28 Mercer Law students receive stipends for 2010 summer internships

Program marks record in fundraising efforts to support summer stipends  

MACON – Twenty-eight law students at Mercer’s Walter F. George School of Law will be receiving summer stipends for working in a governmental or non-profit law office this summer. The stipends—which total $136,000—are funded by a combination of endowment income, expendable gifts made for this purpose, and a grant from the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council. The law school’s Public Interest Committee selected the recipients of the summer stipends amid dozens of applicants.

“This is an extraordinary show of support for investing in students as they gain valuable legal experience and support the work of lawyers in the public sector and judges,” said Mercer Law Dean Daisy Hurst Floyd. “These 28 students will receive enormous benefits from these summer internships, both in terms of attaining practical legal skills and determining whether they wish to pursue long-term careers in areas of public service. I extend my deepest appreciation for all those who have helped us provide funding for this purpose.”

The summer stipends are critical for students pursing public service internships because government and non-profit legal offices typically do not have funds to pay summer interns. For the last several years, Mercer Law School has been committed to providing such stipends so that students who are interested in public service internships can pursue them without being financially burdened. The 28 stipends this year – which total $136,000– is Mercer Law School’s largest summer stipend program to date.

The law students are being placed in summer interns at the following locations:

  • Six students are being placed at the following non-profit legal offices: Georgia Advocacy, Georgia Appleseed, Georgia Innocence Project, Georgia Justice Project, and Georgia Legal Services. Four of the students are being funded through endowment income and two through contributions to the Dan Bradley Fellowship Fund.
  • Sixteen students are being placed in the following government offices: five District Attorney’s offices; two judges’ chambers—the State Court of Henry County and the Superior Court of the Piedmont Judicial Circuit; the Public Defender in Atlanta; two in the Dekalb Child Advocacy Office; Central Georgia CASA; the Delaware Department of Justice; the City Attorney of Asheville, N.C.; the ADR Program in Macon; the Presidential Program of Human Rights and International Human Rights in Bogota, Colombia; and the EEOC. Stipends for these students were funded by restricted gifts raised by the law school.
  • Six students are working in the Macon Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office thanks to a contract with the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council. This is the sixth year that Mercer Law students have been funded by the Council for summer work in that office.

Mercer Law School is ranked No. 6 on a list of the nation’s “Best Law Schools for Public Interest Law,” according to preLaw magazine. The rating is based on categories recommended by Equal Justice Works and reported in the E-Guide to Public Interest Law Schools, a joint project between Newsweek magazine and EJW. The rating categories included student involvement, curriculum and financial factors.

About Mercer Law School
Founded in 1873, the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and the first one in the state of Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association. Mercer Law School’s educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Its innovative Woodruff Curriculum – which focuses on ethics and practical skills amid small class sizes – earned the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the ABA for its “depth of excellence.” With an enrollment of about 430 students, Mercer Law School is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, public service, and ethics and professionalism. For more information about Mercer Law School, visit www.law.mercer.edu or call 478.301.5000.