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Gierke ’17 Path To Law

Brett Gierke ‘ 17 – Working at the Law Office of Jeffrey Boggess this summer has been absolutely fantastic. Every day of work is different. Each client comes in with their own stories, which makes every case unique and interesting. Brett Gierke Summer Internship 2014

While at the office, I’ve had the opportunity to watch Mr. Boggess as well as his associate attorney, Scott Bieniek, deal with cases such as dissolutions, child custody, personal injury, a dispute about a land easement, issues that arise when a will is not filled out entirely, name changes, criminal activity, small claims, litigation, real estate, CHINS, paternity, protective order, guardianship, and wills and trusts.

Over the past six weeks I’ve been able to learn through many hands on activities. I have sat in on mediations and facilitations, written letters to other attorneys (which allowed me to see the style of writing an attorney would use), created exhibits for a court case, scanned case documents into the firm’s computer system, reviewed case files to prep for upcoming hearings; and I’ve seen how a lawyer conducts himself while in the office with clients, as well as while in the courtroom.

This internship has helped to enhance my liberal arts education by showing me you must remain open-minded in order to experience the big picture. After all, that does play a large role in what a liberal arts education represents. Having the opportunity to work here has helped increase my desire to go to law school. I’ve been able to see the effort a lawyer must put into his work every single day; but in the end, I feel it’s worth it to help someone in a time of need. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for the generosity in encouraging internships in Indiana and providing me with this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to give a special thanks to Mr. Jeffrey Boggess (class of ’89) for allowing me to be his chosen intern for the summer and for showing me what a Wabash man is.


Goddard ’15 SBIF Provides Non-Profit Experience

Seton Goddard ’15 – Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once wrote about the American justice system, pointing out that, “If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.” Justice Brandeis was a Louisvillian and a Kentuckian whose zeal for the law, fairness, and justice for all was unmistakable. His spirit and his approach to justice lives on every day at the Legal Aid Society in downtown Louisville, where I’ve been working for the last eight weeks.

Seton Goddard SBIF 2014 Legal Aid Society 2

Left to Right: Dr. John Fischer (Prof. Emeritus), Jeffrey Been ’81, Seton Goddard ’15, and Nick Maraman ’10

Legal Aid provides free civil legal services for people in Jefferson County, Kentucky (Louisville) and thirteen surrounding counties in Kentucky. This means that Legal Aid doesn’t handle any criminal cases, and they see none of the glamorous and stunning Law and Order cases. Instead, Legal Aid’s attorneys and staff work on behalf of families and individuals who have been victims of abuse, are suffering post-war effects (veterans), live in dangerous housing conditions, or who struggle with a wide range of other issues. Without Legal Aid, none of the 4,000 clients they work with annually would have access to attorneys or legal assistance in a system that is nearly impossible to navigate. Indeed, Legal Aid’s work is hugely important, and its effects are profound and widespread. As someone who believes that building strong communities starts with filling in the cracks that many of us have helped create, I was thankful to be a part of an organization that works every day to fill in those cracks and give assistance to the most economically disadvantaged among us.

Seton Goddard '15 with fellow Legal Aid Society interns. Goddard is the only undergraduate student to intern with LAS, and works alongside students from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Seton Goddard ’15 with fellow Legal Aid Society interns. Goddard is the only undergraduate student to intern with LAS, and works alongside students from University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

While I am neither a lawyer nor a law student, I have been able to have a hand in these efforts, working with Legal Aid’s Development Director, Julia Leist. Through my work with Julia and also Jeff Been ’81, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society, this internship has given me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of fund raising, development, and non-profit management. From grant writing, to donor relations, to administrative work, I had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects this summer, all related to funding the Legal Aid Society. Because Legal Aid is a non-profit and clients do not pay for their services my supervisor (Julia) is responsible for securing funding to pay the salaries of attorneys, cover administrative costs, and supplement the funding that comes from state and federal agencies. Without Julia’s work, Legal Aid’s resources would be even more limited, and when they must turn away many of the clients who apply for assistance, Legal Aid can use as much funding as they can track down. Most of this is secured through grants, and some of it also comes from private donations in the Louisville and greater Kentuckiana communities. My internship allowed me to write some of these grants, assist with the writing of others, and work with the private donors in Louisville – opportunities I certainly would not have gotten without this summer experience.

Even though I don’t know that I’ll go into the legal profession after I finish at Wabash in May 2015, the work that Legal Aid does has made one thing even clearer to me: there are countless issues that lead people into poverty, and even more issues that keep people in poverty. That being said, while I could have an impact through America’s justice system, I think it is also important to address the issues that land people in poverty, and I hope to pursue opportunities in those areas once I graduate. Thanks to Jeff Been ’81, Julia Leist, and the Small Business Internship Fund for this great opportunity to put the skills I have gained at Wabash into practice for the sake of helping those who, in many ways, society has forgotten.


Zurek ’16 Business: Challenge and Reward

Mason Zurek ’16

Mason Zurek ’16 – I came into this program fairly hesitant. Business was just something that never seemed to suit me. I’m not a numbers guy, but I love to read and write which is why I’m fairly sure I want to be an attorney. Also, I enjoy competition immensely and law seemed like the proper way to go. So, I figured I could take this program and learn more about business in order to help me later if I go into corporate law.

Yet, as we learn more about business, and specifically entrepreneurship, I find myself hooked for two reasons: the challenge and the potential reward. The idea of putting everything you own on the line in order to be successful is scary, yet enticing. What could be more possibly exhilarating than seeing your gamble pay off? I view it as a competition against myself; seeing if I can actually set out and start a successful business is now something that greatly interests me. The other reason I mentioned, reward, is more of a dream scenario. Building a successful business and selling it off for enough money to retire comfortably by 40 would be wonderful.

In conclusion, I have been having a great time with this internship. I’ve been engaged, questioned, and forced to rely on the analytical skills Wabash has taught me. I’m looking forward to the next two weeks.