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.

Eligibility

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.

2017 Fellows

Head PhotoDaniel McCaskey
Alaska Legal Services Corporation

Daniel will work on the Pro Bono Training Academy helping to train pro bono attorneys by developing bankruptcy content and coordinating with private attorneys to design a bankruptcy clinic and resources. He will work with rural office attorneys offering direct services to clients.

NoUserImage_BigAnthony McGrath
Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky

Anthony will spend the summer working to help AppalReD expand and improve its services in the area of government-subsidized housing. He will provide direct legal services on subsidized housing cases, compile information about these programs, and review Public Housing Authority policies.

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Sue Eng Ly
Blue Ridge Legal Services

Sue Eng will focus on legal problems arising from her client population’s residing in manufactured home parks. She will help to further identify these manufactured home tenants, inform them of their rights, and provide legal assistance to those qualified clients in enforcing their rights under Virginia’s landlord-tenant and manufactured home park statutes.

HeadPhotoCaitlin Newswanger
California Rural Legal Assistance

Caitlin will use her background as a social worker to help pilot CRLA’s reentry project. This summer she will  work one on one with and develop a workshop to assist ex-offenders successfully re-enter society.  She will assist in eliminating barriers to housing and jobs and preventing some people from having to go to homeless shelters.

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Lhesly Navarrete
California Rural Legal Assistance

Lhesly has worked at several non-profit and community organizations to provide pro bono legal service to low-income and undocumented communities. Most recently she attended a service trip to Texas where she assisted in completing pro se application for asylum seekers. This summer, Lhesly will assist clients with H-2A and H-2B applications, identify housing sites, and develop outreach and education materials.

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Marcela Schaefer
Colorado Legal Services

Marcela will complete client interviews, conduct legal research relevant to fair worker labor conditions, wage claims, and other legal matters central to the lives of the farmworkers. She will also spend significant time connecting with the local service providers and performing outreach and education to the migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

PhotoMamie Parks
Georgia Legal Services Program

Mamie served 14 years as an active duty and reserves Air Force Personnel Officer. She will be utilizing her global community development experience to assist Georgia  Legal Services Program with their development of community outreach programs, in addition to addressing affordable housing and evictions in rural counties.

Head PhotoEmma Otterpohl
Iowa Legal Aid

Emma will provide services to low-income and elderly Iowans with legal issues such as housing, employment, and family law, among others. As part of her service, she will draft pleadings, conduct legal research, and accompany attorneys to court hearings.

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Nathaniel Smith
Legal Advice and Referral Center

Nathaniel will work with Medical-Legal Partnership cases to help connect clients with the services they need. He will perform intake services, coordinate legal services delivery, and serve as a legal assistance resource for the Ammonoosuc Community Health Services Center.

photoLindsey Schmeidler
Legal Aid of Arkansas

Lindsey will assist with Legal Aid of Arkansas’s domestic and sexual violence program which provides legal aid to victims in rural North Central Arkansas. Lindsey will handle several orders of protection as well as coordinate with local shelters and work on the Legal Aid HelpLine.

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Camilo Rodriguez
Legal Aid of North Carolina

Camilo will provide case support for free legal assistance in civil matters to migrant farm workers throughout North Carolina. He will support cases related to unpaid wages, violations of the H2-A employment contract, and human trafficking claims by conducting client interviews, working with case teams, and supporting community education efforts.

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PJ Ratcliffe
Legal Aid of West Virginia

PJ will use his experience from working in the Workers’ Rights Clinic at the University of Arizona to help expand LAWV’s work to ensure safety, stability, and economic and educational support for low-income and TANF recipient children in the southern coalfields and in the east central portion of West Virginia.

HeadphotoGeoffrey Hamilton
Legal Aid of Wyoming

Geoffrey applied to the Rural Summer Legal Corps excited to work with migrant workers in the tobacco fields; areas that are intertwined with both of his passions: employment law and immigration. He will draft pro se pleadings for the Code of Federal Regulations Court utilizing web-based self-help forms and will devote his time to providing on-site assistance to applicants.

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Tyler Akers
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

Tyler will use his experience growing up in a small southern Oklahoma community to assist the Legal Services of Oklahoma to create a Pro Se Divorce Clinic. Through this clinic, Tyler will serve low-income persons in Oklahoma to address common misunderstandings, incomplete forms, due process problems, and referrals from courts.

NoUserImage_BigGabrielle Bright
Legal Aid Services of Oregon

Gabrielle will help provide estate-planning services to low-income tribal members in rural reservation communities in western Oregon. She will assist the Native American Program to develop and offer educational presentations, conduct meetings with clients, and research legal issues related to estate planning and probate in Indian Country.

head photoDanielle Noyes
Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York

Danielle will help to address the lack of safeguards for low-income clients entering into land contract agreements.  To advocate for those affected by this growing issue, she will revise documents that encompassed the proper elements of this type of contract so there would be less room for disputes later on.

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Ivannoel Gonzalez Dollar
Legal Services Alabama

Having grown up in a small cotton town in North Alabama, Ivannoel will use his knowledge of the area and rural populations to address systemic problems in the labor market related to a transitioning economy. To alleviate some of the symptoms of rural marginalization, he will create better access and communication with the legal community for the rural communities in the western Black Belt region of the state.

HeadphotoChris Terrell
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Born and raised in the small river town of Hannibal, MO, Chris will use his knowledge of that rural community to provide legal assistance to domestic abuse victims and low-income clients. He is passionate about giving these chronically underserved groups equal access to justice and looks forward to translating his legal training into helping real people that truly need it.

