As a first year law student the law seemed like an intangible idea, an abstract thought presented in casebooks and lectures. The cases and the discussions have names and titles, but not faces or stories. For someone propelled into law with a background in social justice and advocacy, this pursuit of a faceless justice left a lot to be desired. I never imagined that in ten short weeks, my purpose and interest in the law would be renewed and redirected towards family law.
As the 2010 Ellen Ewing Fellow I was thrust headfirst into Legal Aid’s Family Law Unit. Working with a small and dedicated group of people, I worked with a variety of complex family and legal issues. I immediately began meeting clients and sifting through cases. What I found wasn’t a question presented or an issue, but individual people struggling to find safety for themselves and their children from domestic abuse. What may have been another day at the office for me was often a life-changing moment in the life of a client.
I spent the summer doing many of the same duties as any other law clerk, researching, writing, and observing in court. However, what I got out of the experience was wholly unique. The opportunity to interact with clients on a personal level and see legal issues through a human lens has given me a renewed sense of purpose for this upcoming school year. Though my time spent with the Legal Aid Society as the Ellen Ewing fellow was brief, the impact of that experience will be life-long.
Ms. Siewertsen is a native of Louisville, Kentucky and a 2008 Graduate of Centre College with a Bachelor’s in Religion as well as Government. She's active on the 2010 National Moot Court Team and the Moot Court Board as well as a candidate for membership in the Journal of Law and Education. She was a runner-up in the 2010 First Year Appellate Advocacy Competition.
Maria Teresa Dela Cruz
Maria is the 2009 Ellen B. Ewing Fellow. "My summer at the Legal Aid Society as the Ellen B. Ewing Fellow afforded me a wealth of legal knowledge and renewed my commitment to public service. Working closely with the Family Law Unit, I frequently assisted domestic violence victims in obtaining protective orders against their abusers and filing petitions for divorce against their abusive spouse. In addition, I shadowed attorneys in client interviews and court proceedings, and participated in divorce clinics. I also drafted motions and memorandums to the court. Most important, I observed and often assisted Legal Aid in serving clients in need. Without Legal Aid and community agencies like it, these domestic violence victims would have had nowhere to turn. I am proud to have been the third Ellen B. Ewing Fellow and I am grateful to have had this opportunity."
Jacqueline Hersh is a third year law student at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Women's Studies from DePauw University, which she received in 1999, and a Masters in Women Studies from the University of Cincinnati, which she received in 2002. Prior to law school, she worked for three and a half years at the Center for Women and Families in Louisville with victims of domestic violence and their families. Jacqueline served this past summer as the 2008 Fellow for the Ellen B. Ewing Foundation. Upon graduation from law school, she plans to practice family law.
Marque is a law student at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville and was the inaugural Ellen B. Ewing Fellow in the summer of 2007. He is a 2006 graduate of Tennessee State University. Marque is pursuing dual degrees at the University of Louisville: a Juris Doctorate and Master of Science in Social Work. Marque intends to continue his commitment to public service and indigent clients upon his graduation from law school and admission to the bar.