Iowa Law Students Use Spring Break to Better American Communities

Once again, Iowa law students will be spreading out across the country to spend their spring breaks serving legal needs of indigent people.  Three trips are planned, sponsored by The Citizen Lawyer Program, the Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) and the Latino Law Student Association (LLSA). Students will volunteer in New Orleans, Chicago, and Austin during their week-long spring break.  In doing so, they will better each community, form personal relationships, and build ties between these communities and the University of Iowa College of Law.

New Orleans: 16 students will travel to New Orleans and donate a total of 720 hours to local organizations. These organizations are the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS), AIDS Law, and Justice and Accountability Center (JAC).

SLLS provides direct representation to the poor and provides information to different community groups and advocacy organizations about legal rights of the poor; students will help draft memorandum and do client intakes. AIDS Law specializes in estate planning, confidentiality and discrimination, child custody, and insurance and financial planning to HIV/AIDS victims; students will work directly with the staff, providing support in whatever capacity the staff needs.  JAC tackles deficiencies in the post-conviction phase of the criminal justice system; students will work on expungement campaigns and research relevant law and coordinate necessary costs.

Chicago: 10 students will travel to Chicago and donate a total of 400 hours to non-profit organizations. Students will supply much needed support in legal research and writing, client intakes, and general attorney support. This trip is sponsored by both EJF and the Citizen Lawyer Program.

The organizations that students will volunteer at are: Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Law Project of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Austin: 12 students will travel to Austin and donate 480 hours. This trip is co-sponsored by the Citizen Lawyer Program and the Latino Law Student Association.

All students will volunteer at the Workers Defense Project, a nonprofit that focuses on wage theft of undocumented workers. Students will support its staff attorneys to help workers recover unpaid wages from large corporations and construction companies. Students’ research will enable staff workers to be better equipped at representing their clients.

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