In the past few years, ArchCity Defenders’ Executive Director and Co-Founder, Thomas B. Harvey, has met great law students from all across the country and talked to them about our holistic legal advocacy. Those lunch talks with a few dozen students have turned into a ArchCity Defenders’ Intern Program that includes spring break trips, summer internships, and even short trips over the holiday break. Students come to St Louis to work with our clients, help our lawyers and gain a better understanding of the systemic abuses we fight against everyday.
Last summer, ArchCity Defenders hosted 11 law students from Harvard, Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Washington University, and the University of California‐Irvine. Only one of them had any connection with St. Louis outside of their interest in working with ArchCity Defenders. We provided no lodging, social activities, pay or transportation for the summer. Regardless, they worked diligently: they went door-to-door in Pine Lawn helping to organize a Town Hall; represented clients in evictions and municipal court cases; collected clothes and food for the homeless; and collaborated with Arnold & Porter to draft complaints for our federal debtors’ prison class action. Our founding cohort of summer interns were willing to do anything and everything to help improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us.
Two years ago students from Columbia Law School spent their Spring Break with us and made this short video about their trip.