Students Elydah Joyce and Crystal Zook share their experiences from fall ’21.
Elydah Joyce, ’23
I had no expectations of what my first clinic would be like at Temple Law and I ultimately was blown away by how engaging, hands-on, and enjoyable the work and class time were. Even when I was not feeling the best on a given Wednesday, the two hours of our class brought me into a great mental space, where I felt like the goals I had in entering law school (ones that have been a bit squashed by the law school grind) were re-ignited. The team I had to work with was fantastic, and it was such a refreshing experience to be placed with a passionate, effective and driven group. I feel like we collectively accomplished and learned a lot more than I could have expected from a few months of research and writing. Thanks to both the classwork and the clinic work, I have a deeper and broader understanding of collateral consequences and the USA context on incarceration issues. I am so happy to have had the chance to be part of this clinic and stand by my opinion that Professor Sibley could pursue a Netflix special that is both comedic and educational on prison abolition (or celebrities’ heights).
Reflecting on the Roles that a Lawyer Can Play
Crystal Zook, ’23
I chose to participate in the Systemic Justice Clinic because it was important to me that I have a practical element in my third semester of law school to help remind me of all the reasons I came into law school in the first place. My experience in the clinic did exactly that. The seminar challenged my thoughts and assumptions about how specific aspects of the legal system work, and about how law, power, discretion, systems, and justice operates more generally.
Both the seminar and the project aspect of the clinic encouraged me to think beyond the “normal” portrayals and understandings of what lawyers do and the interventions lawyers can be a part of in the community. I learned the importance of really stepping back to understand an issue and its context, to better understand community needs and norms, and to really reflect on the role a lawyer can and should play.