Learn What Students Are Doing
Dan Goldman – '11L
Hometown: South Riding, VA
Project: Teach Street Law
"The Teach Street Law program gives law students the opportunity to use what they have learned in law school to teach at-risk high school students in the Roanoke school system practical lessons about their legal rights and responsibilities. W&L students develop lesson plans to teach students about legal issues that directly affect their lives: constitutional and civil rights, local government regulations, criminal procedure, public benefits law, juvenile justice law, foster care law, domestic relations law, housing law and procedures for interacting with police. By giving these students a legal structure in which to frame their civic interactions, we enable them to more clearly identify injustices in their communities and to better assert their rights as citizens."
"In one course, a classmate and I developed a simple curriculum built around a set of scripted video clips of police traffic and pedestrian stops, each showing a 'right' and 'wrong' way to answer police questions. The students were enthusiastic to hear how they should act in these situations and were eager to tell us when they thought that a clip was relevant to their experiences. After discussing the videos and explaining strategies for implementing the lessons in their lives, we opened the floor up to questions from the students’ personal experiences. Much of what we heard reinforced what we had learned in our constitutional law and criminal procedure classes about how people sacrifice their rights thinking that the police have their best interests in mind. By teaching these students what rights they have and what kinds of questions they are not required to answer, we gave them some tools they could use to stay out of serious trouble down the road."
Alexandrea Anderson-Tuttle – '11L
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Project: Project Horizon
"During my second and third years of law school, I volunteered at Project Horizon. Project Horizon is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing domestic, dating, and sexual violence. Project Horizon provides direct services as well as outreach programs. As a volunteer, I was involved in these services in various capacities. Mostly, I monitored the local crisis hotline. I also participated in Project Horizon events such as Family Fun Time, and assisted in the daily needs of the emergency shelter. Project Horizon also provides legal advocacy to support victims of sexual and domestic violence. Volunteering at an organization that is not based solely on legal services was an important experience for me. I was constantly reminded of the practical necessities and concerns of victims that, often times, are more pressing than legal needs. My experience at Project Horizon has better equipped me to assist clients with a holistic approach, which, I believe, is invaluable to legal practice."
Jenna Cremeans – '10L
Hometown: Huntington, WV
Project: Court-Appointed Criminal Defense
"During this semester I will be working with Jeff Stevens, attorney-at-law, in his office in Barboursville, West Virginia. Mr. Stevens is a member of the West Virginia Bar and provides criminal defense services to court-appointed clients who cannot personally afford legal counsel. I will be assigned cases for which I will provide legal research, draft court documents for Mr. Stevens' review, and attend hearings. When possible, I will be present at client interviews and appear with Mr. Stevens in court. This service project will provide me with first-hand experience in criminal law, legal research and writing, and evidence. I look forward to this opportunity to help defend the rights of those who cannot afford legal counsel."
David Aaron Robinson – '10L
Hometown: Roanoke, VA
Project: Southwestern Virginia Innocence Project
"The Southwestern Virginia Innocence Project (SVIP) works in conjunction with the Mid Atlantic Innocence Project to exonerate men and women who are currently incarcerated for crimes they did not commit. Our clients have generally exhausted other potential remedies and a writ of actual innocence is their last hope. Our organization gathers evidence and investigates each case in order to develop theories of innocence. If, based on our findings, we feel we have a strong case, we petition the governor for a pardon or seek an appeal under the Virginia Innocence Statute."
"I chose this project because I can think of nothing worse than having your freedom taken from you without reason. As a member of SVIP, I am able to advocate for people who would otherwise have nowhere to turn. This is not only an invaluable learning experience for me, but an opportunity to make a true difference, however small, in the reformation of a flawed justice system."