Law Students Receive Shepherd Poverty Alliance Internships

Lexington, VA Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Four students at the Washington and Lee University School of Law have received summer internships through the Shepherd Poverty Alliance. The Shepherd Alliance joins students from Berea College, Bonner Scholar Schools, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Washington and Lee University in summer work with agencies that seek to benefit impoverished members of society.

The students, Peter Massaro '09L, Crystal Doyle '09L, Yue Liu '09L, and Melanie Busby '08L, will participate in their internships during summer 2007.

Peter Massaro will work with the Georgia Justice Project in Atlanta, Georgia. The GJP serves the homeless and indigent of metropolitan Atlanta charged with criminal offenses, providing a comprehensive program that begins with legal representation, continues with prison visits, and offers support after release with housing assistance, job training and placement, addiction recovery, and personal counseling. The recidivism rate of GJP clients is 20%, compared to a national average of over 60%. The executive director of the GJP is law alumnus Doug Ammar 89L.

Crystal Doyle will work with the Department of Public Advocacy in London, Kentucky. The Department of Public Advocacy serves the homeless and indigent charged with criminal offenses in regional offices throughout the state of Kentucky. The London office covers a five county area and last year represented over 4200 clients.

Yue Liu will work with the House of Ruth Domestic Violence Legal Clinic in Rockville, Maryland. The House of Ruth Legal Clinic is recognized as one of the foremost shelter-based domestic violence legal clinics in the nation. The purpose of the Clinic is to provide immediate legal intervention to victims of domestic violence throughout Maryland. In addition, the Clinic advocates for legal protection for victims of domestic violence through legislative action and provides community education on the dynamics of domestic violence and legal remedies available to victims.

Melanie Busby will work with the Alexandria Public Defenders office in Alexandria, Virginia, which accepts up to twelve interns each summer. Students are assigned to a supervising attorney and assist their supervisor with all phases of the preparation of the defense of criminal cases.

The Shepherd Alliance is part of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability, which integrates academic study and learning through service and reflection. Alliance internships at all schools are funded by a Congressional grant. Funding for the Shepherd Alliance also comes from foundation grants and Washington and Lee alumni, parents, and friends. This funding enables each qualifying participant to be reimbursed for housing, meals, and transportation to and from the work site.

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