School of Law
“A mind trained in the law, together with a heart for public service, can do a lot of good for our world. The Law School’s Summer Public Service Fellowship makes sure that students, who have the passion for non-profit or government work during their summer break, have the financial backing to make that good happen.”
- David Boling, B.A. ’87, J.D. ‘91
Expanding Possibilities Through Public Service
Marion Humphrey, Jr. is 100% certain he would like to work in public service or social justice after he earns his law degree. And Martha-Kay “Gus” Mettler says she wants to contribute to improving the Arkansas Delta, where she grew up. Both are one step closer to realizing these dreams after participating in the School of Law’s Summer Public Service Fellowship program, which provides paid public service fellowships to promising law students interested in public service careers.
Humphrey and Mettler are both from Arkansas and have come away from their fellowships with renewed inspiration for contributing to their home state.
“I’ve gained experience in how the law affects different communities on local, state and federal levels,” Humphrey said of his experiences. “And with a law degree, I can solve problems connected to systemic issues.”
In 2019, Humphrey was named the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Public Policy Fellow and worked at the Campaign for Youth Justice in Washington, D.C. In this position, he tracked legislation and case law regarding the transfer and sentencing of youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system and contributed to a joint policy brief on Latinx youth in the adult criminal justice system.
In his second fellowship this past summer, he gained experience with ArchCity Defenders, a holistic legal advocacy organization based in St. Louis, where he addressed housing and homelessness issues.
In 2020, Mettler was named the first Delta Fellow, deepening her understanding of creative advocacy, relationship-building, issues facing rural communities and policy strategies to enhance the resiliency of communities. She modeled her work on the Harvard Mississippi Delta Project and how it might be applicable to Arkansas.
“My fellowship experience changed my perspective on advocacy and helped me understand the importance of communication, feedback and representation in a community,” Mettler said. “You have to interact with people from an area before just going in and making changes to it.”
The Summer Public Service Fellowship program began during Campaign Arkansas and provides paid public service fellowships to promising law students interested in public service careers. It offers meaningful employment opportunities and provides legal services to nonprofit, non-governmental and government entities that cannot otherwise afford summer interns.
“The fellowship gives students the opportunity to address issues that help shift dynamics that negatively impact our state,” Humphrey said.
Mettler added, “It’s inspiring to see the impact on the organization or cause you’re helping and knowing others will benefit in the long run as well.”
Director of Development