WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – When the eviction moratorium ended, hundreds of law students stepped up to help families avoid becoming homeless. Now they’re being recognized for their work by federal leaders.
Gene Sperling, an American Rescue Plan coordinator, says when the Supreme Court struck down the federal eviction moratorium in August Attorney General Merrick Garland put out a call for help.
“The Attorney General called on the entire legal profession, to act with urgency to address the housing and eviction crisis,” Sperling said.
Garland says law students answered that call.
“You assisted your clients in your communities at a time when they needed it the most, when our country needed it the most,” Garland said.
Hundreds of law students from schools across the country started pop-up clinics and online platforms to help families navigate the legal system to get rental assistance money and avoid evictions.
Georgetown Law School Dean William Treanor was among the first to facilitate his students joining in on the effort.
“These actions have certainly saved lives. Over 2,100 students dedicated over 81,000 hours to serving over 10,000 households,” Treanor said.
Student Rhea Frison from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School says it was rewarding to be able to offer a lifeline to families.
“After informing her about what the rental assistance program offered for the first time, she let herself show some emotion and she cried in relief,” Frison said.
Administration officials say the program seems to be working as eviction rates are down. Duke Law Professor Jesse McCoy pointed out that the need for their help is ongoing.
“This crisis is far from over. I hope that we in the legal community continue to exercise our obligation to help those who are most vulnerable,” McCoy said.
The Administration says nearly 100 law schools participated in the rental assistance effort.