Emory Law's student-run committee raises the profile of the legal profession

By Alison Law | Emory School of Law | June 5, 2014

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Public Interest Committee student members.

At the intersection of a lawyer's career interests and understanding of the law resides inherent responsibilities to his or her neighbor, community and society. One student-run organization at Emory Law provides deeper insight into this responsibility, connecting law students with the opportunities and resources to serve the public interest while preparing for their entry into the legal profession.

Since 1989, the Emory Public Interest Committee (better known by the acronym EPIC) has been promoting awareness and increased understanding of public interest law. The committee encourages and facilitates the employment of Emory Law students in public interest legal positions and acknowledges the professional responsibility of lawyers and law students to make legal services more accessible to those in need of adequate representation.

Throughout the year, EPIC hosts a series of events to raise awareness of public interest legal jobs that are available to law students. Students also play host and operate these events to raise funds for their fellow law students who want to pursue public interest internships. In 2012, EPIC raised more than $180,000 to help 36 EPIC grant recipients accept volunteer positions or clerkships in public interest organizations.

"EPIC is a source of great pride for the law school," says Robert Ahdieh, Emory Law's vice dean. "The law clinics, public interest field placements and internships, a pro bono program and the Loan Repayment Assistance Program are examples of Emory Law's commitment to public interest law."

EPIC's largest fundraiser is the Inspiration Awards. Each year, EPIC recognizes three attorneys in the Atlanta area who have made significant contributions to public interest law. The 2013 honorees are Robert N. "Robbie" Dokson, shareholder at Ellis Funk PC; Jeffrey O. Bramlett, partner at Bondurant Mixson & Elmore LLP; and Tamara Serwer Caldas, deputy director of the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.

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