Joining the Rural Summer Legal Corps program is a great way to gain valuable first-hand experience which can ultimately lead to a public interest legal career.
Selected participants will work with esteemed LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations to build their legal skills in various areas, such as:
- Direct legal services: Intake, client and witness interviews, advocating for clients, attending hearings, assisting attorneys in legal representation, legal research and writing.
- Outreach and education: Developing and distributing fact sheets, developing and delivering training on legal topics or on how to access legal services.
- Capacity building: Organizational assessments, compiling best practices, organizing focus groups, leading planning committees.
Serving as a RURAL Summer Legal Corps Member
The Rural Summer Legal Corps program will operate between May-August 2017. Although start dates are flexible, all selected participants must complete the required 300 hours of service by September 1, 2017 in order to receive the $5,000 stipend.
The Rural Summer Legal Corps is open to law students from an accredited law school who have completed their first or second year of law school by the start of their summer. Participants must also agree to a criminal background check during the application process.
- Students, click here for more information on how to apply for a summer Fellowship.
- Click here to view our 2017 Host Organizations.
Alaska Legal Services Corporation
Emily served an integral part of establishing ALSC’s Pro Bono Training Academy, which seeks to increase the availability of legal resources in remote Alaskan communities for those facing issues such as bankruptcy, access to public benefits, housing issues, and elder abuse.
Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky
Joseph focused primarily on family law, developing pro se materials and conducting outreach for clients seeking to obtain a legal divorce in Eastern and South Central Kentucky. He organized and conducted pro se divorce clinics and formulated a model procedure that AppalReD can continue to utilize throughout its service area.
Blue Ridge Legal Services
Joseph championed tenant rights among low-income tenants of mobiles homes in rural Virginia. He provided legal relief to clients facing substandard living conditions, unsafe maintenance practices, predatory rent-to-own contracts, unannounced home intrusions from landlords, and other issues jeopardizing their safety, stability, and financial well-being.
California Rural Legal Assistance
Tanairi will empowered and educated women farmworkers through legal outreach, community education, direct assistance and representation, and litigation support for ongoing cases. She had the opportunity to work on employment cases including sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, wage and hour discrepancies, among others.
DNA-People’sPeople’s Legal Services
Hannah helped fight poverty on the Navajo and Hopi reservations, by interviewing clients, drafting advice letters, and providing “brief services.” As a part of her service, she completed pro se documents and demand letters, conducted legal research, drafted pleadings, and accompanied attorneys to tribal, state, or federal court.
Indiana Legal Services
Katherine helped residents in rural Austin, Indiana manage legal issues that have arisen in the wake of a recent HIV outbreak. She interviewed and worked with clients to assemble pertinent records, meet with project partners to strengthen ILS’ referral network, and coordinated local meetings to facilitate discussion around topical legal matters affecting the community.
Iowa Legal Aid
Bethany assisted with Iowa Legal Aid’s domestic violence program which provides legal aid to geographically remote and underserved victims. She was integrated into client services including intake and interviews, case investigation, legal strategizing, protective order requests, safety planning with clients, and representation in hearings.
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
Aisatou worked to provide housing representation in the Plattsburgh office catchment area. She worked on eviction defenses, warranty of habitability cases, and administrative advocacy to secure housing-related public benefits, including ongoing and emergency cash assistance and eligibility for Housing and Urban Development housing subsidies.
Legal Action of Wisconsin
Amanda worked to provide quality legal services to agricultural workers located in rural areas of Wisconsin. Two to three evenings each week, she conducted outreach visits to migrant camps and other locations frequented by agricultural workers throughout the state.
Legal Aid of Arkansas
Laura provided legal outreach, education, and assistance to economically distressed individuals who were patients of federally qualified health centers in the Ozark region. She also helped conduct provider education about identifying and referring patients with health harming legal needs, and on other substantive legal topics.
Legal Aid of Arkansas
Brittany Ward engaged in Legal Aid of Arkansas’s litigation against the Arkansas Department of Human Services, including on the issues of Medicaid Home and Community based services. She was also actively involved in the substantive area of education law as it relates to disability, including traveling at least once a week to an outreach location in a rural Delta county where she collected data, offered legal services, and performed outreach and education.
C.R. Moore III
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas
C.R. focused on economic stability issues such as housing, consumer law, public benefits, and barriers to employment in Texas’ rural communities. He played an integral part in expanding services by coordinating legal clinics, interviewing applicants for services, assisting staff attorneys in assessing cases, and providing advice and services to clients.
Legal Aid of West Virginia
Courtney expanded LAWV’s work in the Lewisburg LAWV Office Service Area to secure safety, stability, and economic and educational support for low income and TANF recipient children in rural counties. She conducted outreach, developed community education, and assisted with ongoing cases on behalf of children.
Legal Aid of West Virginia
Meagan expanded LAWV’s work in the Logan LAWV Office Service Area to secure safety, stability, and economic and educational support for low income and TANF recipient children in rural counties. She conducted outreach, developed community education, and assisted with ongoing cases on behalf of children.