HeadphotoMelissa Ramos
Legal Services of North Florida

Melissa will use her passion for social justice issues to assist Northern Florida residents with their legal service needs. As someone who has helped a community gain access to clean water in the Dominican Republic and worked at a crisis and counseling hotline in Tallahassee, she will advocate for and guide these individuals who are hindered within their communities because of past criminal convictions.

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Karolyn Keller
MidPenn Legal Services

Karolyn is pursuing a career in public interest and is excited for the opportunity to educate and provide legal aid to a community not too far or different from where she was brought up. Through “Project My Home,” Karolyn will assist low-income individuals and families who are living in or applying for public housing by conducting interviews with heads-of-household, assisting clients with completing public housing applications and researching applicable case law.

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Lauren LeSueur
Montana Legal Services Association

As a small town Montana native, Lauren will assist directly with case work and provide telephonic legal advice for MSLA’s rural clients. She will also research case-specific legal issues and draft petitions, motions, and other court documents for rural clients, mainly in the areas of housing and family law.

HeadphotoFelicia Charles
Nevada Legal Services

Felicia would like to use her law degree to help improve the lives of other people. With Nevada Legal Services’ Rural Pro Se Project, she will provide assistance to clients and study how each court handles the cases appearing before the judges. She will prepare pro se educational packets for the most frequently seen issues in the rural justice courts.

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Tonell Jones
North Mississippi Rural Legal Services

Tonell is from Oxford, Mississippi and plans to work as a public defender after graduating from law school. This summer, she will work with the Mississippi Taxpayer Assistance Project, a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic housed within North Mississippi Rural Legal Services. She will maintain the Client Call Log from the intake message service and call potential clients to conduct intakes.

Head photoAnn Roche
Ohio State Legal Services Association

Ann is excited to work with Southeastern Ohio Legal Services in her hometown of Newark, Ohio. She will work with OSLSA’s “Court Cost Group” to assist with cases by interviewing clients, gathering facts/documents, and performing research. She will learn about different court cost issues in the counties around Newark, Ohio.

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Julia Konieczny
Ohio State Legal Services Association

Julia will work with OSLSA’s Athen’s office on a multi-disciplinary medical-legal partnership project entitled “A Comprehensive Patient Navigation Program for Rural Appalachia.” She will work with clients who have type 2 diabetes to resolve legal problems that interfere with their medical care or cause stress, which can aggravate diabetes. She will also help to develop stories for clients who agree to track their health histories.

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Kace Rodwell
Oklahoma Indian Legal Services

Growing up in a rural, tribal hometown, Kace witnessed the adversities her tribe faced and the lack of resources available to help their legal issues due to the many facets and complexities of Native American law. As a tribal member, she went to law school to help all tribes in her state that face many similar obstacles. Kace will work this summer in the Native American Will Drafting Clinic and gain hands-on experience in will drafting and client interviewing at the OILS main office and at tribal field offices.

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Dominic Interlicchia
South Carolina Legal Services

 

 

 

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Stephanie Moore
Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

Stephanie grew up in rural communities throughout the Midwest and has experience serving clients throughout Southeast Louisiana to obtain court documents, conduct investigations, and interview residents.  This summer, she will help SLLS increase outreach efforts to clients in Bayou Country by providing legal services in partnership with rural libraries. She will also help promote and assist with SLLS’s new self-help desk in Lafourche Parish.

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Delhon Braaten
Three Rivers Legal Services

Delhon will work on the Guardian Advocacy Project to ensure that backlogged cases are filed expeditiously. His work will enable rural caregivers to obtain necessary services and medical treatment for their developmentally disabled adult children and relatives.  He will interview clients and their families, draft pleadings, conduct legal research, communicating with the clients, and observing final hearings.

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Margaret Moon
West Tennessee Legal Services

Before starting law school, Maggie worked with a mental health services agency for kids and developed an interest in effecting change in the health care and legal world. This summer she will be an essential part of establishing a rural behavioral health medical-legal partnership providing holistic help for low-income individuals to overcome non-medical/psychological barriers that include a legal solution.

2016 Fellows

NoUserImage_BigEmily Obermiller
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.

NoUserImage_BigJoseph Bonica
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.

CiszekJoseph-newJoseph Ciszek
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.

AlcarazTanairi-newTanairi Alcaraz
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.

CattHannah-newHannah Catt
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.

NoUserImage_BigKatherine Mullican
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.

Davidson_Bethany-newBethany Davidson
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.

NoUserImage_BigAisatou Diallo
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.

PostelAmanda-newAmanda Postel
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.

BurfordLaura-newLaura Burford
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.

WardBrittany-newBrittany Ward
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.

MooreIIIC.R.-newC.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.

CrowderCourtney-newCourtney Crowder
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.

NoUserImage_BigMeagan Preece
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.

OndoAdam-newAdam Ondo
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.

NoUserImage_BigJoelle 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.

GroszhansCourtney-newCourtney Groszhans
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.

NoUserImage_BigRobert Hollers
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.

NoUserImage_BigLauren Thomas
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.

NoUserImage_BigRamon Hernandez
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.

WilliamsJarquita-newJarquita Williams
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.

PrevadeTyler-newTyler Prevade
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.

GibbsCathryn-newCathryn Gibbs
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.

NoUserImage_BigRachel Given
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.

McClureWilliam-newWilliam McClure
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.

NoUserImage_BigAvery Riley
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.

FralishAngela-newAngela Fralish
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.

CollinsKenDrell-newKenDrell Collins
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.

LevensonRachel-newRachel Levenson
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.

NoUserImage_BigMatthew Taylor
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.