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In May, Adams and Reese will welcome Loyola University New Orleans College of Law student Leila Abu-Orf as its 2017 Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) Access to Justice (ATJ) Developing Leadership intern. Abu-Orf is one of four rising 2L law students, one from each of Louisiana’s four law schools, selected for the program.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected for the 2017 LSBA Access to Justice summer internship and to have this unique, one-of-a-kind opportunity with Adams and Reese,” Abu-Orf said. “I look forward to the invaluable experiences ahead and the opportunity to begin cultivating my professional identity as an attorney and an Access to Justice leader.”

Launched in 2016, the LSBA ATJ Developing Leadership Program is a six-week internship offering the selected 2L law students the opportunity to learn about Louisiana’s civil justice community first-hand. Each week, the interns will focus on the various civil legal needs of low-income people, the ways in which organizations within the New Orleans justice community address those needs, and how ATJ services increase the quality of life of those served.

Abu-Orf, a New Jersey native, moved to New Orleans in 2009 to attend Tulane University for her undergraduate studies. She majored in Anthropology and Gender and Sexuality Studies and received the Outstanding Senior Award from the Gender and Sexuality Studies Department upon graduating in 2013.

“Social justice has been at the core of my academic studies, extracurricular activities, and personal interests since I can remember,” she said. “I decided to attend law school because I knew it would be the perfect avenue for pursuing social justice work as a career.”

Added Mark Surprenant, Adams and Reese Pro Bono Paladin, a Partner on the firm’s Litigation Practice Team, and a member of the LSBA Access to Justice Commission, “Adams and Reese is proud to participate in and support the LSBA ATJ Developing Leadership internship program for the second year. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Leila, who has a deep interest and drive to work on social justice issues, and to help her develop into a future Access To Justice leader.”

Adams and Reese is among four prominent New Orleans law firms sponsoring the 2017 internship program, with each firm contributing $3,000 to the Louisiana Access to Justice Commission in support of the initiative.