Andrew Scott puts civil liberties litigation training into action
July 9, 2013
Andrew Scott’s summer experience at the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles confirms one truth for him: public interest law will be a key part of his legal practice, wherever that may be. “No matter what I am doing I want to be helping people,” he said. “It’s the only thing that feels right to me.”
“Having the help of a full-time summer intern helps us leverage our limited advocacy resources go further and advance our disability rights agenda,” said Paula Pearlman, executive director of the Disability Rights Legal Center, who is also a scholar of civil rights law. This position is Scott’s second public interest position; last summer he interned at MidPenn Legal Services in Clearfield, Pennsylvania.
Scott’s work at DRLC is about equally split between their Community Advocacy Program and research on impact litigation. He takes calls for the Community Advocacy Program, gathering facts about a prospective client’s needs and then prepares a case file for the legal team so that a decision can be made on whether to take the case. Many intake calls focus on landlord tenant disputes, special education needs, and wheelchair accommodation issues, an area of particular interest to Scott, who is a wheelchair user.
Scott enjoys the research component of his job as well. His civil rights class at the Law School helped him add value to the workplace. A few days ago Scott used class notes on 1983 claims strategy at work. “Professor Gary Gildin’s Civil Liberties Litigation class was a tremendous source of growth for me because I got a sense of the strategy involved in planning lawsuits like the kind we do here,” he said.
A Texas native, Scott was initially apprehensive about moving across the country to work in Los Angeles for the summer. However, he's been networking and making new friends and getting to know attorneys in the area. “The people here are really quite friendly and I’m having a great time,” he said.
Scott, who also holds an MBA in management, is planning on a career that would integrate his desire to help people with his interest in economics and law. For now, he is keeping his options open and will see what the third year of law school brings.