Law students and other volunteers are always coming to The Pro Bono Project during breaks and the house has been full since the holidays with visitors from Missouri, Illinois and our local law schools.
While here they assist in many ways with cases, administrative support and filling in wherever an extra hand, eye or effort is needed. They come not knowing what to expect, and often leave with a broadened perspective of what they can do once they complete law school.
Here are some thoughts from the University of Illinois College of Law students about their experience with The Project, its staff, clients and volunteers.
My classmates and I arrived at The Pro Bono Project office first thing Monday morning. We didn’t know what to expect, what types of projects we would be working on, or who we would meet. As we stepped into the office we were cheerfully greeted by the staff. Linton and Chris, the staff attorneys, and Rachel, the executive director, introduced themselves and told us all about The Pro Bono Project – how they offer free civil legal services to those in need – and of course, offered us a piece of king cake. After we were acclimated we met Zakiya, the office paralegal, who helped us start on our projects.
- John Moustis
The most intriguing aspect of my work with The Pro Bono Project was our immediate immersion in substantive work. The very first day we were already working directly with clients. Aside from the quality of work, the most beneficial aspect was being able to physically meet the clients and see the positive impact The Pro Bono Project has on the community. Ultimately, working for The Pro Bono Project exceeded my goals of giving back to the community and gaining quality legal experience.
- Austin Root
As someone who expects to work in private practice, it was great to see how the office works to bring in individuals both in the private sector and those interested in public service, all to provide comprehensive legal service to those in need. The clients were very appreciative of the help they were given and everyone at The Pro Bono Project was very attentive of their needs.
- Tolani Oluwatomi Odutayo
In addition to the Illinois students, The Project welcomed Jamie Myers from the University of Missouri School of Law, Reese Mitchell of Tulane University Law School and Jeanne St. Romain, a recent graduate of Loyola University College of Law. While at The Project, staff paralegal Zakiya LaGrange put them to work on divorce cases, and staff attorney, Chris Coty introduced them to successions.
Never a dull moment at The Project for those wanting a hands-on experience of the law.