Students to Perform Public Interest Work in Africa, India

Twelve law students were awarded travel stipends from the School of Law and the Gephardt Institute for Public Service to support their internships with public interest law agencies in Africa and India this summer. This is the sixth summer Washington University law students will work in Africa and the second that students will work in India, with coordination assistance from Professors Karen Tokarz, Kim Norwood, and C.J. Larkin. 

Since the inception in 2002 of the Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Project, a student-faculty initiative to foster study, travel, and research in Africa, 50 law students have spent their summers providing legal services to low-income individuals in Africa.  

Akshay Chakarvarthy, JD'09, Pat Collier, JD'09, Travis England, JD'09, Kate Hart, JD'09, and Andrea Milyko, JD'09, will intern this summer at the Legal Aid Board Justice Center in Durban, South Africa, where Washington University students have worked the past five summers. The Legal Aid Board of South Africa provides free legal assistance on civil and criminal matters to indigent South Africans. The students will engage in client counseling, legal research and writing, trial preparation, and appellate brief writing.

The law students interning in South Africa also will participate in a two-week course in South African constitutional law, offered by the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law on the campus of the University of Western Cape in Cape Town.
In addition, four students will work in Ghana and Kenya this summer. Kalila Jackson, JD '09, Sarah Finkelstein, JD '09, Xiumin Chen, JD '08, and Debora Rogo, JD '09, will intern this summer for the Legal Resource Centres in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya.  The Legal Resource Centre works with communities to ensure human rights, social progress, and economic development, especially in the areas of civil liberties, health, employment, education, and housing.  The students will assist with client counseling, client advocacy, community education, and dispute resolution.  

And, three students, Brittany Davis, JD '09, Zachary Armfield, JD '09, and Joshua Gammon, JD '08, will intern in India for the Human Rights Law Network in New Delhi, India. The HRLN is a nationwide collective of lawyers and social activists dedicated to advancing human rights through the legal system. HRLN provides pro bono legal assistance to women, children, refugees, individuals with HIV/AIDS, and other poor and marginalized communities. This is the second summer for students working in India. 

Several of these students received stipends from the School’s Summer Public Interest Stipend Program and some also received travel awards from the School’s International Programs Office.