Howard University

Alternative ‘08 Spring Break

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57 Howard Law Students To Do Legal Work In New Orleans During Spring Break


57 law students have signed up to go to participate in this yearís Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans. For one week in March 2008, students will work participate in housing, criminal justice, environmental, immigrant’s employment needs and voting rights.

The supervisors for the trip are: Professors Josephine Ross, Atiba Ellis, Derek Black along with adjunct professors CeLillianne Green and Kenneth Walton, with Budget Specialist Estela Aspinwall serving as logistics co-coordinator.

To learn more about the trip and pledge financial assistance.

Testimonials From Alternative Spring Break Students In 2007

This trip, honestly, has been one of the most eye-opening and profound experiences of my life. It has been a roller coaster of laughs, smiles, deep sympathy, and, most of all, hope. I came down here on a leap of faith. I didnít know exactly where I would be or what I would be doing. But my time here has been spent productively and my faith in the people that coordinated this trip paid off. […] In just a week, I have been reminded of reasons why I applied to law school in the first place.

On my way to New Orleans, I was trying to prepare myself to face the devastation. I was expecting to see shattered homes, broken families and destroyed neighborhoods. While I did see these images, what surprised me the most was seeing the resiliency of the human spirit. I was inspired seeing small businesses re-opening their offices, families making the transition from the FEMA trailers back into their houses and children walking together to go to school. This is best lesson I have learned: while natureís forces might be strong enough to break down levies, it must still withstand the strength of the human spirit.

I never imagined that my experience would be as fulfilling and eye-opening as it was. When I signed up to come to New Orleans, I knew that I would see and feel some sadness. I also knew that I would have a lot to do. Most of all, I knew that it was one of the most important decisions I would ever make.
I was assigned to the Public Defender Service, where I helped a staff attorney file motions, prepare for trial, and argue in court. From the moment I arrived, I fell in love with the city and my job at PDS. Although I witnessed some injustice, I felt that my participation, albeit small, was important and that it was working!

I consider myself extremely fortunate for having the opportunity to be a part of New Orleans, even if it was only for a few days. I would be even more fortunate if I could visit the city again. Iím so glad I dedicated my vacation to something bigger than myself. And Iím so grateful that Howard University School of Law gave me the opportunity to help New Orleans rebuild its legal system.

The silence in some parts of the 9th Ward, and the Lower 9th Ward in particular, is deafening. But I honestly believe that New Orleans has the hope within the city to revitalize it. I have been so humbled by the opportunity to play a small role in helping New Orleans in a post-Katrina world, and for me, this is only the beginning of doing all that I can to help.

The above testimonials can be found at