by Chloe, Dual MSW/JD student
This past weekend I attended the Equal Justice Works Conference and Career Fair. Equal Justice Works (EJW) is a national organization whose mission is to mobilize the next generation of public interest lawyers by providing resources and opportunities for law students, law school professionals, and public sector employers. I have attended this conference for the past three years, and it is always a unique opportunity to come together with an inspiring group of students. On Friday, I went to several conference sessions on topics from student organization initiatives to the new Public Defender Corps program that EJW is launching this year. I was also at the conference to attend the annual meeting of the EJW National Advisory Committee (NAC), a committee that I have the pleasure of sitting on.
The conference is always energizing and a reminder not only of the idealistic values that pushed me towards graduate school, but also that there are many other individuals out there who share that sense of idealism. The NAC has allowed me to mix those values with action. The committee is made up of seven law students and seven law school professionals who support EJW in reaching out to law schools and law students in order to help plan the annual conference. My social work skills have come in handy in this capacity. In doing outreach to law schools, I have met with a mix of individuals. Some have no idea what EJW is, while others are in search of resources to mobilize eager students at the school. I have kept in mind the tried and true social work principle “start where you client is” in these situations. To top off the weekend, the NAC elected me to represent the committee on the EJW Board of Directors. Among several qualified and inspiring candidates, this election was a true honor.