Third-year law student Elise Baroni has been named Equal Justice Works’ 2022 Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellow. Selected from 333 applicants, Baroni is one of 40 law students who will serve in the program this year.
Baroni will be hosted by Legal Aid of Arkansas, where she will join “Beyond Opioids—Breaking Legal Barriers for Families in Recovery,” a collaborative project among legal aid programs in Arkansas that supports people impacted by the opioid crisis and other substance use disorders at the host organization. She will be based in Newport, Arkansas.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be a Rural Summer Legal Corps Fellow because I am able to continue exploring public interest work and connect to future attorneys across the country who have a similar interest,” Baroni said. “I’m also happy this program exists and funds important projects in rural communities with little to no legal help, and am honored to be a part of it.”
The Rural Summer Legal Corps is a partnership between the Legal Services Corporation and Equal Justice Works that supports dedicated law students who want to spend their summer addressing pressing legal issues facing rural communities. Program participants, called Student Fellows, spend eight to 10 weeks during the summer exploring their passion for public interest while gaining valuable legal skills and experience at Legal Services Corporation-funded civil legal aid organizations. Following the completion of 300 hours of service in the program, participants earn a $5,000 stipend.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged communities throughout the United States,” said Brooke Meckler, director of law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works. “We are grateful to have Elise join our Rural Summer Legal Corps, where she will have the opportunity to support Arkansans and their families struggling with opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders.”
Baroni is the president of Criminal Law Society, a member of Women’s Law Student Association and serves as note and comment editor of the Journal of Food Law and Policy.
She was the Rose Law Firm’s 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow in 2021 and worked with the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.
“We are so pleased that Elise will dedicate her summer to the legal needs of rural Arkansans,” said Annie Smith, associate professor of law and faculty director of the public service and pro bono program at the law school. “Elise launched her public service career as one of our Summer Public Service Fellows working at the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office last summer. It is wonderful that Equal Justice Works recognized her commitment, experience and skills and selected her for its highly competitive fellowship program this summer.”
About Equal Justice Works: Founded by law students in 1986, Equal Justice Works is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. As the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, nonprofit legal aid organizations and supporters to promote public service and inspire a lifelong commitment to equal justice.
About the School of Law: The law school offers a competitive J.D. as well as an advanced LL.M. program, which are taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, externships, live client clinics, competitions, and food and agriculture initiatives. The school strives to identify, discuss, and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity, and the impact(s) they have on students, faculty, and staff members in an effort to achieve a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. From admitting the Six Pioneers who were the first African American students to attend law school in the South without a court order to graduating governors, judges, prosecutors, and faculty who went on to become President of the United States and Secretary of State, the law school has a rich history and culture. Follows us at @uarklaw.