Four New Interns Join NHLA for the SummerPosted Jun 23, 2021
New Hampshire Legal Assistance recently welcomed four new interns for the summer! They will spend the next few months in NHLA offices across the state, working closely with advocates in and out of the courtroom. In between orientation and getting right to work, they each took a moment to introduce themselves and share what they are most looking forward to from their civil legal aid experience:
Coda Campbell is a Rising 2L student at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law and will be spending her summer supporting our Concord office. Coda is the first student to receive the Mitch Simon Fellowship, started last year in honor of NHLA’s former litigation director’s retirement from teaching at the law school. Coda brings a unique perspective to the study of law, having served 8 years in the Army and driven by a desire to lift herself out of generational poverty.
“Everything we had growing up was subsidized,” Coda said. “And I’ve seen how poverty can put people in a position where they need to commit crime just to survive. From there, the deck is pretty much stacked against you, because you get a rap sheet that follows you for the rest of your life.”
Coda believes there are many issues that are unrepresented at a legal level. “Poverty is the biggest barrier to equality that no one wants to talk about,” she said. “I want to help people get access to the resources that saved my life. Any case that I get to handle—whether large or small—it will be great to give back.”
Originally from Alaska, Alexandra Ellis moved to Vermont to attend Vermont Law School where she is working towards a dual degree JD and Master of Arts in restorative justice. She will be supporting NHLA’s legal advocacy work in our Claremont office, and has expressed a strong interest in youth law, domestic violence, and housing discrimination.
“Being from Alaska, I have seen the down-trickle effects of systematic racism—how generations of trauma can be seen from the outside looking in. Homelessness, barriers to Medicare and unemployment assistance, and lack of access to adequate representation are the most visible issues.”
When asked about her hopes for the summer, Alexandra told us that “I want to spend my summer at NHLA because I believe in its mission, and I believe in the ability to help expand access to justice for people experiencing poverty. I know what it’s like to feel powerless to a system that sees you as a statistic and not a person. It will be an honor to learn from and assist the advocates who are giving their valuable time and effort to help New Hampshire’s most vulnerable.”
Currently a rising 3L at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, Griffin Kmon could not be more excited to spend his summer supporting NHLA’s Manchester office. “NHLA is an incredible organization!” he answered passionately when asked why he chose to apply for the internship. “The work they do is invaluable. Access to civil legal aid is one of the most critical needs in our community.”
Griffin grew up in Litchfield and is looking forward to using his education and experience to help people in the community who need it the most. “I’m going to use my time at NHLA to learn about the different situations our clients are facing and work to get the best results for them.”
Grace Feigl is a student at Bowdoin College in Maine. She is a Concord native and will be working with Litigation Director Kay Drought. Grace will focus on plaintiff outreach to support NHLA’s Choices for Independence (CFI) lawsuit. As this is an ongoing lawsuit, Grace cannot share too much or what she is working on, but generally, Grace works with plaintiffs to keep the case organized and up to date.
Majoring in government and legal studies, Grace worked on political campaigns in New Hampshire during the last election season and looks forward to learning about social and economic issues from a legal perspective as opposed to a political perspective. “I’m interested in attending law school at some point,” Grace said. “Being able to talk to other people in the law will be very beneficial as I continue my education.”
NHLA is a statewide nonprofit law firm representing low-income and elderly New Hampshire residents who cannot afford a lawyer. Through advice, referrals, direct representation and systemic advocacy, NHLA works to improve the lives of low-income and other vulnerable New Hampshire residents by providing access to justice. NHLA maintains offices in Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Manchester and Portsmouth.