Georgia State University College of Law is introducing this fall a Bankruptcy Assistance & Practice Program, which will give students the opportunity to develop practical skills while helping an underserved sector of the greater Atlanta community.
Through this program, debtors with little or no income will be provided with pro bono bankruptcy counsel by a team of local attorneys and Georgia State Law students.
“The goal of this program is not to churn out 16 new bankruptcy attorneys each semester,” said Jessica Gabel, associate professor of law and co-founder of the Bankruptcy Assistance & Practice Program. “The goal is to create and grow a working environment that fosters the true components of legal practice: problem solving, teamwork, skills development, client representation and community building.”
Third-year students will enroll in Gabel’s Bankruptcy Litigation, Negotiation & Practice course to further develop their substantive knowledge of bankruptcy law and will work under supervision of mentor-attorneys on pro bono cases for academic credit.
The Bankruptcy Assistance & Practice Program has been made possible through a competitive Teaching Innovation Grant from the College of Law and sponsorships from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, the State Bar of Georgia—Bankruptcy Law Section, Atlanta Bar Association—Bankruptcy Section, the Georgia Network of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation and the Metro Atlanta Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney Group.
“We are excited for the opportunity for our students to provide this much-needed service to the community, while learning practical skills that will serve them well as they become members of the bar,” said Steven J. Kaminshine, dean and professor of law. “The mentorship that the students will receive is invaluable to their career.”
Students will have practical training in all facets of bankruptcy practice, including the drafting of pleadings and presenting arguments in court.
“More important, students will learn what it is really like to represent a client, which is something you don’t get in most law school classes,” said Jacob Vail, the program’s legal coordinator.
“I look forward to the opportunity to watch as these students develop into outstanding bankruptcy practitioners,” said Summer Chandler, a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge and co-founder of the Bankruptcy Assistance & Practice Program. “This program will provide a remarkable, hands-on learning experience to the students. In addition, it will undoubtedly further strengthen the relationship between the bench and the bar.”
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