College of law assists community
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 14:10
As the Loyola College of Law enters its centennial year, service remains an important ideal for law students who go beyond their 50 required hours of service within the community.
Each organization within the College of Law will volunteer together on different service projects around the city.
Claudia Mendez, Hispanic Law Student Association president, said the reason behind the service day lies within Loyola’s Jesuit ideals.
“It is a tradition of the Jesuits to be social and to help others. It is for this reason that the law school organized this day of service,” Mendez said.
Phi Alpha Delta went to Habitat for Humanity. St. Thomas Moore Environmental Law Society and Lamda Law went to New Orleans Museum of Arts Sculpture garden to clean up the garden. Black American Law Students Association went to Bridge House which is a non profit, long-term alcoholism and drug addiction treatment center.
One of the service projects, Expungement Day, involved the Hispanic Law Student Association, National Lawyers Guild and the Health Alliance. Expungement Day allows those who have been charged with misdemeanors to once again have a blank slate.
On Sept. 28, different organizations from the College of Law volunteered to help expunge criminal records at the Christian Unity Baptist Church.
With the help of the Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana,the group responds to the needs of incarcerated and ex-incarcerated populations in Louisiana, who are marginalized by both social stigma and the difficulty of communicating outside of prison walls, while changing the way lawyers provide services to these individuals.
Arlene Wiltz, College of Law chaplain, organized the day of service event with the help of participating organizations presidents.
“Service work is a great time for people who may not know each other that well to be able to work with one another and get to know one another,” Wiltz said.
Diana Duffy, Student Bar Association secretary, said all law students are eligible to sign up for the day of service, but for Expungement Day, two training sessions are required beforehand.
Mendez said she enjoys getting to help people and the event provides an opportunity for law students.
“Helping to clean someone’s record is a great thing. For most law students, it’s their first opportunity to work with criminal records,” Mendez said.
Burke Bischoff can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org