This is one of a series of posts from Appleseed’s summer law clerks discussing their experiences at Nebraska Appleseed
At the beginning of my clerkship this summer, I knew very little about Nebraska Appleseed. My understanding was that it was a public interest law firm in Lincoln that mixed litigation with advocacy. Going to law school in Missouri, I had never heard of Appleseed and had never heard of a law firm with a such a hybrid approach. I was intrigued, but very naïve.
So, I applied for the clerkship for two reasons: to work in public interest law and to spend the summer back in my home state. After being trained and working for a few years as a newspaper reporter, I went to law school to try to help people. Being a part of Appleseed’s mission in Nebraska close to my family and friends seemed like a great opportunity.
After several weeks, I now understand what Appleseed does. We solve problems. And those solutions take many forms, be it calling a press conference to encourage the state to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act or planning a community dialogue to discuss the benefits of immigration through the You’re Welcome In Omaha campaign.
Surprisingly, filing a lawsuit is not the first option at Appleseed, which was eye-opening after two years of law school. I learned this summer that helping people understand the law so that they can use that to better their lives is more important than suing someone, but lawsuits remain a necessary option.
The best part of my clerkship was working with the other people at Appleseed, a diverse, smart group of passionate people committed to helping others. Through my work researching and writing about child welfare issues, I was able to see some of the issues our system needs to improve upon. I hate to think of where the world would be without people like those here at Appleseed fighting for those necessary changes.
So, I would like to thank Appleseed for giving me a crash course in solving problems through public interest law. It was an enlightening and fulfilling experience!