“How do I lift my vision of how I can be of greater service?” -Professor Michalyn Steele
The final Law and Social Change event of the academic year was a panel of students who shared how they got proximate with those in need of legal assistance through various social projects.
Third-year law student, Carly Huchendorf, provided insight into her experience volunteering with the Community Legal Clinic: “This gives you a chance to help others and prepares you to help people in the future. [It helps you] get creative in the ways you can serve the community.” At the BYU Law Community Legal Clinic,students provide free legal assistance to people in need on issues related to immigration, housing, contracts, and other legal needs. “[Serving here is] unquestionably the best thing I’ve done in law school,” Huchendorf said.
Brianna Rosier, third-year law student, interned with the NAACP and served on the board for the BYU Black Law Students Association (BLSA) for the past two years. “[My internship] helped me see how I could volunteer with a legal degree,” Rosier said. “I found a lot more joy doing something that is more focused on helping individuals gain access to their rights.”
Multiple times each year, students go to Dilley, Texas to volunteer at the South Texas Family Residential Center to provide legal assistance to immigrants seeking asylum in the United States from horrors they face in their home country. Taylor Jaussi, second-year law student, said this experience allowed him to help individuals with real concerns. “I love people and the tools we’re given in law school enable us to help others who may not have access to justice,” Jaussi said.
Ashley Waddoups, second-year law student, doesn’t speak Spanish but still decided to apply to volunteer in Dilley, Texas. “The love and compassion you share with others knows no language,” Waddoups said. “Whatever service you can give is really valuable.” She also noted that learning how to sacrifice your time while in law school is critical. “If I’m not serving now, when am I magically going to be serving later?”
For second-year law student Rachel Whipple, volunteering at the Timpanogos Legal Center, which houses the Family Justice Center Walk-in Clinic, has added tremendous value to her law school experience. Whipple has religiously volunteered despite being a mother with teenage children. “Even though I have kids and a house to balance, I knew I could give one night a week,” Whipple said. This experience gave her the ability to learn from other attorneys and advise community members on legal matters such as divorce, custody, or family law related issues. “When you serve it makes your life richer and the law school experience much better,” Whipple said.