Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a project of the Association for Public Interest Law and is completely student driven and organized. This year, student leaders Marcus Swift and Tracy Harper organized ten week-long law-related public service projects. Rather than relaxing during spring break this year, 39 students participated in public service projects at organizations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia.
The pro bono projects were diverse – ranging from working on capital defense cases to researching the Clean Water Act to interviewing immigrants in asylum and deportation cases. The students received rave reviews from the supervising attorneys with whom they worked. The students also described how meaningful the work was to their development as lawyers serving underrepresented clients and communities.
Here are some reflections from student participants about their ASB experiences:
"ASB is not only an opportunity to develop lasting relationships in the legal community, but you are also able to use your Spring Break to make a difference in the lives of real individuals with real legal issues. For me, meeting with clients and seeing the impact on my contribution in resolving their legal issues was priceless. This was one of the most rewarding and invaluable experiences I have had at RWUSOL." – Participant, Immigration Law Education & Advocacy Project (ILEAP), Fall River, MA
“I went into the trip thinking that I would get some experience, but it would be limited. I learned more about civil procedure and legal research in a week than I did in an entire semester.” - Participant, United Mountain Defense, Knoxville, TN
“It is truly a great experience to know the work you do for a week changes another person's life for the better.” – Participant, Bronx Public Defenders, Bronx NY
2L Valerie Leon, 1L Patrick O’Connor and 1L Nathaniel Worth
2L Neil Gigandet, MCJ Attorney Reilly Morse, and 1L Elizabeth Hickey