It didn't take long after January 1st for law students to arrive at The Pro Bono Project. Staff welcomed students from America University Washington College of Law during the week of January 2-6 and from University of Wisconsin Law School, January 9-13.
While at The Project, students worked with staff attorneys Kathleen Legendre, Jenny Abshier, Jesse George and Pat Guzman-Weema, as well as with staff paralegal Zakiya LaGrange, As always, our intention is to make sure that students get a hands-on experience that translates the work they do in the classroom to the law in action.
American University Washington School of Law
Mary Frances did work with Jenny on a succession case and learned about how property transfers intestate amongst children and grandchildren. Aroosa, Dasha, Mary Frances and Gabriela went with Jenny to a bankruptcy court motion day for Section B. They got to meet and learn about bankruptcy court from the Chapter 13 Trustee, S. J. Beaulieu, Jr. and watch how several different lawyers handled their various motions in conference with the Trustee.
They then took a tour of the bankruptcy courtrooms and clerk’s office followed by a bird's eye view of the Eastern District’s courtrooms and clerk’s office. From there, they traveled to the F. Edward Hebert building to sit through a creditor meeting and meet the Chapter 13 Trustee’s attorney, Andrew Weibelt. Finally, taking a slight detour, the students and Jenny visited the John Minor Wisdom Appeals Buildings to tour the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals library and peek into an appellate courtroom.
They rounded the week out with a bit of a celebration to enjoy their first King Cake!
University of Wisconsin Law School
The Wisconsin Law students continued working along the same lines as previous groups - successions, bankruptcies, and getting a 'behind the scenes' experience of how The Project brings clients and volunteer lawyers together. Of course, they also enjoyed a bit of New Orleans' famous cuisine!!
"This group did excellent work reviewing current files open for volunteer attorney placement. For example, they researched a matter regarding a grandmother wanting to adopt her granddaughter and the granddaughter’s daughter for a volunteer attorney. They also researched a request for our services related to an identity theft issue for a client," explained Kathleen Legendre, Managing Attorney for Volunteer Engagement.
Student Grace Kube sent along this message to Kathleen and the staff on behalf of the group:
Thank you so much for allowing us to come work with your organization. I imagine it takes a lot of effort and planning to house so many students but I can assure you the experience was an unforgettable one. You and your staff made us all feel welcomed and made sure we got the most out of our experience. Thank you for the amazing work you do and for letting me be a part of it for even a short time.