This summer I had the privilege of working at Legal Aid Society in Louisville, Kentucky through the Jeffrey A. Been ’81 Wabash/Legal Aid Internship. I would first like to thank Jeff Been ’81 and Nick Maraman ’10. I am extremely grateful for their help and support and this experience would not be possible without them. Legal Aid Society allowed me the opportunity to experience our legal system as an undergrad and work to bring justice to low-income Kentuckians. I would also like to thank and show appreciation to the very generous donors of the Small Business Internship Fund for making this opportunity possible.
Legal Aid Society is a nonprofit law firm that provides civil legal service to low-income Kentuckians in Louisville and the surrounding area. Legal Aid provides a variety of civil legal services, like eviction defense, veterans claims, bankruptcies, taxes, expungements, divorces, DVOs, and more. While at Legal Aid, I worked primarily with the development team and Julia Leist. With Julia, I worked on researching the history of Legal Aid, compiling client impact stories, and drafting grants. I also gained legal experience through observations and work with the Economic Stability Unit and Veterans Legal Assistance Program.
Throughout my summer at Legal Aid Society, I had the opportunity to observe attorneys working in different settings and on a range of legal issues. Whether it was observing a client intake meeting, divorce mediation, or eviction hearing in court, Legal Aid provided me with the opportunity to witness our justice system work firsthand. I also got the opportunity to complete hands on legal work. With the economic stability unit, I had the chance to draft petitions to help people expunge criminal charges off of their records. I then got to see the petitions I had worked on before the court during motion hour. Finally, with the Veterans Legal Assistance Program, I carried out legal research and writing on issues relating to Veterans Affairs benefits claims. I researched issues like standards for service connected injuries and deaths and wrote memorandums of law to attorney Roy Berwick concerning how to proceed in cases concerning VA benefits.
Overall, I am extremely grateful to Jeff, Nick, and everyone at Legal Aid Society for making this experience possible. Legal Aid Society granted me a unique opportunity to see how the justice system works. While at Legal Aid, I have been able to observe, and do hands on work with, attorneys dealing with a range of legal issues. This gives me the chance to see and take part in important, impactful, and interesting work that serves people in need.