Spotlight on 2012 Grantee, Molly Zimney

Molly Zimney is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She attended the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota as an undergraduate. This summer she is working at the Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

 

Why did you choose law school, and why USF in particular?

I knew that I wanted to serve the public sector throughout college, but wasn’t quite sure how. I was a political science major and was focusing on international relations. By an odd course of events, I ended up deviating from international relations and took some pre-law courses. I loved them and ultimately decided that I would pursue a career in law to serve the greater community. I felt that law school would provide me with the tools I needed to advocate for the underrepresented in an extremely effective manner, and in a way that would truly challenge me.

 

When choosing law schools, I was moving from overseas, so I was starting over no matter where I moved to. This gave me the liberty to consider, almost exclusively, the programs that were offered at each school. USF’s commitment to social justice and human rights, along with its international programs made it a perfect fit.

 

What kind of work did you do this summer or what type of projects did you work on?
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) has a number of projects that its interns have the opportunity to work on. Throughout the summer, the interns may assist in legal education programs, provide legal research for major policy issues, join prison visits, lobby in Sacramento, and respond to letters from prisoners seeking legal advice. Interns also participate by developing manuals for prisoners that cover topics such as guardianship of their children and pregnancy during incarceration.

 

What do you find most inspiring about the work you are doing or the organization you are working for?

Over the course of my legal education, I have developed an interest in prisoners’ rights by working for the Witness to Guantanamo Project, and in juvenile advocacy. Working for LSPC has allowed me to pursue both of these interests in a unique environment. My interest in these groups has developed through seeing how a legal advocate, among several other things, can promote a brighter future for someone who has had trouble with the law or a less than ideal upbringing. Furthermore, knowing that my work may make life easier for someone during one of the hardest times in their life is truly inspiring.

 

What would you like to do following law school?

I am really interested in a lot of different areas of the law, so I don’t pretend to have a definitive answer. Having said that, I would love to work for an organization that works on public policy to protect the rights and wellbeing of accused and incarcerated juveniles.

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