Every spring since 2006 our organization has been energized by the arrival of law students from across the country eager to volunteer their time and talents to our clients. We have hosted groups of students and faculty big and small from law schools of all sizes and reputations. The Student Hurricane Network launched this relationship in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but the compelling desire for service learning has continued well after the last storm victim’s file was closed. Students have participated in direct service legal clinics, performed research on the full spectrum of civil legal needs, and supported community mobilization and activisim. Each student’s work has moved us further toward our goal of bringing social justice to Mississippi.
Our organization thanks the more than 2,500 law students and faculty who have volunteered to serve alongside us in Biloxi, Jackson, and Indianola. We pay tribute to these students with group photographs of law students who strengthened our legal responses to Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil spill, and the chronic problems of poverty and inequality.
On Monday mornings each March we welcome students into our offices ready to work but also full of questions about our organization, about public interest law, and about the role of law in ensuring equal opportunity for all. Over time we put together presentations to respond to some of these questions and help them appreciate the stubborn challenges Mississippians face to achieve racial and economic justice. Here is a recent presentation.
To learn more about how to participate in service learning at Mississippi Center for Justice, see our volunteer page on our website. Thank you.
Reilly Morse is the President/CEO of the Mississippi Center for Justice.