To help address the impact of COVID-19 on students’ summer work plans, the legal needs of individuals and public interest organizations, and to support ongoing research projects, BC Law faculty and staff have come together to offer two new opportunities.
The BC Law COVID-19 Legal Services Project (CVLSP) provides legal assistance and advice to individuals and organizations affected by COVID-19 disruptions or who provide public interest services. In this virtual law firm, law student volunteers, under the supervision of experienced practitioners, will advocate for and assist those in need. The anticipated work includes habeas corpus petitions and bond hearings in the Federal District Court on behalf of ICE detainees; interviewing and counseling individuals to facilitate receipt of unemployment benefits under the CARES Act; consumer debt assistance; compassionate release legal assistance; and legal research to organizations and entities.
On the immigration front, for example, two students will work with Professor Kari Hong, in partnership with lawyers at the Florence Project in Arizona, the federal defenders office in Los Angeles, and immigration rights organizations in California, Oregon, and Washington state. Ten additional students will work with Elena Noureddine, Esq., in partnership with Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) on immigration cases in the New England Area. Approximately eight law students will assist individuals to navigate the unemployment assistance process under the supervision of Professors Alan Minuskin and Ana Rivera.
Students working with the CVLSP commit to working at least 20 hours per week for a minimum of eight weeks and will be part of a virtual law firm community. Participating students will receive training on legal interviewing and counseling, legal ethics, working with traumatized clients, and related topics. The program will host weekly firm meetings for updates, training, and community events.
In the event that students find their summer jobs or externships cancelled at the last minute, the CVLSP application remains open. The program welcomes inquiries from attorneys or organizations who need law student assistance in their public interest work. For additional information, please contact Associate Dean Judith A. McMorrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Eagle Summer Research Scholar Program pairs students with a faculty member working in a legal subject area of common interest. The student will work remotely on the faculty member’s own research project, and also on the student’s own research project that will be developed over the summer with guidance and support from the faculty member. The experience will culminate in a written paper in the fall semester.
Ryan Kenney is a rising 2L who loves to bring good news to BC Law Impact during these challenging times. He also loves to hear from readers. Email him at email@example.com.