The Pro Bono Project of New Orleans, La. chose to honor Drake as the Law School of 2012.
The Pro Bono Project’s continuing mission to provide free, quality civil legal services to the poor is more important than ever. By engaging volunteer attorneys to render pro bono services, The Pro Bono Project serves clients in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany and Washington parishes. With funding from the Justice For All Ball and other sources, The Pro Bono Project works in collaboration with other social service providers to improve the quality of life for our clients and our community.
Drake Law developed a relationship with The Project in 2008 by sending students and staff down for spring break. Not only do Drake students provide much needed legal service, they also enhance their own legal experience. Assistance includes casework in the areas of trust/estates, divorce, and child support.
“The volunteer trip provides students with a cultural, educational, and professional experience that ties what they learn in the classroom to real life. For many students, this is the first time they get to work with clients, and it is a wonderful to watch them grow in their confidence as law students, but also to see them discover the skills they have to truly make a difference,” says Erin Lain, LW’08, assistant dean of academic services and supervisor for the group.
“It is crucial, as soon to be lawyers, that students understand and experience the hardships that many in this country go through. This trip helps students to understand, how as lawyers, they will be able to give voices to the voiceless.”
Drake was chosen as the Law School of 2012 because of the support of Project programs and a shared mission. Rachel Piercey, executive director of The Pro Bono Project, said, “The students are an invaluable resource. They help us expand our capacity to serve more clients as well as energizing our staff by engaging them in the mentoring aspect of the realities of law.”
Drake Law was honored at Annual Year-End Volunteer Appreciation Awards Event & Reception in New Orleans on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
For more information about the inaugural trip, see Blue Magazine from fall 2008.