Legal Aid’s Summer Interns 2021
Each year, we are fortunate to get to work with college students in law school or who aspire to go to law school for summer internships where they gain real-life experience in public interest law (legal aid work helping West Virginia’s underserved).
In 2021, we have 10 interns working across the state, and they come to us from Shepherd University, West Virginia University, and the Equal Justice Works/Legal Services Corporation’s Rural Summer Legal Corps. They are:
Kaitlyn Smith, Beckley; Brooke Antol, Charleston; Carlie DiSerio, Clarksburg; Abigail Martin, Clarksburg; Sophia Runion, Martinsburg; Samantha Schaal, Morgantown; Natalia Watkins, Morgantown; Madison Carroll, Wheeling; Ayla Dodson, REMOTE Beckley; and Holly Thompson, REMOTE Clarksburg.
We have highlighted some of interns projects, along with some quotes from them on their interest in Legal Aid work. We are grateful for these fantastic students and hope to work with them again someday (in fact, many of our staff started as interns)!
Morgantown Office, WV PIA Fellow
Project Description: creating a document that explains the process for Drivers license reinstatement.
“I am interested in interning at Legal Aid because the work makes a positive impact on the lives of its clients who might otherwise not receive help or justice.”
Brief project description: I’m working with Matt Jividen to develop one-pagers that can be made available to the public on topics like adult guardianship and driver’s license reinstatement.
Brief project description: This summer, I’m turning legal FAQs into accessible advice letters for clients.
Brief Project Description: I am researching the legalization of medical cannabis and its effects on subsidized housing, public benefits, etc. For example, how will a positive drug test from medically prescribed cannabis affect someone’s ability to receive or continue receiving these benefits?
Brief project description: For my intern project, I am compiling a list of community partners from across the state in numerous service areas. The purpose of this list is to provide a streamlined process for getting LAWV information out to community partners, as well as to have an efficient list for LAWV offices to refer clients to within their area.
Project Description: Working to review and update Legal Aid WV website articles, specifically those dealing with housing, money and debt, health and benefits, and work and unemployment.
Project Description: This summer, I am calling every circuit court clerk’s offices in West Virginia to find out how much they charge for copies, paper and/or electronic, and whether they accept a fee waiver form for Legal Aid clients and attorneys. What I have found so far is that the prices and options of paper copies or electronic copies varies widely across the state. Many clerks I have called have been stumped on the question of whether our clients get a fee waiver for these documents. The hope is that we can work towards adopting a more uniform standard statewide to help our clients know what to expect when getting their necessary documents. Legal Aid clients are already economically disadvantaged, so having to pay potentially $50 or more to get their documents could determine whether they can afford to pursue their case and seek the justice they deserve.