U of A Law School students helped The Liberty Initiative Inc., better known as TLI, grow from an informal labor of love to a registered, tax-exempt nonprofit ‘tax. The project was part of student work at the Nonprofit Clinic, one of six clinic opportunities available to law students through the School of Law Legal Clinic.
Since its founding in 2006, students enrolled in the law school’s nonprofit clinic have provided free legal assistance to approximately 200 organizations and groups seeking to serve the community. As each nonprofit is established, students learn critical legal skills, including interviewing and advising clients, legal research and fact-finding, and writing.
Law student Kordyn Turner, who represented TLI, said that actually practicing law taught him the importance of good case management. “It was a pleasure to carry out this project for our client and to allow TLI to grow and better pursue its mission.”
The nonprofit clinic’s director, Tim Tarvin, who served as Turner’s supervising attorney, said: “This is an example of a win-win. Kordyn is more confident and competent in his ability to represent clients , TLI is better equipped to move forward with its advocacy, and the law school continues its legacy of giving back to the community.”
Prior to joining law school at the U of A School of Law in 1993, Tarvin served as an assistant attorney, trustee in bankruptcy, juvenile judge, and municipal judge. He led the clinic for 16 years and championed his foundation because he believed students should have the opportunity to learn practical skills in a clinic without adversaries.
Founded by lawyer and former judge Jon Comstock, TLI provides voluntarily legal services to people who cannot easily access them, including many formerly incarcerated people who face a range of barriers. In addition to free legal services, the organization seeks to improve our criminal justice system through advocacy, education, and the arts through activities for the general public.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people about the wonderful work the law school nonprofit clinic has done for us in organizing,” Comstock said. “What impressed me the most was the attention to detail and the quick communication and follow-up with clients. There is no doubt that the students learn the skills necessary to become excellent transactional lawyers.”
The Law School Legal Clinic was first run by Professor Hillary Rodham Clinton in 1975 to give students practical training in representing real clients in real legal situations and to provide a free and much needed service to the north -western Arkansas. Clinic students practice law under the close supervision of a full-time faculty member. Learn about the training and experience offered to students at the School of Law’s legal clinics and the essential legal services the program provides to the community.
About the School of Law: The law school offers a competitive JD as well as an advanced LL.M. curriculum, which are taught by nationally recognized faculty. The school offers unique opportunities for students to participate in pro bono work, internships, live client clinics, competitions, and food and agriculture initiatives. The school strives to identify, discuss and challenge issues of race, color, ethnicity and the impacts they have on students, faculty and staff members with the aim of create a diverse, inclusive and equitable community. From the admission of the six pioneers who were the first African-American students to attend law school in the South without a court order, to the governors, judges, prosecutors and graduate professors who became President of the United States and Secretary of State, Law The school has a rich history and culture. Follow us on @uarklaw.