Like “descript” or “combobulated,” the phrase “in my back yard” is rarely uttered without its negative modifier. But that didn’t keep more than 170 student volunteers from American University’s Washington College of Law away from “IMBY Public Service Day” on Tuesday. The group spent the day painting and landscaping at Southeast’s Anacostia and Ballou High Schools. Charlene Gomes, public-interest coordinator for the law school, says the program’s name, coined by the school’s dean of students, was intended as a mild jab at the university’s often ornery Spring Valley neighbors. “It’s the antonym of NIMBY,” Gomes says. “It’s being a good neighborhood participant.” Gomes, however, doubts that the program’s nomenclature will change the attitudes of the university’s critics. —Mike DeBonis