Kayla Spataro '19
Student Director, Honorable Morris Stern Bankruptcy Assistance Project
"I feel fortunate to be a part of the bankruptcy project, because it is a unique and collaborative experience for students that simultaneously provides a much needed service for our surrounding community."
About her work in the Honorable Morris Stern Bankruptcy Assistance Project:
The Project ultimately seeks to further two important goals: providing pro bono bankruptcy assistance to an under-served population and mentoring second and third year law students in the actual practice of law. As student director, not only do I have an opportunity to handle cases, I also get to train our student volunteers and coordinate schedules between the VLJ, pro bono attorneys, and our students.
Nilaja Ford '19
Student Director, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice: Limited Scope Projects
"Working with the VLJ Clinics allowed me to simultaneously utilize what I learned academically, develop real practice-ready skills, and help the community at large."
About her work for VLJ: Limited Scope Projects:
As an evening student with a full time job and son at home, serving as the Volunteer Lawyers for Justice Limited Scope Projects Student Director allowed me to gain legal experience in a very meaningful way. Unfortunately, due to my hectic schedule, I was not able to take advantage of the academic clinics offered through the school. However, doing pro bono work for VLJ allowed me an opportunity to gain hands on experience with real clients. During clinics, I work with a Staff Attorney from VLJ and several practicing attorneys to problem solve and create courses of action for our client's various legal issues. It is also an opportunity to provide hope for people who were in great need of assistance. I began working with VLJ in the Divorce Clinic in 2015 but will now manage the law students for all of the pro bono projects offered by VLJ beginning this Spring.
Anna Dichter '19
Student Director, Language Access Program
"This program is amazing because it utilizes the skills that Rutgers students already have, while bridging the language gap, furthering legal access, and giving back to the community."
About her work in the Language Access Program:
The goal of the Lives in Translation - Language Access Program is to provide interpreting and translation services to limited-English proficient clients. This new program recruits and trains Rutgers students to interpret and translate for Rutgers Law School Clinics, nonprofits, and attorneys located in New Jersey and New York. Over the past year, this program has expanded. Now, over 300 students are involved, offering services in over 30 different languages.
Christina McGinnis '19
Student Director, Courtroom Advocates Project
"It's amazing to already have the opportunity to help people in a legal capacity, especially when they are seeking a way out of a bad situation. All pro bono work has been a great, fulfilling learning experience and I am glad I have been able to help pro se litigants in some way."
About her work in the Courtroom Advocates Project:
As a Courtroom Advocates (CAP) Project Coordinator, we work to train and schedule other law students interested in advocating for pro se litigants seeking temporary and permanent orders of protection in the different New York Family Courts. As an advocate, students work under a supervising attorney to help litigants draft petitions for temporary orders of protection and then advocate for them before a judge or referee. I became involved the fall semester of my 1L year, and was able to help a pro se litigant at the Bronx Family Court House. Since the start of my 2L year, I have been one of the CAP Coordinators. I have also had the opportunity to participate in the Child Advocacy Clinic through Volunteer Lawyers for Justice and teach through the Street Law program, both of which are also great pro bono opportunities.
Hyun-Woo Kang '18
Student Director, International Refugee Assistance Project
About his work in the International Refugee Assistance Project:
The International Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP) pairs law students with lawyers to provide the refugees and displaced persons with direct legal aid and policy advocacy. Through the program students utilize skills learned at law school to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights. IRAP connects you with the world's most persecuted individuals and provides you with the opportunity to make a high impact changes to their lives. It is not only important work because of the legal support you are providing but as a participant you are also giving hope to those individuals.