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Law Students Connect with Workers, Community in Summer of Service

Law students pose outside AFL-CIO's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Check out the AFL-CIO's new Innovators website feature, "Law Students Connect with Workers, Community in Summer of Service" here.

Law student Patrick Callahan recently joined an organizing team in Alabama, home-visiting the families of workers at a limestone mine who are weighing whether to join the Mine Workers (UMWA). Those conversations were tense.

“Hardly anyone complained about the pay, but they said they were tired of being treated inhumanely and demeaned by their superiors on a daily basis,” Callahan says.

As participants in the AFL-CIO’s Law Student Union Summer (LSUS) program, Callahan and 11 others “are learning, hands-on, how they can make a difference in people’s lives,” says AFL-CIO Associate General Counsel Nancy Schiffer, who coordinates LSUS. 

LSUS’ sister initiative, the Minority Outreach Program, taps into the extensive network of some 1,900 union attorneys who belong to the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee(LCC) and encourages law students of color to apply for summer clerkship opportunities at LCC law firms and legal departments throughout the country.

The LSUS and the Minority Outreach Program internships are no fillers for vacationing office support staff. They are all about boots on the ground, with interns fanning out across the country to help workers gain a voice on the job and help unions represent members and contribute to the community.

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