The Center for Access to Justice announced five alternative options for Georgia state law students in 2020. The trips provide students with an opportunity to explore different areas of the legal system, including: access to justice issues in rural Georgia, immigrant detention, reproductive law, and the effects of unstable housing on elementary school children. An information event about the trips will take place on Tuesday, January 14th. The application is due on January 24th.
“The effects of Alternative Spring Break continue well beyond the trip,” said Darcy Meals, assistant director of the Center for Access to Justice. “Whether in the first or third year, students can see that they are already empowered to use their legal knowledge and skills to improve people’s lives. Realizing that law school gives them confidence and renewed energy for power forms the foundation for service throughout their legal careers. “
Participants will receive pro bono service hours and help real clients faced with obstacles to justice. Alex Estroff, student director of the Pro Bono program, was on an immigration trip last year. During his time at the Stewart Detention Center, he and a team of peers supported immigrants seeking asylum.
“While working with imprisoned immigrants, I realized what a huge difference lawyers can make in the lives of those who have nowhere else to go,” said Estroff. “I am grateful to the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative of the College of Law and the Southern Poverty Law Center for providing an insight into my ability to provide legal aid to those in need.”
The spring break is March 16-20. A description of each trip is below:
Movement Building: Reproductive Law (Atlanta)
In collaboration with the Center for Law, Health and Society, this is the first in a series of trips designed to give law students insight into the history and context of a particular movement. Students participating in this trip will hear from organizations and policymakers involved in the organization for and against the Heartbeat Bill (HB 481) during the spring break to translate this current litigation / legislative moment into the broader history and context of reproductive law in include the USA
Immigration Detention (Lumpkin and Ocilla, Georgia)
The immigration trips are a collaboration with the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Students will work with SIFI to provide free legal representation to immigrants detained at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia and the Irwin Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.
Rural Justice (Dougherty County, Georgia)
Despite the number of people living in rural Georgia, virtually all attorney and legal services are centered in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Rural Justice trip attendees will spend the week with Georgia Legal Services Program attorneys driving a race track in a 31-county area of southwest Georgia.
Effects of Residential Instability on Children (Atlanta)
Law students spend the week with attorneys from the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyer Foundation’s Standing with Our Neighbors program and the Truancy Intervention Project. Under the supervision of AVLF lawyers, the students document the living conditions, interview customers, observe the housing court and help with AVLF cases in order to break the cycle of poverty and housing instability for children of primary school age.