W&L Law Students Receive Summer Funding for Public Interest Work

Lexington, VA Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Rayna Atkins '12L
Two Washington and Lee Law students have received external awards aimed at helping support students working at law-related public service jobs during the summer. Thirty students also received funding through W&L to support their work in public interest positions.

Negin Farahmand, a rising third year law student and incoming president of the Student Bar Association, received an award through the Equal Justice Works Summer Corps program to support her work with the Office of the Public Defender in Arlington, Virginia. Through its Summer Corps program, Equal Justice Works provides an award to law students who dedicate their summer to a qualifying legal project or public interest organization. Equal Justice Works received nearly 2000 applications for funding this year.

Rayna Atkins, a rising third year law student from Abingdon, Maryland, received an award from the Virginia Law Foundation (VLF). Atkins will spend the summer working for Rappahannock Legal Services in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Founded in 1974 as the charitable arm of Virginia's legal profession, the Virginia Law Foundation provides grant support to law-related projects throughout Virginia.  Since making its first public service internship awards in 1989, the VLF has awarded over $1,000,000 to support hundreds of internships throughout the Commonwealth.

In addition to those receiving external funding, thirty students received support directly from W&L for public interest work. The internal funding came from the Law School's Office of Career Planning and the Federal Work Study program administered by the Financial Aid Office. The majority of students who received funding are working in legal aid and public defender offices.

The law school also provided support through the Sarah Eckhoff Public Interest Fellowship, established in the memory of Sarah Eckhoff '08 and awarded annually to a student or students providing unpaid work in the public interest. Receiving the Eckhoff fellowship this year were Ashleigh Greene '12L, who is working as a legal intern at Paul Quinn College, and Kristopher McClellan '13L, who is working for the Virginia Poverty Law Center in Richmond.

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