Pictured above is the summer intern staff at Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles — a significant number of whom are students from Pepperdine Law.
It is commonly understood that public interest lawyers earn less money than private attorneys. That poor people cannot afford to pay is the easy explanation. It is also commonly understood that poor people often have significant legal needs — needs that simply go unmet in many situations.
All attorneys are encouraged to donate hours each year to provide legal counsel to individuals who cannot afford to pay (a concept known as pro bono). In addition, public interest firms make it their day job to serve these clients. Still, according to the Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles website, hundreds of thousands of clients’ needs go unmet just in Los Angeles.
One significant blessing in this unfortunate situation is that law students need legal experience, and since public interest law firms can surely use the help, summer is a great time to insert large numbers of law students into the public interest community to work with clients under the supervision of practicing attorneys.
It makes me happy to recognize many of those smiling faces in the picture above, to know the hearts that match those faces, and to realize that these students are helping transform lives in desperate need this summer.
Assistant Dean for Student Life