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma
Adam Ondo provided assistance to clients while working closely with two attorneys in providing on-the-spot legal aid to victims of domestic violence facing their abusers in court. He contacted applicants and interviewed clients to clarify the facts of each case, reviewed pending protective order petitions, obtained background information and witness statements, and summarized the cases for attorneys to review.
Joelle Eliza Lingat
Legal Aid Society of Hawaii
Joelle was responsible for addressing the critical need for legal expertise in the areas of family law, healthcare, pro bono representation, and wills and estate planning for elderly communities in the Kau District of Hawaii. She was exposed to duties including client interviews and counseling, preparation of litigation, drafting of legal documents, participation in court and administrative hearings, coordination with pro bono attorneys, and outreach and education.
Legal Aid Society, Inc.
Courtney worked to establish tenant organizations in government-subsidized housing complexes, researching and reporting complaints made by tenants, and participating in lawsuits against non-compliant landlords. She provided outreach, education, and organizing assistance to tenants of government-subsidized housing complexes in fourteen rural Kentucky counties.
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
Robert helped LSEM expand outreach efforts and increase capacity, mostly in serving domestic violence victims living in rural eastern Missouri. He completed a wide variety of substantive tasks including intake screenings, client interviews, drafting pleadings, electronic filing, docket management, court appearances, and closeout assistance for primarily domestic violence cases.
MidPenn Legal Services
Lauren assisted seniors living in the most rural area of Pennsylvania with legal needs including consumer law, financial abuse, disability, and exploitation through the Consumer Advocacy for Rural Seniors Project. She educated community members of their rights and available resources, produced know-your-rights materials that were given to elderly assistance facilities, and assisted and represented clients in legal matters.
New Mexico Legal Aid
Ramon helped NMLA expand its capacity to handle wage theft litigation, worker safety issues, developed advocate training materials, provided assistance to victims, and conducted outreach and legal education programs in targeted communities. New Mexico Legal Aid’s Low-Wage Workers Advocacy Project is designed to address the needs of vulnerable farmworkers and other low-wage workers.
Northwest Justice Project
Jarquita worked with the Integrated Rural Legal Assistance Project which provides holistic legal assistance to immigrant victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in a highly isolated, geographically vast five-county region of north central Washington State. She also initiated a “court watch” program to observe domestic violence protection order proceedings in those five counties.
Ohio State Legal Services Association
Tyler helped address the lack of housing codes and enforcement as well as adequate housing for low-income clients. He helped OSLSA work to improve the situation by developing legal theories for addressing the problem in court and by collecting client stories and information about the problem for sharing with public officials and the community.
Oklahoma Indian Legal Services
Cathryn worked with OILS’ Native American Will Drafting Project to ensure the transfer of land and possessions to desired heirs after a community member’s death, where family allotments are often taken through escheatment due to laws passed by Congress in 2004. She played a key role in outreach and education to potential clients by utilizing and maintaining established relationships with several tribal headquarters.
Pine Tree Legal Assistance
Rachel joined the Pine Tree team to work on the Rural Third Party Debt Relief Project which targets credit card/third party debt collector matters. She spent the majority of the summer on individual case work for low-income residents in rural Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Waldo Counties. She also became acquainted with the rural courts, court personnel, and the local Bar while doing outreach and education.
Prairie State Legal Services
William assisted in Order of Protection proceedings, conducted outreach efforts, and worked to identify systemic issues that are preventing domestic abuse victims from pursuing legal action against their abusers. At the end of the summer term, he prepared a short report outlining steps PSLS can take to further strengthen services to victims in Livingston County, including ways to encourage greater pro bono participation among Livingston County’s 45 registered attorneys.
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Corporation
Avery worked to implement the Rural River Parishes Outreach and Legal Clinic project in St. John, St. James, and St. Charles, Louisiana. The parishes are all located in the infamous “Cancer Alley” (formerly referred to as the petrochemical corridor) due to high cancer rates there. This project focused on reaching and assisting families grappling with health consequences related to industrial pollution.
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
Angela helped close the justice gap for immigrant farmworkers by becoming an integral part of the medical-legal partnership team, assisting attorneys on an array of cases in the areas of immigration, health, employment, housing, income maintenance, debtor protection, and family law.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
KenDrell was incorporated into TRLA’s farmworker team in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, primarily in Hidalgo and Cameron counties along the Texas-Mexico border. He played an integral part in addressing the issues facing this underserved population such as wage theft, occupational safety concerns, transportation, housing safety, and workplace discrimination.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Rachel was incorporated into TRLA’s farmworker team in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, primarily in Hidalgo and Cameron counties along the Texas-Mexico border. She played an integral part in addressing the issues facing this underserved population such as wage theft, occupational safety concerns, transportation, housing safety, and workplace discrimination.
West Tennessee Legal Services
Matthew conducted research and prepared informational materials to help parents of children with disabilities in rural west Tennessee understand their rights under new education legislation. He developed a training program for parents of children with disabilities, assisted in research for and preparation of a Guide for Special Education Advocates, and researched and implemented community-wide education on IDEA and Tennessee’s Individualized Education Act.