Dickinson Law students named Rural Summer Legal Corps Student Fellows

June 01, 2020

CARLISLE, Pa. — Penn State Dickinson Law students Myla Garcia and Kendell Wilson, class of 2022, were recently named Student Fellows as part of the 2020 Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellowship. Selected from an applicant pool of 446, Garcia and Wilson are two of the 35 law students who will serve in the 2020 class of Rural Summer Legal Corps and help address the effects of COVID-19 on legal issues in rural communities across the nation.

A partnership between the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the nation’s single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans, and Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, Rural Summer Legal Corps supports 35 dedicated law students who want to spend their summer addressing pressing legal issues facing rural communities. Program participants — called Student Fellows — have the unique opportunity to explore their passion for public interest while gaining valuable legal skills and experience at LSC-funded civil legal aid organizations. Following the completion of 300 hours of service in the program, participants earn a $5,000 stipend.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Student Fellows will work remotely this year to support the efforts of their host organization.

“Myla and Kendell are part of a strong cohort of public interest student leaders at Dickinson Law and are deserving of this opportunity,” said Dean and Donald J. Farage Professor of Law Danielle M. Conway. “I am excited to learn about the positive contributions they will make as part of their service as Rural Summer Legal Corps Student Fellows.”

Garcia will be hosted by California Rural Legal Assistance, where she will spend the summer helping the organization’s Education Equity team to advance impact litigation on the issues of disproportionate use of alternative schools, violations of students' rights to bilingual education, and disparities in school funding equity. She applied to the Rural Summer Legal Corps through Equal Justice Works because they provide legal services to communities like the community where she grew up.

“As a first-generation law student and former foster youth from Delano, California, I look forward to applying my life experience advocating for students in California who have the same demographic as I do,” said Garcia. “My first year of law school at Dickinson Law has provided a great start to my advocacy career and has allowed me to converse with faculty and other professionals regarding my future as an attorney.”

Wilson will be hosted by Lone Star Legal Aid, where she will help to implement the Homestead and Disability Property Tax Exemption project for low-income residents of rural Jasper County, Texas. Kendell will assist clients who need support in securing tax exemptions and/or fighting for return of their homes after unjust and improperly noticed tax foreclosure lawsuits led to home loss. Her work will help low-income homeowners and their families preserve homeownership and home equity, and gain housing stability.

“I look forward to gaining more interpersonal experience through working with clients directly,” said Wilson, who applied to the program because she wanted the opportunity to give back to the kinds of communities in which she was raised. “I am excited that I will have the chance to help clients through these unprecedented times. Thus far, my legal education has prepared me for this fellowship by focusing on client interactions through simulations and emphasizing efficient legal research skills, both of which are important for this fellowship.”

“Equal Justice Works is proud to support Myla and Kendell in their efforts to increase legal resources and support for people living in rural areas,” said Aoife Delargy Lowe, director of law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works. “These outstanding law students have a clear passion for public service, and we look forward to seeing the impact of their work on the communities they will serve this summer.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 02, 2020