Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellow on the Value of the Program to Her Legal Career

December 13, 2018

 The Rural Summer Legal Corps (RSLC) is a privately funded initiative that connects law students with legal aid programs in the common pursuit of better addressing the civil legal needs of rural communities. In partnership with Equal Justice Works, LSC selects about thirty of the nation’s most talented and dedicated law students to spend their summers working at LSC-grantee offices across the United States and its territories. Here's 2018 RSLC fellow Sharonda Roberson's account of her summer working with Prairie State Legal Services in Illinois. 

RSLC Service Spotlight
Sharonda Roberson
Prairie State Legal Services

My fellowship focused on disaster planning and providing legal resources to rural communities in Northern Illinois.  I spent the majority of my time working directly with clients. Moreover, having a 711-license allowed the attorneys to let me to take over four cases, with their supervision throughout the process. It was extremely rewarding to be able to work with clients from the beginning intake to representing them in the court room.  

During my summer with Prairie State, I learned how to properly conduct client intakes and give legal advice. I spent the majority of my time assessing cases and researching different avenues of relief for clients. It was very beneficial to be a part of Prairie State because I learned how to draft a wide range of petitions in a short period of time. The skills I learned at this law firm will greatly benefit me as I finish my last year of law school, and as I prepare to enter the legal field as a practicing attorney.  

Being a summer fellow with Prairie State reminded me why I wanted to pursue a legal career. My goal has always been to give back to the community and assist individuals who do not have the means to help themselves. When legal issues arise, it is stressful and overwhelming for individuals who do not practice law or have the means to hire an attorney. Attorneys at Prairie State work hard to ease the stress off clients by taking them step by step through the process, and it does not charge its clientsIt was very rewarding to be able to help indigent clients with their legal issues. In the future, I plan to continue to assist individuals in need with legal issues as a practicing attorney in public interest or as a public defender.