The College of Law offers students numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience, from orientation service projects to clinics. One of the most fulfilling ways for students to practice teaching concepts is through pro bono work. Since its inception in 2017, students on the College of Law’s pro bono program have served more than 3,000 hours of service. In the following, first-year law students report how their experience with volunteers has played out so far.

Leah Ritter (JD ’23)

Hometown: Centralia, Illinois and Dallas, Texas
Where she volunteers: AVLF Saturday Lawyer Program and Estate Planning Project from the Atlanta Legal Aid Society
The experience: “As a part-time evening student, GSU’s pro bono program gave me my first opportunities to work directly with clients, develop interviews and other soft skills, and narrow down the types of public interest work I would like to pursue as a career. Every time I work with a client, I feel the sense of accomplishment that motivated me to enter law school in the first place. “

And Wingate GSU LawDan Wingate (JD ’23)

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Where he volunteers: Legal Aid, AVLF and Civil Rights Lawyers’ Committee
The experience: “It put a practical, real-world focus on law school book learning. It helps me remember that law school is not an end in itself, but a place where I can get some training and tools to help people more effectively and make positive change in my community. “

Arielle Lewis HSE ActArielle Lewis (JD ’23)

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Where she volunteers: Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Inc.
The experience: “The pro bono work complemented some of my academic experience at HSU. As I work mostly with documents, I feel that this reflects something of what I learned in the civil process. It’s nice to see the petitions because it helps me understand how to format my legal foundation assignments. “

Jordan Price HSE LawJordan Price (JD ’23)

Hometown: Lexington, South Carolina and McDonough, Georgia
Where she volunteers: The Transgender Name Change Project, the Family Law Information Center, the Legal Needs Survey Project, and the Estate Planning Project
The experience: “I had the opportunity to work on a woman’s petition to correct the gender tag on her birth certificate. Although I’m well adjusted now, by the time I took her case I was only a month in my freshman semester. I felt completely overwhelmed by the workload and doubted my ability to be successful. However, when I heard the joy and appreciation in her voice that I knew for sure, I was able to do that. “

Interviews by Alex Resnak