Tag Archives | university

What We Do at Pepperdine Law

Below you will find a glimpse of the work I'm involved with on a daily basis at Pepperdine.  This article is reposted from the Pepperdine website:

Mae La Camp - Church

Forty-eight Students Serve in Public Interest Placements this Summer

Forty-eight Pepperdine Law students will embark on national and international public interest placements this summer. Thirty-one students will work stateside in locations ranging from downtown Los Angeles to New York, and 17 students will travel abroad to work on global justice initiatives.

The School of Law has provided more than $118,000 in stipends to support the students’ work. Sources of funding include the student organization Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL), which raised funds through a silent auction at the Law School Dinner and a live auction held at the law school. Other sources of funds include the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on law, Religion, and Ethics, and the Dean Ken Starr Excellence Fund.

Students serving in the United States this summer will work at placements such as UNICEF, the Los Angeles and Ventura County Public Defender’s Office, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Bet Tzedek, and the Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission, among other organizations.

Pepperdine’s Global Justice Program will send 17 students to assist judges, government lawyers, and human rights organizations in Ghana, India, Peru, Rwanda, and Uganda. Eight students will be working for the Ugandan Judiciary, two with the Rwanda Ministry of Justice, two for Paz y Esperanza in Peru, two for the Supreme Court of Ghana, two for Dalit Freedom Network, and one with International Justice Mission. Students will live and serve within the communities for the duration of their experience.

“I’m most looking forward to working in the highest court of an African country whose constitution is less than 20 years old,” said third-year student Brian Freano who will be working with the Supreme Court of Ghana. “I think the job I’ll be doing is important to help promulgate democracy in Ghana through the judicial system, and I think our presence as American students will subtly strengthen relationships between Ghana and the United States. I want to be a blessing to the people with whom I come into contact and serving the Ghanian people through their judicial system provides the opportunity to pursue justice in a way that is unavailable to me in the United States.”

Second-year student Rebecca Getman looks forward to spending the summer working with the Dalit Freedom Network in India. “In my future legal career, I intend to pursue some sort of public interest work, whether that will be with children, the homeless, immigrants, or human rights,” she explains. “I feel this summer will help open my eyes to the terrible life situations people face and how much they are in need of a voice and someone to represent them.”

The public interest work these students will undertake ranges from local legal aid work to international human rights. “We are very proud of our students who are engaging in public interest work across the world this summer,” says Vice Dean Tim Perrin. “At Pepperdine we take very seriously our obligation to serve those in need whether locally, nationally, or internationally.”

Visit Pepperdine's Global Justice Program. 

Visit Advocates for Public Interest Law. 


Jail for Kids in Africa: A Photo Essay

This afternoon we started our juvenile justice project at the Naguru Remand Home (jail for kids) in Uganda.  This is a repeat of the juvenile justice project I did in Masindi a year ago, but with new cases and a different prison.  We will be working on these cases over the next three days.  Today, I thought I would start with a short photo essay as I had the opportunity to shoot this afternoon.



Entrance to the Naguru Remand Home in Kampala.  Our team waits inside.



I’m often asked what “remand home” means.  This photo captures it. 



If you live at the remand home, you’ve got to work.  There’s a hierarchy among the kids and you’re voted to perform certain jobs, such as fetching water.



The “dormitry,” as spelled on their wall.  There are two nearly identical wings for the boys.



Even though you’re surrounded by 150 kids, remand can be a lonely experience.



Jail for kids is still jail no matter what title you give it.



Collaboration at work: Pepperdine students, faculty, and alumni; students from Uganda Christian University; and lawyers Uganda Christian Lawyers Fellowship.  "The Team" interviews children from the jail.


A Trip that Changed Your Life?

Ecuador hike1_p

I recently returned from another trip to Thailand–my sixth!  I led a group of seven law students, most of whom were making their first trip to Asia and their first time to the developing world.  I think the trip had a deep impact on some of their lives.  I gauge this by the enthusiasm to dig deeper into the issues at hand and the burning desire to return.

Many of us have "that trip" or "that encounter" that changes our life.  You experience something that makes you come alive.  For me, it was a trip to Ecuador during my freshman year at Bethel University.  I had friends who previously went to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on Bethel's biology trip.  I was determined, even before entering Bethel, that I would go sometime during my four years.  One of the first weeks after arriving, I saw an announcement in the fall that a couple spots were still available–the professor let me in even though he preferred not to take freshman.

I recall, vividly, the plane dropping into Quito.  I looked out the window and the world didn't look like what I what it did in Minnesota.  Our bags didn't arrive and the airport was a mess.  Police pulled over my homestay father immediately after leaving the airport.  He had to bribe the cops.  This was far from home and I wasn't sure I wanted to be here anymore.  I felt a little nauseas laying in bed that night–could I last a month?

That trip changed my life.  It set me on a course to keep exploring the world.  I attribute a lot of that to the fact that I was nervous–when you conquer your fears the experience is that much more brilliant.  Oh, and I dug this photo out of the vault–that kid with knee-deep in the rainforest with the red backpack–that's me!

Question: Is there a trip that changed your life?


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