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My Impact: A Conversation with 2018 Equal Justice Works Fellow Jean-Luc Adrien

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My Impact is a conversation series from Equal Justice Works, using interviews with alumni to shine a light on what’s possible with an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. In the latest installment of My Impact, we spoke with Jean-Luc Adrien, a 2018 Fellow in the Disaster Recovery Legal Corps, whose work was hosted by the Community Justice Project in Miami, Florida.

Photo of Jean-Luc Adrien

Like many Fellows, Jean-Luc Adrien’s commitment to public service was born from very personal circumstances. Born in Haiti, where he lived for the first ten years of his life, Jean-Luc was struck by the pervasiveness of racial discrimination when he moved to Miami, Florida, as an eleven-year-old. “It was a privilege to grow up in a country where over 90% of the population was Black,” he said. “My race was never really something I had to think about [before moving to the United States].”

Following a stint as a civil public defender in the Bronx immediately after law school, Jean-Luc returned to Miami to serve those in the Black, Latino, and immigrant communities disproportionately affected by Hurricane Irma as a Fellow in the Disaster Recovery Legal Corps (DRLC).

Now, fresh off of his Fellowship, Jean-Luc spoke with Aoife Delargy Lowe, Director of Law School Engagement and Advocacy, about his path to public service, what he learned through the DRLC, and his plans for the future.

Speaking to law students and future Fellows, Jean-Luc encouraged stepping out of one’s comfort zone in service to others. “We’re immensely privileged as attorneys [to be able to do this work].”

To learn more about kickstarting your public interest law career as a 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellow, visit here.

The Disaster Recovery Legal Corps program is funded with support from the American Red Cross, the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Florida Bar Foundation, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Sharon and Ivan Fong Family Foundation, and the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow