Student Spotlight: Carrie Gilbert, Health Justice Project

The Health Justice Project is the most exciting and challenging course that I have taken at Loyola. The practical experience provided by Loyola’s clinics, such as the Health Justice Project, gives students an opportunity to interact with clients and solve legal problems while learning from professors with extensive experience. My work at the Health Justice Project required me to look at issues from all perspectives. I learned difficult lessons that I believe will ultimately make me a better attorney.

One of the most formative experiences I had during my time in the Health Justice Project was when I represented a client trying to regain entry to her apartment which had been boarded up. This was the most challenging thing I did while working in the clinic. Learning in a classroom and learning how to advocate for a client in a real world situation are two very different situations. I was no longer dealing with a hypothetical in a classroom. This was a person’s life, and I was her advocate. I had to quickly learn how to navigate the situation. I did my research and equipped myself with the information I needed.   However, at moments, I felt incapable of effectively communicating with the parties involved, especially while trying to negotiate the different personalities. I struggled to know how to best advocate for my client. I had to confront my own judgments and pre-conceived notions. Ultimately, we were able to regain entry to the client’s apartment so she could collect some of her belongings which had been left in the apartment.

This experience taught me about the housing system and about the way it affects the clients in the clinic. This experience also taught me about the kind of attorney and advocate that I hope to be. It showed me my own strengths. Learning and working in the Health Justice Project was an invaluable experience that cannot be replicated. I had work that was different from anything else I had done in law school. I was constantly supported by the professors in the clinic so that I could make mistakes and learn from them. Even if I do not end up doing the type of work I did in the clinic, the lessons I learned there will serve me well as I begin my career.

Carrie Gilbert
J.D. Candidate 2013
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Carrie Gilbert
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