Check Your Privilege, Especially When Working with Clients

By: Michelle Wilco, Spring 2018 Intern, HeLP Legal Services Clinic

Virtually everyone benefits from some form of privilege. Privilege has become a “dirty” word, and people often get defensive about admitting to benefitting from it, but having privilege merely means you have gotten some benefit from an unearned advantage. For example, you benefit from privilege if you have access to clean drinking water. Benefitting from privilege does not mean you have not suffered or encountered hardships, or that your privilege outweighs your suffering, and it does not mean you are automatically prejudiced against those who do not share your privilege. Admitting biases, prejudices, and privilege does not have to be negative; it can be a positive step toward understanding from where those beliefs stem, learning how to recognize when those beliefs are negatively and unfairly influencing your decision making, and eliminating unsubstantiated stereotypes. In fact, turning a blind eye to privilege can have lasting, damaging repercussions. For example, there has been interesting research conducted recently about whether police training on implicit bias can effectively reduce the instances of harmful effects of race and gender bias in law enforcement.

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What Kind of Investment are You?

At the Investor Advocacy Clinic, we believe in making learning about investing fun.  What is a more fun way to learn about investing than a BuzzFeed quiz?  No, it isn’t scientific, and yes, it is only for fun.  But your regular life choices mirror some investments, and you might learn something about investing from this quiz created by student attorneys Abigail Howd, Eric Peters, and Dowdy White.  Click here to learn what your favorite chicken nugget dipping sauce tells us about what type of investment you might be.

There, There, Clinic. It’s Not Really Goodbye, After All

By Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

That’s a little adjustment to a quote from the story of my generation, Harry Potter. In the scene, Harry is leaving school for the first time, and he comforts one of the friends he’s made, reminding him he’ll be back next year. The end of this semester in clinic feels the same in some ways, since I’ll be coming back for Clinic II in the fall.

The clinic this semester has been a great experience, first and foremost in giving me an opportunity to interact with actual people seeking legal help. We practice interviewing clients in some of our classes, but those don’t really provide the same experiential value as trying to find which follow up questions you should ask in the moment to a real person you’re talking to about their potential legal problems. Continue reading

Discovering Health Law and Health in All Policies

By: Jobena Hill, Spring 2018 HeLP Legal Services Clinic Intern

The Public Health Institute defines the “Health in All Policies” initiative as a “collaborative approach to improving the health of all people by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas.” The purpose of this meaningful approach to policy making is to ensure that the policy developmental process is informed by the health consequences of the various policy options. Over the past couple of months, I have come to understand and appreciate the concept of Health in All Policies and how it relates to the lawmaking process, and the practice of law in general. Prior to learning about Health in All Policies, I never truly considered the health implications of policies that were not easily identified as health related, such as transportation or zoning.

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My Clinic Story: Eric Peters

By Eric Peters, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

As my semester and year in the Clinic comes to an end, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have had the opportunity to work with an array of brilliant and engaging people who have all pushed me to become better every step of the way, and the experience has been irreplaceable.

When I first started working in the Clinic last Fall, I didn’t quite know what to expect. While I knew student interns in the Clinic managed cases throughout the FINRA arbitration process, I didn’t know how hands-on the work would actually be. How extensive would my new role as a student attorney authorized to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney be? As I quickly found out, students in the Clinic are fully expected to be the attorney. Instead of working through fact patterns and writing essays on how situations should be analyzed, as had been the norm throughout my time in law school, I was thrust into the complex and real-life practice of law. Continue reading

The Practical Value of Clinical Legal Education

By: Robert L. Yates, Spring 2018 HeLP Legal Services Clinic Intern

It’s fair to assume that most law students come to law school with the goal of becoming practicing attorneys. Unfortunately, most courses offered in the law school curriculum teach only the substantive law and how to apply it in a brief or memo. Obviously, these skills are important; however, there is much more to practicing law in the real world. Luckily, Georgia State University College of Law boasts three in-house clinics and several off-site clinics which offer students the chance to develop practical and professional skills by working on real cases for real clients.

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