Rising 2L spends summer providing access to legal aid across rural Kentucky

Lauren North and Caitlin Kidd
Brandeis Law students Lauren North and Caitlin Kidd are student fellows with the Rural Summer Legal Corps.

Caitlin Kidd, a rising 2L at the Brandeis School of Law, is spending the summer of 2018 in Covington, Kentucky. She's there as a student fellow with the Rural Summer Legal Corps, a national organization that connects law students with civil legal aid organizations to address pressing legal issues facing rural communities. 

Kidd is working with Legal Aid of the Bluegrass on its Justice Bus, a pop-up, mobile office. 

Here, she shares the root of her interest in working in rural areas, other hands-on experience she's gained at Brandeis Law and why she believes in the importance of lawyers' roles as advocates.

What are some of your duties this summer?

From left, Dominic Donovan, Caitlin Kidd and Joshua Fain with Legal Aid of the Bluegrass' Justice Bus.
From left, Dominic Donovan, Caitlin Kidd and Joshua Fain with Legal Aid of the Bluegrass' Justice Bus.

My project is focused on piloting The Justice Bus, Legal Aid of the Bluegrass' mobile pop-up office. I will be helping individuals in rural communities across Kentucky receive free legal assistance they otherwise would not have access to. I am currently planning events incorporating pro bono volunteers, outreach programs and community partnerships in 10 rural counties for the bus this summer. The bus will travel to the 10 counties, making staff and pro bono attorneys accessible to individuals that may lack means of transportation or connectivity. 

Why did you apply for the Rural Summer Legal Corps?

I applied for RSLC because there is an extraordinary need for individuals in rural communities to have access to legal assistance. Eastern Kentucky is home for me. I have witnessed far too many neighbors, friends and family be forgotten by the legal system. The Justice Bus project was a perfect fit because I will have the opportunity to hear stories of rural Kentuckians and use the skills I developed in my first year of law school to best serve their needs.

Why are you interested in the law?

I am interested in law for similar reasons that I applied for this fellowship. I want to be an advocate for those that need a helping hand. I am thrilled to be a part of a fellowship this summer that allows for direct client contact and personal connection. I have learned to appreciate what this profession can mean in the lives of people that are in need. The role of a true advocate can make a world of difference when someone is having the hardest day they have had to experience. 

What other hands-on legal experience have you had?

I have worked closely with Social Security disability, workers' compensation and personal injury cases in the past. I believe my involvement in that case work sparked my desire to delve into public interest service this summer — especially to help rural Kentuckians that may need assistance in these areas of the law.