In the summer of 2012, the Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic launched the Cushman D. Anthony Summer Fellowship. The Cushman Fellowship, named in honor of the Clinic’s founder and first director, provides a unique opportunity for a student to work on child-based policy issues and to develop general practice litigation skills. A rising 3L student is selected annually and paid a stipend for their work over the summer. Three students have served as Cushman Fellows: Taylor Sampson ’15, Michael O’ Brien ‘14, and Nicole Bissonnette ’13.
The most recent Cushman Fellow, Taylor Sampson, spent his summer at the Clinic working on juvenile policy initiatives and as a student attorney. On the policy side, he worked with Professor Christopher Northrop and others to develop a core group of juvenile policy issues to be presented to the Maine state legislature this spring. This core group of policy issues included eliminating the shackling of juveniles in the courtroom; presuming all juveniles to be indigent; providing the court with restorative justice themed alternatives at the petition and disposition phases of a juvenile’s case; and protecting the privacy of a juvenile’s court record.
Taylor also participated as a student attorney at the ‘Tuesdays at the Teen Center’ project. This project involves weekly meetings with homeless teens at the Preble Street Teen Center to provide free legal advice, resource referrals and an occasional pizza.
Of his experience as the 2014 Cushman Fellow Taylor said, “There is no better introduction to juvenile law in Maine than having the opportunity to work with Professor Northrop and his extensive group of connections. The Cushman Fellowship allows you the opportunity to not only fight for the rights of young Mainer’s in the courtroom, but to fight for the rights of all Maine youth via legislative change”.
The 2015 Cushman D. Anthony Summer Clinical Fellow will be Kris Rozen ‘16.