On March 16, 2022, Students for Public Interest Law (SPIL) — with support from the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA), the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and the Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA) — hosted an informational panel about Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS). CCLS is one of the oldest clinics in the United States, having just celebrated its 50th anniversary. It is dedicated to providing free, high-quality legal services to individuals and families who live in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Area and excellent practical experience for law students.
As part of SPIL’s efforts to encourage students to participate in clinics and public interest work, the event provided an overview and discussion of the various clinical experiences offered at the Law School. Clinic supervisors and students represented each of the clinical practice areas. Professor Stacy Brustin and Nikita Vasudevan (3L) spoke on behalf of the Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic (IRAC), Laila Leigh and Julie Orlando (2E) represented the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), and Nicole Wargel (2L) spoke for the Families and the Law Clinic (FALC). FALC supervisor Catherine Klein was unable to attend the event.
Moderated by SPIL Co-President Nicole Rocha (2L), panelists answered a series of commonly asked questions about participating in the clinics. They covered topics including the structure of the clinics and course work that pairs with the practical component, the types of cases students get assigned, how the student lawyers balance their clinic hours with their course loads, the relationship between the supervisors and the student lawyers, and the different skills the student lawyers have acquired from working in the clinics.