Debt Relief Clinic Offers Law Students Practical Hands-on Experience
WMU-Cooley Law School Tampa Debt Relief Clinic Director Victor Veschio and student intern Steven Sones recently spoke about clinic services during a round-table discussion at the Bay Area Legal Services monthly Consumer Brown Bag luncheon.
Veschio spoke about the referral relationship between the clinic and Bay Area Legal Services.
“On behalf of the WMU-Cooley Debt Relief Clinic, it is truly an honor to have the ability to give back to our community in serving those in need in cooperation with the Bay Area Legal Services as one of our main referral sources,” said Veschio, who also shared how he was first introduced to the type of work the Bay Area Legal Services does for the community.
“You may not be aware, but part of my inspiration in becoming a lawyer started at an early age when my mother was a secretary at Law, Inc., your predecessor,” said Veschio. “Approximately 40 years ago I often accompanied my mother to work where I would greet consumers with the clipboard questionnaire. My exposure was not only client-based; I had the privilege of attending court hearings with Martin Lawyer, your senior staff attorney who is still with your organization.”
Sones, who provided an overview of the clinic from the student associate perspective said, “Being able to apply the law through my practical legal education in the clinic in real-time and benefiting consumers is rewarding personally and intellectually. The opportunity to counsel clients who have hit hard times is not only rewarding professionally, but also offers personal benefit.”
About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.