By Cindy Alfaro, McKinney 2L
On the early Friday morning of February 24, the Indianapolis Bar Association Law Student Division hosted a Breakfast with the Bar themed for careers in public interest. Our attendees ranged from highly experienced attorneys, to those recent graduates who have dedicated their careers to the public sector and others who shifted from private practice into the non-profit world.
Our students enjoyed meeting with Tracy Pappas from Indiana Legal Services Inc., Kristin Hoffman from the Migrant Farmworker’s Law Center, Chase Haller from the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, Lucy Frick from the Marion County Public Defender Agency, Jon Laramore, the Executive Director of Indiana Legal Services, Inc. and Dawn Adams, Executive Director of Indiana Disability Rights. Several of our group conversations consisted of guidance, experience, and life balance topics. In one conversation, students had the opportunity to hear from Laramore’s experience in private practice litigation and how he shifted his career into public interest. The group was also able to hear about Laramore’s first-hand experience litigating at the U.S. Supreme Court on the case of Mellouli v. Holder based on a sock. You can read all about it here.
Others had the opportunity to hear Adams', Pappas' and Frick’s beginning stories and their individual reasons on why they chose to become public interest attorneys. One of the most interesting stories was Frick’s public defender experiences. When most students in public interest are concentrated on civil rights matters rather than about defending those charged with a crime, Frick’s experience opened up conversations about our justice system and humanizing individuals who need mental services and compassion.
Both Haller and Hoffman spoke about the work they perform in detail, which sparked the interest of some students to apply for their internship programs available for this summer with the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the Migrant Farmworker’s Law Center respectively. Students too were able to share their interests, ranging from women’s to immigrant’s rights, to those just exploring options a legal education has to offer.
Overall, the breakfast was a success! Both student and attorney members had the opportunity to network in an intimate setting on a beautiful Friday morning. Thank you to our IndyBar attorney members for participating, and sharing their guidance and experience!