Legal Services Alabama welcomed student volunteer and Selma native Nia’ja Whitt to its Selma Office in December 2019 and extern Sara Carter to its Birmingham Office in January 2020.
A 2016 graduate of Selma High School, Whitt will graduate from Huntsville’s Alabama A&M University in May 2020 with a degree in Political Science. Whitt stated he has enjoyed learning the ins-and-outs of LSA.
“I love the environment and my coworkers,” Whitt said. “I love to help people and I love to help my community. LSA is a great opportunity to help those of low-income with [legal] problems they may have and give them the justice they need.”
Carter, who graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Government and Politics, comes to LSA as an extern through Harvard Law School. After completing a summer 2019 externship with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Georgia, the Baltimore native and 2L currently works as a student attorney in Harvard’s Prison Legal Assistance Project. Carter has an interest in public interest law and Civil Rights litigation.
“I wanted to perform a research project on Civil Rights, and a great place is Birmingham,” Carter said, who returns to Cambridge, MA at the end of January. “I will be at the national ACLU office this summer. I’ve worked in the impact litigation field of public interest. I wanted to have exposure to learn what it’s like to meet with clients/be in direct services. I’ve really enjoyed my time here [at LSA] so far.”
After graduation, Whitt plans to pursue an MBA at Georgetown University and later attend Law School at Loyola University Chicago. Law School, Whitt stated, has always been an interest.
“I always wanted to be an attorney. I desire to work with the government as a political consultant,” Whitt said. “I want to expand my knowledge of law. Being an intern at a law firm has helped me to gain more insight and even more of an interest in law.”
Whitt also stated working for LSA has encouraged him to be more thorough and detail-oriented.
“Being here at LSA, I am able to see what lawyers have to deal with regarding filing and cases,” Whitt said. “You have to make sure you have everything you need, pay attention to the details of your files, and listen carefully to the problems our clients have. It’s been a great experience.”
Selma Managing Attorney Elizabeth Hollie stated that since his tenure, Whitt has shown drive in learning how LSA helps the community.
“Nai’ja Whitt is a pleasant young man,” Hollie said. “Mr. Whitt assists all three attorneys in organizing our files and learning how we practice law. He plans to attend court with the attorneys on January 13th to see our practice in action.“
Carter plans to work a federal clerkship and/or in public interest law through the ACLU or in legal aid.
“My interest in law started in an interest in democracy—voting rights, which sparked my interest in the Civil Rights Movement,” Carter said. “This summer, I will be working with ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, working on increasing access to the vote. I’m interested in making it easier for low-income people and people of color to have access to the polls.”
Birmingham Managing Attorney Barbara Luckett stated the office is “thankful” to have Carter on board.
“We began this process about four months ago. When she described her project and goals, I immediately agreed to supervise her efforts,” Luckett said. “It is admirable that she removes herself from her comfort zone in an effort to be geographically and culturally diverse in service to her future clients and community. We are so pleased that she chose our organization, state, city, and office for her independent study.”
For more information about LSA or volunteer opportunities, please visit our website: www.legalservicesalabama.org.