June 05, 2018
On June 1, 2018, the Martinsburg office of Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) hosted the orientation for the Rural Summer Legal Corps, a program co-sponsored by the Legal Services Corporation and Equal Justice Works. The program welcomed 30 law students, who will be serving 26 civic legal aid organizations serving the U.S. and its territories. Martinsburg’s office hosted orientation for the second year, due partly to their unique location in proximity to Washington, D.C. and to rural clients served throughout LAWV’s reach.
As part of the orientation, fellows viewed the Academy Award-nominated short film, Heroin(e). West Virginia native filmmaker, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, follows three women facing the opioid epidemic in Huntington, WV, working toward injecting hope and recovery into the community. Heroin(e) was part of the commute to the County Commission office in Berkeley County, WV.
Kelly Beck, supervising attorney of the Martinsburg LAWV
office, welcomed fellows with a presentation on the challenges and benefits of
rural law and a guided tour through Martinsburg to the LAWV office. Norwood
Bentley, Legal Director in Berkeley County, also welcomed the student fellows
and thanked them for their interest in public service. Fellows also toured the
court house and met with Judge Michael D. Lorensen of the 23rd Judicial Circuit.
Courtney Crowder, a former fellow and now attorney in LAWV’s Clarksburg office, spoke with fellows about her experiences and translating them into a career. LAWV staff from the Martinsburg office—attorney Matthew Jividen, attorney Erin Clark, and intern Alicia Loy—gave fellows strategies and tips for providing legal services to rural communities.
Photos Courtesy of Kathryn Fanlund, LSC