/ Press Release
45 law students will spend their summer helping improve access to justice for people living in rural communities.
WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 1 2023— Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, and the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the nation’s single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans, today announced the selection of 40 law students for the Rural Summer Legal Corps (RSLC).
“I am inspired by each of these law students who have chosen to spend their summer increasing access to justice for rural communities,” said Verna Williams, CEO of Equal Justice Works. “Rural communities often struggle to access legal resources and civil legal aid, and making these things accessible to rural clients is an imperative step towards helping close the justice gap.”
“I am inspired by each of these law students who have chosen to spend their summer increasing access to justice for rural communities”
Verna Williams /
CEO of Equal Justice Works
RSLC is a partnership between Equal Justice Works and LSC that supports law students serving rural communities each summer. Program participants, called Student Fellows, spend eight to ten weeks hosted by LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations, where they help address challenges facing rural communities.
The 2023 class of Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellows includes 45 students from 38 law schools who will work at 41 LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations across the United States and its territories, providing critical legal assistance to people in rural areas. Through the program, Student Fellows have the opportunity to provide direct legal services, engage in community outreach and education, and build capacity at the organizations where they are hosted.
“The Rural Summer Legal Corps offers law students an exceptional opportunity to support civil legal aid organizations in rural areas around the country that are working tirelessly to expand the availability of legal services in their communities,” said LSC President, Ron Flagg. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for civil legal services has increased significantly, making the service provided by the Fellows this summer all the more critical. By actively participating in the Rural Summer Legal Corps, Fellows contribute to narrowing the justice gap and play a vital role in empowering individuals in need across rural America.”
By actively participating in the Rural Summer Legal Corps, Fellows contribute to narrowing the justice gap and play a vital role in empowering individuals in need across rural America.
Ron Flagg /
President of the Legal Services Corporation
This year’s class of RSLC Student Fellows will take on projects that address a range of access-to-justice issues, including:
- Dorothee Adams will work to help a rural community in Alabama combat medical debt resulting from wage garnishments from a local community hospital. She will create resources, such as a Medical Debt Toolkit, that bolster the community’s ability to tackle issues related to consumer rights and medical debt. Dorothee, a student at the University of Tennessee College of Law, will be hosted at Legal Services Alabama.
- Maria Catalano will work with rural Navajo and Hopi communities to provide tailored outreach, education, and legal assistance that address issues commonly faced by Navajo and Hopi clients. Maria, a student at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, will be hosted at DNA-Peoples Legal Services.
- Benjamin Rhind will work with the Farmworker Law Project at the Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York to provide civil legal aid for agricultural workers across New York who are facing issues such as trafficking, wage theft, workplace health and safety, discrimination, and civil rights. Benjamin is a student at the New York University School of Law.
In 2022, RSLC Student Fellows collectively contributed 11,888 hours to help rural communities, with 4,510 hours spent on direct legal services. These Student Fellows also participated in 177 outreach events, created or expanded more than 129 collaborations with community partners, and provided legal information to more than 3,000 individuals.
To learn more about the Rural Summer Legal Corps, visit here.
About Equal Justice Works
Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. As the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, nonprofit legal aid organizations, and supporters to promote public service and inspire a lifelong commitment to equal justice.
About Legal Services Corporation
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974 to provide financial support for civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid organizations in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Visit www.lsc.gov for more information.
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Email: [email protected]