Law Students Assist Clients Through Internship with Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic
Web Editor - Published: August 4, 2010
“We met with a couple of new clients and we got to see first hand who our client base really is. They were honest people who had been through some hard times,” said 3rd-year law student John Krohn of his experience this summer serving as an intern for the Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic. Fellow intern Christopher Sarno, also a rising 3rd year student, added, “These people didn’t fit the image that some people probably have when they hear bankruptcy. These were not irresponsible people who had thrown away their money. They were good, honest people. It was a real eye-opener.”

Both Krohn and Sarno have been serving as interns for the bankruptcy section of the Pennsylvania Civil Law Clinic under the supervision of Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Programs Nathaniel C. Nichols since June 1st. The Internships were funded by a grant from the American College of Bankruptcy, an honorary association of bankruptcy and insolvency professionals.

The two interns had a chance to work on several fascinating projects. Through regulations.gov, they submitted a comment on a proposed federal regulation that would require banks to check to see if the money being electronically deposited into an account was protected before the bank could freeze the account. They later had the opportunity to actually help a client whose account had been frozen. They also had the opportunity to attend creditor meetings at the Chester County courthouse, give a presentation on new credit card regulations and debt collections in Upper Darby, and work closely with clinic clients, consisting primarily of senior citizens from Delaware County, Pennsylvania suffering through bankruptcy.

“It’s been wonderful. These two students were able to do far more for clients than I could have hoped,” said Professor Nichols proudly. He spoke of their willingness to educate the community glowingly, and said of their work with the client whose account was frozen, “It was through their efforts that he got his account unfrozen.”

Before the internship, neither John nor Christopher had much experience with bankruptcy law, but both students now have an appreciation for the work and a broader perspective on what it means. “It was a great opportunity to apply what we’ve learned in law school, and we’ve had the opportunity to help a lot of people,” said Chris. John concurred, adding with a smile, “I actually enjoy telling people what I’m doing.”

Further funding will allow both John and Chris to continue working for the clinic on a part-time basis through the upcoming fall semester.