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Amplifying the Voices of Mobile Homeowners

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Photo of Ella Russell

The Rural Summer Legal Corps (RSLC) connects passionate public service-minded law students with civil legal aid organizations to address pressing legal issues facing rural communities. The program—a partnership between the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and Equal Justice Works—supports 35 dedicated law students who want to spend their summer exploring a career in civil legal aid.

Last summer, 35 RSLC Student Fellows had the opportunity to work at 31 LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations across the country, providing legal assistance to people in rural areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Student Fellows worked remotely to support the efforts of their host organizations, helping clients virtually through video conferencing and online intakes—all while working toward a $5,000 stipend!

Ella Russell, a second-year law student at Antonin Scalia Law School, served as a RSLC Student this past summer. At her host organization Legal Services of Greater Miami, Ella supported the Mobile Home Park Advocacy Project, which serves mobile home park residents in the greater Miami area.

During her Student Fellowship, Ella helped to amplify the voices of mobile homeowners fighting for affordable, sanitary, and safe housing. “The mobile home parks in Florida are the last vestiges of affordable private housing and enable their residents to maintain a life in dignity,” said Ella.

Many residents who live in mobile home parks are traditionally elderly, have a disability, and/or are low-income workers. When forced to leave the mobile park due to redevelopment or constantly rising rent prices, residents face homelessness and housing instability that is hard to overcome. Ella worked closely with her supervising attorney to assist with intakes and legal research, draft legal documents and correspondence, and provide legal assistance to mobile park residents.

“As part of my exploration of a career in public interest law, I learned one of the most important components of community lawyering—listening to what your clients need and trusting that they know what is best for them,” said Ella.

If you are interested in embarking on a summer of service like Ella, apply to the Rural Summer Legal Corps by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 8, 2021. For more information about program eligibility and requirements, please visit here.

As part of my exploration of a career in public interest law, I learned one of the most important components of community lawyering—listening to what your clients need and trusting that they know what is best for them.

Ella Russell /
2020 RSLC Student Fellow

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow