dean and Martha Craig Daughtrey Director for Public Interest Spring Miller, who leads the public interest program at Vanderbilt Law. They are among 140 individuals representing 58 law schools to be recognized for engaging members of their communities in pro bono legal service.
“Erin Parr-Carranza and Justin Brooks both deserve this recognition, and I’m especially proud their names appear in the inaugural Pro Bono Honor Roll,” Miller said. “Justin has devoted himself to promoting access to justice and civil legal services since he arrived at Vanderbilt Law as a 1L, and Erin has worked tirelessly to promote and facilitate pro bono opportunities for students here.”
Brooks has worked as a legal intern for the Nashville Family Safety Center and the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands and as an extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Middle Tennessee. As a 1L he conducted pro bono research for the Tennessee Alliance on Legal Services, and he currently co-directs the Vanderbilt Public Interest Legal Research initiative. Brooks completed the Law School’s Pro Bono Pledge to engage in 75 hours of unpaid legal and community service as a 2L. He plans to join the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice, which was created in 2010 to address the access-to-justice crisis in the civil and criminal legal systems, as an Honors Program attorney after graduation this spring.
Parr-Carranza facilitates and promotes pro bono opportunities for the VLS community. She provides support to student-led pro bono initiatives such as Shade Tree Medical/Legal Partnership and Street Law, a program that educates low-income people about their legal rights and available resources and disseminates information about opportunities for pro bono legal service within the community. She developed and implemented systems to track pro bono hours served by students and connect them with service opportunities that allow them to gain meaningful work experience. Vanderbilt Law students performed and recorded more than a thousand hours of volunteer, non-credit-bearing pro bono service during the 2021-22 school year.
Vanderbilt’s Public Interest Office facilitates pro bono legal service opportunities for all students throughout law school and supports and mentors students seeking careers in public advocacy and government service.