Testimonials of Former Fellows

“I was the first fellow placed at the Public Defender’s Office. I did a numerous array of things. I conducted arraignments and participated in the intake of new clients. My experience was very fulfilling. I was fortunate enough to get an important assignment on the Danny Rolling’s case. I prepared a 15-page memo on [the case]. This was evidence to me that [they] were willing to give the fellows an opportunity to work on critical and challenging issues.” “Working at Three Rivers Legal Services has been a wonderful experience. [They] welcome fellows into their …”family” and sincerely appreciate our assistance and input. We…attend weekly staff meetings where applicants are discussed and a decision is made [how to handle the case]….I received wide exposure to differing issues involving low-income clients, [such as] access to courts, utilities shut-offs, evictions, school loan defenses, consumer deceptive acts and practices, paternity, parental unfitness, public housing housekeeping standards….The fellowship program permits studnets with an interest in public service to meet others with like interests and learn more about the field.”

“Most of my projects at Three Rivers were comparatively small …I could usually complete the research and memo within a week or two. However, I was also involved in …larger projects… I took on a project myself to make assistance with the Earned Income Tax Credit a standard part of what Three Rivers gives its clients. My goal is to develop a system where the screeners and attorneys routinely make sure that each eligible client knows how to receive the EITC…I plan to specialize in estate planning and tax, and working at Three Rivers gave me the opportunity to discover just how to adapt my skills into meaningful pro bono work.”

“I encouraged second year students to participate…because of the wonderful experience I had at [Florida Institutional Legal Services]. I researched a habeas inmate petition, worked on an informational pamphlet for families [of inmates] and researched various smaller items having to do with inmates and their access to family, as well, I reveiwed an inmate request for legal assistance and travelled to Claremont to view his DOC record and assess the validity of his claims.”

“My participation consisted of legal research and writing for the Litigation Division of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. I had the opportunity to research a wealth of legal issues, many of which were not environmental: civil rights, sovereign immunity, submerged lands, bonds, dredge and fill, endangered species, Rivers and Harbors Acts, and consumptive water use. Additionaly, there were many practical experiences that typical legal research experiences do not afford. I was often included in litigation strategy discussions and was able to sit in on a couple policy meetings.”

“I had already been certified as a volunteer [Guardian ad Litem] two years before, but now I was to be working closely with the program attorney….Initially, I was working only on dependency issues, but soon I was doing research, drafting motions, investigating, and attending hearings for both the dependency and family law divisions. Most of my work included researching and some field work. In addition, I was given my own dependency/delinquency case for which I had to cdo my own investigating and report writing.”

“I consider my experience at the PD’s office invaluable, because I acquired practical knowledge and skills…Jennifer was a demanding supervisor who felt that I should get the most out of my internship, so she…allowed me to get quite a bit of first-hand experience…I was allowed to go in the …Alachua County Detention Center [where] I interviewed clients within one to two days after their arrest. It was my first visit to a county jail and it was my first time interfacing with a real client….I participated when Jennifer deposed witnesses, and when she talked to clinets in her office about [strategy]. I participated in Docket Day, and I was responsible for interacting with local agencies when a client’s release was dependent on finding alternative facilities.”

“[At Southern Legal Counsel] my primary duties included researching legal issues and writing memoranda of law. I spent a large percentage of my time on one case which involved a young boy who is deaf and blind. As part of my involvement in the case, I was able to attend several days of his administrative hearing.”

“My work for the Battered Women’s Clemency Project started with…research of sociological and criminological data,[resulting in} two lengthy memos….I prepared a Chapter 119 request of all state attorneys for files dating back ten years on women who killed their abusers…it took several amendments before it could be tailored to the computer database capacities of each…office…My third major project was to interview a woman inmate in Ocala, for purposes of compiling her life history. On the first two visits I observed [a private attorney]; thereafeter I met with the inmate independently on six different visits…To prepare for these visits, I read the inmate’s file other petitions and other life histories. Also…I conducted three telephone interviews with the inmate’s family members…I completed the life history near the end of my fellowship, composed of 25 single spaced pages…As a result of my work, Ms Greenberg has asked that I be co-counsel on this inmate’s case during the lengthy petitioning process.”

“It was the best part of law school.” “…my first opportunity to combine an academic interest with a social issue that exists in the real world…” “The experience was invaluable.” “Without the fellowship I would have been unable to get the position at Legal Services of Greater Miami. I applied to law school to be a public interest lawyer. The fellowship made that possible.” “A wonderful, worthwhile experience…” “…a tremendous learning experience, both from an intellectual…and an emotional standpoint.”

Testimonials of Former Supervisors

“It was a pleasure working with J, and our experience with him in our office was very positive. He consistently maintained an enthusiastic and helpful attitude, and he assisted us with a substantial amount of very good work. He was invariably willing to accept the diverse assignements… which consisted largely of reviewing client files, performing the necessary factual analysis and legal research and drafting informal memoranda and case summaries for my review. He diligently tackled some very difficult sentencing and civil rights issues presented by our clients, and he also provided some helpful assistance to our immigration specialist.” – Florida Institutional Legal Services

“I am pleased to report that we were extremely satisfied with H’s performance. She was always prompt and reliable in completing her work. She also was willing and interested in performing a variety of taskd, including research and writing, and indexing depositions and trial transcripts. She received assignments from all four…attorneys, and ably managed having four “bosses.”…And importantly, the quality of her work was exellent…Initially, she researched substantive and procedural issues, then helped index depositions, attended part of the trial, and assisted in indexing the transcript, which all culminated in her drafting our propsed findings of fact and conclusions of law.” – Southern Legal Counsel

“The quality and clarity of M’s work continues the very high standard he has established. His contributions to our work is very valuable, and he has produced reliable and accurate analysis and information under the same time pressures and work circumstances as the attorneys he is supporting. We continue to be very glad to have his competent assistance.”- Department of Environmental Protection

“I cannot say enough about N’s abilities and professionalism. Everything N was asked to do (or offered to do, as she is highly motivated and self-directed) was completed with the highest degree of thought and competence. From …interviewing…to producing a life history…to research…to records-collection and case review, N never failed to perform with excellence. N’s writing is beautiful and she is very well-spoken … One of the most striking and obvious of N’s personality characteristics is compassion, which cannot be taught; she has the brains, skills, and heart to make a difference in this world.” – Battered Women’s Clemency Project

“B stood out…because of the consistently high-quality work she did for us and…her reliability and dedication to the requirements of our program. B is serious and thorough in her work…she fulfilled all her hourly requirements and then some, and she was courteous enough to give me her weekly sechedule in advance. I assigned B to two family law cases, both of which were difficult and time-consuming. The parties involved in both cases were demanding and tough to deal with…Her patience and professionalism…was admirable. Most notable…was the quality of her writing. Her reports are skillfully written, thorough, easy to read…Her contribution…was invaluable and much appreciated.” – Guardian ad Litem

“Roy (jail liaison) wants you to know that R has done excellent work with him as well – she has been assisting with first appearance/jail client interviews.” – Public Defender

“A is very interested in her work and takes initiative on client work and research – I enjoy having her with us and feel confident in her abilities.” – Public Defender

“M did an outstanding job on his first project for us. We look forward to many future repeat performances.”- Water Management District

“His research was thorough, and located crucial legislative history which was very valuable.”- Water Management District.

© 2014 University of Florida Levin College of Law, 309 Village Drive Gainesville, FL 32611
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