By far one of the greatest ways USF Public Interest Law Foundation helps to make an impact in our community is by providing grants to USF Law students who choose to pursue unpaid summer legal work. This past summer, 25 remarkable students were selected to each receive grants of $4,000. We are proud to offer these grants through the generous donations we receive throughout the year as well as through several fundraising events sponsored by USF and PILF.
Our largest fundraising opportunity is the Annual PILF Gala and Auction. This year’s Gala and Auction takes place on November 4th. As the Auction draws nearer, we want to take a moment to introduce our most recent 2011 Summer Grantees in the Q&A’s below.
Richard Burchett, Jr. Spent His Summer Making Neighborhoods Safer, No Really….
Richard Burchett, Jr. is from Fresno, California and was an undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego (Thurgood Marshall College). This summer he worked at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office in the code enforcement division.
Why did you choose law school, and why USF in particular?
Civil and gay rights are what originally piqued my interest in attending law school. I had followed the LGBT community’s fight for equality and volunteered for the “No on Proposition 8” campaign and Equality California before coming to law school. I have always been interested, and continue to be interested, in public interest work. Since starting law school my interests have broadened, but I still plan on a career that benefits the community. I chose USF because of its reputation for Public Interest Law.
What kind of work did you do this summer?
I primarily did research and writing related to the various cases on which my division was working. I also attended inspections, as well as task-force and community meetings with the deputy city attorneys of my division.
What do you find most inspiring about the work you are doing or the organization you are working for?
I was inspired by how the work the code enforcement division has a direct impact on the communities of San Francisco. Since starting in June, I have seen the division’s work lead to action that has made neighborhoods safer and has improved the quality of life of affected residents. The code enforcement division of the city attorney’s office is particularly involved in the communities of San Francisco, working with a variety of civic organizations to improve life and solve the problems affecting local residents.
Are you interested in public interest legal work as a career? What sort of law would you like to practice?
My interest in working for the public interest has not changed since starting at USF Law. While I am keeping an open mind, I currently plan to work as a criminal prosecutor once I graduate.