Before graduating in May 2017, Hector Rojas decided to spend another semester in the Investor Advocacy Clinic to continue to work with investors who have been wronged by their brokers. Rojas believes that
“The Investor Advocacy Clinic is important because we assist small investors who have been subject to broker fraud and as a result have suffered economic damages. The clinic also helps educate investors so that they can be aware of potential issues and become more prudent investors. I decided to join the clinic because I wanted to help small investors.”
After graduation, Rojas plans to practice civil litigation with a focus in tort litigation.
Geoff Hafer, JD ’17, has returned to the Investor Advocacy Clinic as an independent study student for a third semester. Hafer’s prior work in the clinic led him to return and to engage in intensive research and writing that will impact investors while still representing clients. Hafer says that the Investor Advocacy Clinic is important because “it provides legal representation to those who otherwise would not have it by students who are eager to work as hard as possible and devote their time and energy into client problems.”
Robert Noens, a second-year law student at Georgia State University College of Law, joined the Investor Advocacy Clinic for the spring 2017 semester. A graduate of the University of Georgia, Noens joined the clinic with the dual goals of helping others and obtaining more practical experience. According to Noens,
“The Clinic helps protect investors and keeps brokers honest. We offer legal services to those who need help and provide investors with representation by students who truly care.”
Upon graduation, Noens plans to focus his practice on civil litigation.
Third-year law student La’Nise Harrington joined the clinic this semester “to develop skills to help my community, learn new skills, and start the process of joining the investor community.” A graduate of Mercer University with a degree in political science and criminal justice, Harrington plans to focus her career on employment law and alternative dispute resolution when she graduates in May. According to Harrington, the clinic is important because it “helps investors who would otherwise not be able to afford a lawyer and ensures that regular people have a voice.”
By Majda Muhic, Spring 2017 Student Intern
Rather than a single moment of learning something new, “discovery” in litigation and FINRA arbitration is a longer process during which opposing parties exchange information relevant to their case. While a eureka moment rarely follows the legal process of “discovery” and “smoking gun” evidence isn’t nearly as common as courtroom dramas on television made us all think, the information gathered during this process allows the parties to establish facts necessary to support their claims and defenses in a case. Information discovered during the process guides any settlement negotiations, frames the arbitration hearing, and often shapes the outcome of a case.
Hoping to continue “building lawyering skills, confidence and my professional identity,” Majda Muhic, JD ’17 rejoined the Investor Advocacy Clinic for a second semester in January. Muhic says that the Investor Advocacy Clinic
“provides me with hands-on experience. It is a way to provide legal services to those who may otherwise not have access to them, showing them that the justice system is there for them. The Investor Advocacy Clinic allows regular people to seek redress for wrongs they have suffered.”
Upon graduation, Muhic plans to focus her practice on the litigation of intellectual property disputes.
The Investor Advocacy Clinic kicked off its spring 2017 semester after a full day orientation on January 14, 2017. Returning student interns Geoff Hafer, Majda Muhic, and Hector Rojas were joined by new student interns LaNise Harrington, Robert Noens, and Qudsia Shafiq. During their orientation, the students received training related to their work in the clinic. Student interns began to collaborate in their teams and develop goals for the semester to come. We shared a lunch with interns in the HeLP Legal Services Clinic and the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, getting to know our colleagues in the Georgia State Law Center for Clinical Education before working with the Tax Clinic in a joint interviewing training to plan for our first interviews of the term.
The student interns have since jumped straight into the Investor Advocacy Clinic’s work. Under attorney supervision, students are fielding calls and other inquiries and evaluating whether investors may have legal claims against their brokers. Student interns provide free legal services to eligible investors, and have already started working on the several FINRA proceedings that the clinic has filed.
In addition, student interns work to ensure that Georgia investors do not become victims of investment fraud. Through investor education and outreach, such as posts on this blog and live presentations and seminars, student interns teach the investing public about how to protect themselves and be informed investors.
If you believe you may have a claim against your broker, contact the clinic for a free case evaluation.