University of Idaho’s College of Law FJC’s Fall Interns

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Welcoming Fall Family Justice Center Interns

Merritt L. Dublin, JD, Family Justice Clinic Director

I have been the Director and supervising attorney of the University of Idaho College of Law Family Justice (FJC) Clinic since July 2021. I have practiced law for 25 years in many different practice areas and positions, and this is by far the best job I have ever had. The FJC is an experiential class where students represent Faces clients needing legal services to keep themselves and their children safe. Licensed by the Idaho State Bar as “limited license interns”, our students can perform all services, including representation in court, under the supervision of a licensed attorney. FJC typically has eight students working during the school year, handling civil protection cases and family law matters. The students collaborate with our other University of Idaho College of Law Clinics to address all the legal needs to keep our clients and their families safe and secure. Our clinic serves a critical need in our community through this unique, innovative partnership with Faces of Hope. Working with such bright and compassionate soon-to-be new lawyers serving a great need in our community is the best of all worlds for me and creates strong leaders in our community committed to future service.

Emily Garcia, FJC Intern

Working at Faces of Hope has been one of the greatest privileges of my law school career. There is an amazing staff, and the services offered are incredible. My time at Faces has opened my eyes to the reality that domestic violence can happen anywhere to anyone. I have learned so much about how it affects the individual, as well as how it can impact entire families. Listening to their stories has strongly motivated me to continue serving my community and potentially pursue a career in this

field of legal work.

Nina Marcello, FJC Intern

Every time I walk into Faces I am filled with an immense sense of security, hope, and gratitude. In my time at the Family Justice Clinic, I have not only developed practical skills, but I have also become a more empathetic person. Law school prepares you to navigate the law; it does not prepare you to look into your client’s eyes and connect with them on a human-to-human level. That is an essential part of advocacy and is what I learned at the Family Justice Clinic. I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful collaboration between U of I and Faces.

Bethany Forst, FJC Intern

Over the last several weeks, I have had the privilege of representing a few different women. They all have unique situations and have presented their challenges. I have not only gained a lot of valuable experience, but I have also had the opportunity to make a difference for these women and help make what can be a stressful and traumatic experience a little easier for them. It has been very rewarding. I learn something new daily, professionally and personally, as I navigate the court process for my clients and hear their stories. I believe this experience will make me a better lawyer and a better person all around.

Abby Wheeless, FJC Intern

My experience in the clinic has been very rewarding. I have met with clients from all walks of life. This experience has shown me that no one is immune to the harm domestic violence causes. The best part about the clinic is that I can get real-life experience while giving back to the community.

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