Each year, Elder Law of Michigan, Inc. works with law schools and law students across Michigan, and the country, to encourage students to intern on the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors. This year, Elder Law of Michigan is grateful to have 13 law students volunteer their time this summer to intern under the supervision of our Staff Attorneys to learn about the law, experience what it is like to work at a nonprofit, and assist seniors in need of legal assistance. As part of this experience, each intern has written a brief introduction to help our staff, and our community, to get to know them better. This post is the first entry in a series of posts that will run in the coming weeks to highlight this year’s interns from Michigan State University College of Law, Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, and William and Mary Law School. Without further ado, meet Morgan, Danielle, and Heath, three of our 2017 summer interns!
My name is Morgan Stage, and I am a student intern this summer at Elder Law of Michigan. I just finished up my first year at Michigan State University College of Law. Originally, I am from the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. I graduated from Rockford High School and still visit my parents who are still in the area often. After high school, I attended Western Michigan University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in History in May of 2016.
When I was 18 years old and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, my uncle suggested law school. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew that I liked history and that was something I could see myself majoring in, but I also did not want to teach and did not know what else I could do with a history degree. As I was explaining this to my uncle one day, he said: “have you thought about going to law school?” Up until that time the thought had never occurred to me, no one in my family had attended law school. After my uncle had suggested law school, I decided I would go to Western to study history and look into a career in law. I have not changed my route since.
Once at Western, I joined the Pre-Law Society. Through that organization, I met other students who were seeking to go to law school, and together we visited law schools and brought in speakers from various positions in the legal field. In the beginning of my junior year at Western, I worked at a law firm as a courier. This position introduced to me to what law firm life was like and acclimated me to legal proceedings and paperwork. The more research and experience I got in looking at law schools, and the legal profession, the more interested I became, and I decided to go through with applying to law school.
Outside of law school, I spend most of my time with family, which is a large part of why I wanted to stay in Michigan. Together, my family and I snowmobile, travel, and watch the Green Bay Packers! I also love to read and I am looking forward to this summer to take some time to read for fun, instead of endless textbooks.
This summer at Elder Law of Michigan I am looking to gain confidence when speaking to clients and gain exposure to different areas of law. I am looking forward to working here this summer and gaining the experience!
My name is Danielle Takacs, and I just finished my first year of law school at William & Mary in Virginia. I have lived in the Metro Detroit area all my life and graduated from Michigan State University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. I took a few years off between undergrad and law school where I spent time working, prepping for law school, and traveling abroad to England, Spain, and Portugal. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing creatively, and doing ballet.
Even before I took time off between undergrad and law school, I knew I wanted to pursue a higher degree. I wanted a degree that would give me the knowledge and power to help others. I spent the months before applying to law school speaking to various attorneys to hear their perspectives on law school and the legal field. I was struck by how intelligent and well-spoken these attorneys were though I knew they worked hard to be in the position they were in. After speaking to them, I decided that law school was for me.
The law is complicated. You do not need to go to law school to see that. Elder Law of Michigan provides legal resources and advice to a vulnerable demographic. When I was applying for summer internships and came across this organization, I thought about my grandparents. My maternal grandparents are close to ninety years old but are usually surrounded by loving family and friends who provide them with guidance and support when they need it. My grandparents are lucky to say the least. I know there are too many seniors and disabled people in Michigan who do not have devoted family members to rely on or the resources to help themselves. As a legal intern at Elder Law of Michigan this summer, I hope to learn about various areas of the law and more importantly provide legal assistance to those who need it most.
Hello! My name is Heath Lowry, and I am excited to spend my summer at Elder Law of Michigan. I will be serving as a summer intern for the legal hotline. I grew up just outside Atlanta, Georgia, and I am enjoying the adjustment to life in Michigan. I am a graduate of the University of West Georgia, and I am about to go into my third and final year at Michigan State University College of Law. I came to law school to find a way to reform and improve the impact of the law on the elderly community, especially amongst the indigenous populations. While I spend most of my time doing schoolwork, I love to travel to the different cities and communities around the state.
When I saw the legal intern position at the internship fair on campus, I knew that I had to apply. Working with Elder Law this summer will give me a chance at exposure to topics in law that interest me greatly. Personal experiences have created a passion in me to confront issues that face the elderly community. I saw the obstacles that my grandparents faced in confronting their legal issues, and I want to help facilitate the legal process so that people have true access to justice. Exposure to the systems with Elder Law of Michigan will equip me for a lifetime of working in elder-related issues.
In the internship, I hope to learn many things about legal services. I am excited to experience the different aspects of client consultation. Specifically, the practice of connecting with clients to uncover the true legal issue. The repeated exposure to client interviews will sharpen the skills necessary to transform a client’s story into an actionable situation. The improvement in skills will be invaluable to build confidence and improve the quality of the work I produce. The improved work will allow me to better serve all communities that I will serve in the future.