Meet the Law Clerks: Appleseed’s Young Advocate Series

This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed

Over the course of the summer, I was able to assist the Nebraska Appleseed office attorneys in a number of areas.

The main project I worked on over the summer dealt with child welfare litigation. My office brought a class-action suit against the Department of Health and Human Services claiming that the Department, in the state of Nebraska, was unlawfully denying benefits to a number of children.

The work entailed applying the facts at hand to each rule and hoping that the result was a favorable outcome. Likewise, this was a practical task that hopefully improved my ability to reasonably apply law to a factual situation, an area of my legal repertoire that could surely use the work.

For this particular litigation, the attorneys in the office allowed me to take part in the discovery process. I was able to manage Intakes, make requests for medical records, and receive and document all records received. I greatly valued this work, because it felt like I was slowly transitioning to the role of a legitimate attorney. Whether that is the case or not, this was also a practical task that I am sure will be of use in the future.

In addition to working on the class action suit, my supervisor had me draft testimony for a Medicaid benefits bill that is currently being deliberated on in the Nebraska legislature. This was an interesting process. For this, I compared the proposed State legislation to the federal statute, and in my testimony, pointed out any differences that I deemed harmful to the interests of those most affected. After putting together this draft, I was able to attend a hearing at the Nebraska legislature and put my testimony on record, which was very cool.

In the end, I hope that I provided valuable help to the attorneys in my office in working towards bettering our local community. Hopefully, in the long term, the work I accomplished this summer will be beneficial to immigrants and low income families in Nebraska.

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