Summer Associate: Pro Bono Bankruptcy Project (Akron)

Position Overview

Legal Aid is looking for dedicated, hard-working, and public-interest minded students for its Summer Associate Program. Legal Aid has opportunities available for 2L’s (with or without intern certificate) and 1L’s. Law students applying are expected to work unpaid for at least 10 weeks and may work up to 13 weeks.

For more general information about our Summer Associate Program, click here.

The Pro Bono Bankruptcy Project Summer Associate will:

  • Interview clients
  • Conduct informal research (public documents)
  • Conduct legal research
  • Draft client letters
  • Meet with clients
  • Review documents
  • Provide case management
  • Prepare bankruptcy petitions
  • Attend hearings
  • Speak with private attorneys
  • Attend bar association meetings and/or events
  • Draft pleadings, memos, etc.

 

Student Goals

  • Students will understand the basics of Chapter 7 bankruptcy law and basic lawyering skills involved in working with clients in the VLSP/CLAS setting.
  • Students will interview all Summit County (and perhaps other counties) clients requesting bankruptcy assistance (approximately 135 clients) and do public records research to complement the client’s intake interview.  Upon completion, the case is evaluated by the VLSP Attorney.
  • Students will draft client specific advice letters to provide clients with advice regarding their options.
  • Students will assist at the Peace of Mind Clinics (for clients who receive our uncollectable letters)
  • Students will prepare at least one bankruptcy petition. 
  • Students will attend at least one 341 bankruptcy hearing.
  • Students will attend and observe at least one call day at bankruptcy court.
  • Students will make contact with volunteer attorneys by assisting in the case placement process, assisting volunteers on an as-needed basis, and assisting in the preparation of the annual bankruptcy CLE that is co-sponsored with the Akron Bar Association.
  • Students will attend bar association meetings with the VLSP Managing Attorney.
  • Students will be invited to attend the annual bankruptcy CLE at the Akron Bar Association and may be invited to be a speaker at the CLE (providing a 5-minute overview of the work they do on the project for volunteer attorneys).

 

Course Credit / Externship Credit

Legal Aid often supervises students working for externship or other credit. Please indicate in your cover letter if you intend to work with your law school to receive course credit for your summer position.

 

Funding

Due to limited financial resources, Legal Aid’s Law Student positions are unpaid. Applicants are encouraged to apply for summer funding through the following sources.

  • Summer grants/fellowships through individual law schools. Check with your law school for information about this.
  • Equal Justice Works, AmeriCorps JD Program, may be offered in 2017. In the past, this program has not offer cash awards, but instead has offered awards that can be applied to educational debt or future education costs. For more information, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org.
  • Equal Justice America. Visit www.equaljusticeworks.org for application details.
  • Work Study Funding. Check with your school's financial aid office to learn more and for information about how a work study program may affect your overall financial aid package.
  • More opportunities may be available. Visit the "Funding Sources" page under "Resource Center" at www.psjd.org.

 

Qualifications

Summer Associate applicants should have completed their first year of law school by the time they start at Legal Aid. We give special consideration to students with a demonstrated commitment to serving disadvantaged people and communities.

Law student needs to be self-motivated and able to work on their own and in a team. Student must be able to follow directions. Student must be responsible and reliable, as they will be meeting with clients. Student must be professional, as they will be meeting with clients and private attorneys. No prior bankruptcy, evidence, litigation or research and writing experience is needed. Interest or background in poverty law and/or bankruptcy law is helpful, but not required.

Required qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in and sensitivity to the legal needs of the poor, as well as motivation to improve the conditions of the poor.
  • Strong research/writing background.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Internet research tools.
  • Ability to speak a foreign language is highly desirable.

Personal characteristics:

  • Execellent interprersonal skills.
  • First-rate oral and written communication skills.
  • Professional attitude and ability to relate to professionals.
  • Discretion, diplomacy, and tact.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Highly dependable.

 

Application

To apply, please send an email to volunteer@communitylegalaid.org* with the subject line "Summer Program." Please attach the following documents:

  • Cover letter, including your top two project/unit preferences. Please also indicate in your letter whether you are willing to volunteer, will be receiving credit, are work-study eligible, or are applying for a public interest summer grant/fellowship.
  • Resume
  • Contact information for three references
  • Writing sample
  • Completed Summer Program Application

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Please note that applications will only be accepted through the online process. Do not send hard copies of the forms. All submissions will be acknowledged.  If you do not receive a confirmation email within one week of sending your application, call (330) 983-2551 to verify its receipt.

 

Community Legal Aid is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate because of age, race, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.