3L gains practical experience at pro se divorce clinic

3L gains practical experience at pro se divorce clinic

Cyndi Magruder started working in the Louisville Bar Assocation's pro se divorce clinic as a first-year student at Brandeis Law mostly to help satisfy the school's 30-hour service requirement

But now, as a 3L, she's still involved with the clinic, and she says it's brought her more than she expected.

For starters, she's gained the practical skill of learning how to perform a divorce. Because the clients at the clinic are representing themselves, Magruder and the clinic's attorney volunteers don't offer legal advice but instead inform clients of their options and provide assistance in completing paperwork.

"It's a skill. In Family Law, they don't teach you how to do divorces," Magruder says. "Every attorney needs to see this and experience this because it's real life. It's people trying to navigate this convoluted process on a real level."

Magruder, who has a background in social work and also works at the law school's Ackerson Clinic, already has experience working with people from all backgrounds. But for law students who need practice working with a variety of clients, Magruder says the divorce clinic is a great option.

The clinic, which began in 2007, is open about two mornings a month and serves about 20 clients per session. It's located at the Jefferson County Judicial Center. Magruder's frequency at that location has also been beneficial to her in a practical way: She knows the best parking spaces, has built relationships with the clerks and knows her way around the building. All that is valuable information that will serve her well when she eventually begins her practice in Louisville.

Students interested in volunteering at the clinic should , the LBA's pro bono/public service director.

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