Ackerson Law Clinic celebrates 10 years

Ackerson Law Clinic
Law students gain practical experience through the Ackerson Law Clinic.

The Robert and Sue Ellen Ackerson Law Clinic celebrated its tenth anniversary in Spring 2019. Since its founding, the clinic has closed more than 1,800 cases. The clinic represents clients in Emergency Protective Order hearings, divorce actions and housing cases.

The Ackerson Law Clinic has been supported by Sue Ellen and Michael Ackerson since the creation of the Robert and Sue Ellen Ackerson Law Clinic Endowment Fund in 2012.

Professor Shelley Santry directs the Ackerson Clinic and the Mediation Clinic, which opened in 2017 and is Louisville’s only free mediation service.

Georgia Connally, a 2018 Louisville Law graduate and now owner of Connally Law Offices, LLC, credits her work in the clinic — and Professor Santry’s guidance — with much of her success.

“At the clinic I was able to represent dozens of survivors of domestic violence and abuse, under the supervision of Shelley Santry. Because of the time I spent doing this work, I now have an affinity for real-life, hands-on litigation that is otherwise hard to come by as a new attorney. More importantly, I now have a passion for this work and am still involved with the Clinic and Legal Aid.

“The Ackerson Law Clinic is an unsung hero, protecting these individuals at every turn. Shelley takes ownership of every case and is devoted to every client. Her passion is contagious and inspires her students to understand a client’s broad spectrum of legal needs, and determine how best to satisfy those needs. To this day, Shelley is my hero and Ackerson is the source of some of my proudest moments as a member of this profession.”

And although it hasn’t been operating as long, the Mediation Clinic also boasts impressive numbers. Since it has been open, the clinic has settled 105 of its 150 cases.

“Being the only free mediation service in Louisville is a huge benefit to the members of our community who simply cannot afford mediation otherwise. Being able to mediate actual solutions for the underprivileged community is a huge benefit to our law students,” says Corey Shiffman (Class of 2015), who directs the Mediation Clinic alongside Santry. “Resolving some of these cases also helps to alleviate some of the stressful load on the Family Court Judges and their staffs.”