The Massachusetts Bar Foundation Legal Intern Fellowship Program (LIFP) granted $6,000 stipends to four law students who spent 10 weeks this summer working for nonprofit organizations to provide civil legal services to low-income citizens of Massachusetts. Recipients were selected from a competitive pool of 33 applicants.
"Along with awarding grants to legal services providers, the most rewarding task I have had as a trustee is to help choose the law students who will receive the stipends that the MBF provides each summer for legal internships," said Judge Mary Ann Driscoll, MBF trustee and chair of the LIFP Committee. "During a time in which there exists such great unmet legal needs of low-income people, it is reassuring to know that there are future lawyers out there who are dedicated to public interest law and to serving the legal needs of the poor and disenfranchised."
Said MBF President Steve Wollman, "These outstanding law students provided an invaluable resource both to the nonprofits in which they interned this summer and to the clients they served. Through our LIFP program, we hope to encourage these law students to remain in public interest law after graduation and to continue to make significant contributions by providing legal services to the indigent."
The four student interns were:
Adam Homicz of Suffolk University Law School, who interned in Boston at the Clubhouse Family Legal Support Project of Employment Options, Inc./ Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. He worked in the Spanish Outreach project, assisting Spanish-speaking parents with mental illness in regaining contact with or custody of their children.
Lisa Hurlbutt of Boston College Law School, who interned at Neighborhood Legal Services in Lynn. She worked in the Family Law Unit, focusing on cases involving domestic violence.
Madeleine Moreno of Northeastern University School of Law, who interned at Community Legal Services and Counseling Center in Cambridge. She worked in the Immigration Law Unit, providing representation to low-income immigrants who have been subjected to torture, physical abuse and mental cruelty.
Amy Reichbach of Boston College Law School, who interned at Children's Law Center of Massachusetts in Lynn. Her work was focused on assisting low-income children and youth in delinquency, CHINS and educational matters.
Founded in 1996, the LIFP seeks to encourage careers in the law that further the goal of equal access to justice while contributing valuable legal support to organizations serving the underrepresented in the commonwealth. Each year, outstanding law students are selected to receive funding for summer internships at nonprofit organizations that provide civil legal services to low-income clients.
This program is generously supported by contributions from the Smith Family Fund and the MBF Fellows Fund. The Smith Family Fund was created in 1989 to provide legal services to low-income individuals. The Fellows Fund has been in existence since the foundation was established in 1964. Fellows of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation contribute to this fund, which supports philanthropic initiatives that improve the administration of justice, promote an understanding of the law and help ensure equal access to the legal system for all residents of Massachusetts, particularly those most vulnerable.
For more information about this program and the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, click on www.MassBarFoundation.org.