Stetson Law marks second year providing pro bono work to people in Honduras
By Daniela Gomez
While most spend their winter break reflecting on the fall semester and relaxing before the spring semester, 12 Stetson Law students spent seven days in Honduras in January as part of the Legal Empowerment Brigade.
This year marked the second time Stetson’s Legal Empowerment Brigade partnered with Global Brigades for the student-led international pro bono initiative. Students worked closely with Honduran attorneys and translators in legal clinics, community client counseling, and adult and child educational workshops on international human rights and legal rights. Issues ranged from land registration to marriage and even labor law.
Students earned 60 hours of pro bono toward the total requirement they must meet for graduation. They primarily processed intake of new cases, including land registration issues where families were living on land that had been given to them by a family member, but the land wasn’t registered, so they feared future problems. Another case involved a woman had assumed the care of her niece after her sister died in childbirth. However, there was never legal adoption or guardianship, so she feared future complications.
In 2018, then Stetson Law students Kai Su and Sy-Woei Hao were awarded graduate scholarships from the Tampa Bay Organization of Women in International Trade. The scholarships were used to fund Stetson Law’s first pro bono international trip to Honduras and the creation of The Legal Empowerment Brigade. This year, students did individual fundraising for their trip expenses.
The goal of the Legal Empowerment Brigade is to empower students to advocate for closing the justice gap on an international stage while learning and embracing the power of diversity. Though not an official Stetson Law organization, students who participated hope the Legal Empowerment Brigade pro bono initiative will continue at Stetson for years to come.
Post date: Jan. 31, 2019