We are delighted to honor three of our amazing summer fellows/interns as our August Volunteers of the Month: Daniel McCaskey, Brittany Ward and Peter Travers!
Daniel, Brittany, and Peter worked within the Anchorage office on various projects and were instrumental members of team ALSC. We were incredibly lucky to have their dedication, passion, and enthusiasm for the entire summer!
Check out our interview with Daniel, Brittany, and Peter below:
Why did you choose to volunteer with ALSC?
Daniel: I chose to volunteer with ALSC through the Equal Justice Works Rural Summer Legal Corps program. I wanted to help underserved communities in rural areas and to learn more about the legal challenges that ALSC clients face on a daily basis. I also knew that I would have the opportunity to work in a number of legal areas and with different segments of the population.
Brittany: This summer I served as an Access to Justice Legal Technology Fellow and chose to work for ALSC, because I felt this internship would offer me a unique opportunity to serve low-income Alaskans and Native communities in need of legal assistance.
Peter: I chose to volunteer with ALSC because I felt it would be a good way to make a somewhat positive impact while also getting good practical legal experience. I also felt like volunteering with ALSC would be a great opportunity for me to explore this beautiful state.
What are some of your experiences at ALSC that have made a positive difference in the lives of others and/or the community?
Peter: I think the experiences of mine with ALSC which have had the most positive impact have been when I’ve been able to help clients push back against creditors and landlords who’ve been counting on ignorance of the law to enable their demands to go through.
Daniel: I have enjoyed working and collaborating with a very talented group of ALSC attorneys. I have also enjoyed working with the ALSC housing division to ensure that low income tenants have access to safe and affordable housing.
Brittany: Along with input from my supervising attorneys, I enjoyed creating a (CLE-certified) adoption webinar, as I have a passion for family law. There were over 20 attorneys who participated in the training, and I hope this will increase the amount of pro-bono attorneys who take on adoption cases on behalf of ALSC clients. Additionally, the work I have done on the Elder Justice Advocacy project has been a great way to learn some attorney best practices when advocating for elder clients’ rights. Another unique project I am working on pertains to expanding access to justice in rural communities (such as the Native villages), by providing more information and services regarding essential programs such as food supply, heating assistance, and healthcare.
How do you think your experiences with ALSC will benefit you in the future?
Brittany: For every project assigned to me, there was a great deal of training and research involved. I gained insight in regards to applicable laws, attorney best practices, and also attended various legal proceedings. Both ALSC and the ATJ Legal Tech Fellowship program increased my knowledge and lawyering skills by providing weekly training, team meetings, and projects that made a difference in the community.
Peter: I think my experiences with ALSC will help me going forward by giving me the confidence and understanding necessary to draft court filings and find the specific statutes and regulations that apply to client’s problems, thus making it easier for me to turn my abstract legal knowledge to a practical purpose in the future.
Daniel: Working with ALSC this summer has helped to solidify my interest in pursuing a career as a legal aid attorney. I have also learned some very practical lessons that will help me as a legal aid attorney.
What did you do in Alaska outside of volunteering with ALSC?
Peter: I helped out with a backyard garden of some people I met up here, and I hadn’t expected fresh Alaskan produce to taste as good as it does.
Brittany: I have family here in Alaska, so I was able to enjoy my legal work on the weekdays and explore the “last frontier” on the weekends.