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Elbert Aull – Ohio Poverty Law Center I refined my legal research and writing skills at the Ohio Poverty Law Center during the summer. I also participated in important projects that – hopefully – will impact the lives of many low-income Ohioans.
Melissa Baker – Advocates for Basic Legal Equality I thoroughly enjoyed my summer working on the Education and Civil Rights team at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. ABLE is a high-quality legal services organization that handles civil legal matters that promote systemic change on behalf of low-income individuals. I worked on a variety of education and civil rights issues including a special education due process complaint, a motion to enforce a consent decree promoting the hiring and promotion of minority firefighters, and I conducted a variety of client interviews. I enjoyed “stirring up trouble” in Toledo, Ohio with devoted advocates, and I learned a great deal from talented attorneys. Legal Aids have been hit particularly hard by the economy, and very few can afford to pay summer clerks. The PILF fellowship enabled me to gain significant experience and make a substantial difference to the organization while still managing to buy groceries.
Carson Barylak – Defenders of Wildlife As a law clerk at Defenders of Wildlife, I learned a great deal about federal environmental statutes and their operation. This position allowed me to participate in a diverse series of projects, and to integrate my background in science and non-profit experience with the knowledge that I gained during the first two years of law school. I learned about the research, writing, and communication skills essential to a successful career in non-profit environmental law, and I look forward to applying that experience to both my coursework and my extracurricular activities during the upcoming academic year.
Michael Batchelder – Equal Justice Foundation I spent the summer as a law clerk with The Equal Justice Foundation (EJF). EJF is a non-profit law firm located in Columbus whose primary focus is to influence public policy through impact litigation on issues affecting low income individuals. EJF also currently represents low income individuals facing mortgage foreclosures on their homes through one-time grant funding. While at EJF I performed intake interviews, researched and drafted legal memoranda and motions for the court, and attended in person mediation sessions and client meetings.
David Boylan – American Bar Association Commission on Immigration I spent my summer working at the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration in Washington D.C. As a summer clerk, I had a wide variety of responsibilities, including: analyzing legislation and policy issues, drafting comments to regulations, developing publications, reports, and other materials to educate members of the bar and public about the immigration laws. My work at the ABA Commission on Immigration was both educational and rewarding. This work helped me develop my legal research and writing skills and gave me valuable experience in public service. Without the PILF Fellowship, this experience would not have been possible.
Kate Bush – Alaska Public Defender Agency With a sense of adventure and a suitcase full of warm clothes, I headed up to Alaska this summer to work at the Alaska Public Defender Agency in Palmer. Every day was unique, touring the correctional facility, second chairing an attempted murder trial, or churning out a motion to suppress; anything could, and often did, happen at work. I gained skills at oral arguments, client communication, negotiation, and courtroom advocacy.
Mike Khusid – Alaska Public Defender Agency My first day at work I was immediately nudged into the courtroom where I did a change of plea for a client charged with DUI. The APDA did not seem to believe in the concept of crawling before you walk. “When else would I get this opportunity?” Not only the opportunity to manage my own caseload and have full responsibility over the fates of my clients, but also the opportunity to explore one the world’s great wildernesses and see things I did not imagine existed.
Randy Montes – Legal Aid Society of Orange County This past summer I had the pleasure of working for the Legal Aid Society of Orange County in the Health Consumer Action Center (HCAC). This department assists clients in navigating the state and federal public healthcare system, as well as other government benefits, including food stamps and unemployment benefits. Part of this legal advocacy included representing clients at various administrative hearings for both medical benefits and unemployment benefits.
Caitlyn Nestleroth - Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section of the U.S. Department of Justice I spent my summer in Washington, D.C. interning in the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS) of the U.S. Department of Justice. NDDS works to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in the United States by investigating and prosecuting international drug trafficking groups. During my internship, I researched and drafted litigation motions, responses, and memos and assisted with updating the manual on narcotics prosecution that is distributed to federal prosecutors. I wouldn’t trade my experience at NDDS and I am thankful to PILF for helping make it happen.
Fair Park – MinKwon Center for Community Action In summer 2010, I worked at the MinKwon Center for Community Action, a non-profit organization located in Flushing, N.Y. As a housing and foreclosure legal intern, I conducted initial intakes with clients in Korean and Spanish, provided legal housing consultation at the weekly Housing Clinic, and communicated with landlords regarding repairs, security deposits, rent disputes, and noise problems. I also advised clients on foreclosure prevention options at the Foreclosure Prevention Clinic, assisted in applying for loan modifications, and conducted workshops for community members on problems and solutions for Major Capital Improvements rent increase.