Several law students from Mitchell Hamline are learning and helping clients in Mankato as part of a new initiative.

Mitchell Hamline School of Law is hitting the road... in a bright red RV.

The brainchild of Mitchell Hamline's dean Mark Gordon, it provides students a chance to learn law throughout the state.

Minnesota Justice Foundation Program Director Sara Schwebs said, "Although we're really lucky to have great law schools in Minnesota, they're very concentrated in the Metro area, so there's a whole lot of Minnesota above and below the Twin Cities that doesn't have access to great law student volunteers on a regular basis."

The school bought the used RV this summer, fixing it up and turning it into a traveling law office, complete with two private offices called the Mobile Law Network or the Wheels of Justice.

Schwebs said ,"We had a fun christening sort of ceremony at the law school and then to be the first trip, it's very exciting."

On this first trip, it's bringing five Mitchell Hamline law students to provide volunteer legal assistance at Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and learn from volunteer private attorneys.

Southern Minnesota Regional Volunteer Attorney Program Coordinator Mary Stoos said, "This is a good opportunity for them to get hands–on and have a private attorney there to guide them to guide the client. It's a win–win, for everybody."

Today, the students took part in a clinic helping clients representing themselves in divorce proceedings fill out paperwork.

It teaches the students what to expect when they graduate and get a head start in their field.

Mitchell Hamline Law Student Ashley Longcor said, "The clinic that SMRLS offers, it's really helpful. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback every time that I've done and the clients are just super grateful. I feel like for use being able to help them, it's a very positive opportunity for us."

Wheels of Justice helps students gain experience primarily in family law, expunging criminal convictions and advance health care planning.

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--KEYC News 12