Translate This!: “I think I will invest in a mutual fund set up around fruit leather stock.”

By: Julio Perez, Fall 2017 IAC Graduate Research Assistant

A mutual fund is an investment company that pools money from several investors and invests said money into diverse securities based on investment goals. It works similarly to an individual investment, except with a much larger pool of capital in exchange with limited control over said capital. A mutual fund is considered an open-end investment company, as opposed to a closed-end fund and a unit investment trust, concepts which we don’t have to worry about for now. Continue reading

The Fight for Representation: Small Voices Need Big Funding

By: Christina Scott, HeLP Fall 2017 Student Intern

Life in the clinic can seem very insulated. Students have partners, dedicated supervisors, and a team of professors and other professionals at the ready to ensure success. Though HeLP Clinic students are required to spend time at the children’s hospital and sit in meetings with HeLP senior staff, they are mostly protected from needing to look under the hood of a lightly funded, interdisciplinary non-profit. There are many forces outside the clinic, however, that could affect its longevity. Politics, both local and national, have noticeably shifted in the last year, and it is safe to wonder how things would be different if the 2016 election had turned out differently.

Many, and probably all, of the clinic’s clients cannot withstand the full force of their medical bills. If they were required to pay them in full out of pocket, our clients simply would not be able to get the medical help they need. Further, many of our clients have conditions that might negatively affect their ability to get a healthcare plan on the open market, if they were even given the opportunity to do so. They simply and totally rely on government-funded health care.

Further, the demographics of our clients put them at a distinct disadvantage in the current political climate in other ways. An African-American client whose children have a Latino last name will certainly face two-fold discrimination. Their full citizenship doesn’t guarantee them freedom from the discrimination that comes from that fully charged mixture of circumstances beyond their control.  Clinic clients are poor—poorer than almost any student who has the ability to attend law school (or who even had the reason to dream they could). Poor people are under fire in this administration. Those most targeted by the bigoted remarks and actions of the administration are also almost always the poorest and the least likely to help themselves. They also have the smallest voices even when their own futures are on the chopping blocks. Continue reading

Hands-on Experience from the HeLP Legal Services Clinic

By Raina Azarkhail, HeLP Fall 2017 Student Intern

The HeLP Legal Services Clinic is by far one of the best opportunities afforded to me at the Georgia State University College of Law.  It has enabled me to grow as an individual and an aspiring lawyer, which is something that cannot be experienced in a regular classroom setting.

For example, a situation likely to occur when I am a practicing attorney is the transfer of cases from one attorney to another.  Luckily, I have had this opportunity already in the HeLP Clinic.  The first few weeks of the beginning of the semester we are encouraged to look through the files pertaining to our clients’ cases (my group had three cases).  These files are usually a couple inches thick, so it is best to get a head start on them.  The memorandums written by the previous teams are very helpful in trying to ascertain the nature of the case, the relevant law, and where they left off.  My team and I had three Supplemental Security Income cases, which rely heavily on medical information, so doing some outside research in order to familiarize ourselves with the medical terminology and gaining some background knowledge of the illnesses was imperative.  Doing this also made reading the medical records in the files much easier.  Continue reading

The Farmer in the Dell (Commodities)

By: Eric Peters, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

The farmer’s hedging risk,

Of prices falling quick,

Before he gets the chance to sell,

His wheat to all who wish.

Futures are his game,

To lock his price in grain,

Contractually, with certainty,

Won’t hurt when prices change.

Bought on the exchange,

To standardize the range,

Of contract terms to set the norm,

Enhance this liquid game.

Regulated by the feds,

CFTC protects,

Many people trade in them,

Advise to hedge your bets.

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My Day in DC with the SEC

By: Qudsia Shafiq, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

After landing at Reagan National Airport at 8:00 am on October 12, 2017, which was flooded with suited business professionals, I could feel hustle and bustle of DC life and I knew immediately that I would have a busy (and exciting!) day ahead of me.  I, along with Professor Lazaro (Director of the Securities Arbitration Clinic at St. John’s University School of Law) and Professor Iannarone, went to the SEC headquarters, where we were greeted by some of the friendly faces of the SEC and escorted to the meeting room.

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My Clinic Story: Alisa Radut

By Alisa Radut, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern

What I enjoyed the most about my time in the clinic is the experience of doing “real” work, for real people.  This experience encompassed all aspects of taking on a case, from gathering information from the potential client, to assessing what is important, to researching the legal authority, and to making determinations of what steps to take going forward. The satisfaction from learning something that is not only new, but difficult to understand, and being able to fit the pieces together is a very rewarding experience.

Working in the clinic has taught me several important lessons.  One of the most important of these, I’d say, is the ability to determine when my decision, work, or determination pertaining to a case is “good enough.”  From the very first stages of initiating a case, decisions are made as to what needs to be done to move forward, sometimes yielding more than one correct answer.  As I have learned, one best answer doesn’t exist, and in order to maintain efficiency and progress, I must pick an answer that is “good enough” and move forward.  This is probably also the hardest lesson I’ve learned, as it involves trusting my own instincts, knowledge, and ability to make decisions determinative to the case. Continue reading

Translate This!: “I have a call option on fruit leather stock.”

By: Julio Perez, Fall 2017 IAC Graduate Research Assistant

Investing is defined by options – you have options in how, what when and where you invest, and no two investment portfolios look the same. That being said, why is “options” used as a technical term in investing? Options give you the right (but not obligation) to buy or sell a security at a fixed price within a specific period of time.

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