By Eric Peters, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern
Mary had a solid job,
Worked real hard, nine to five.
Mary saved as best she could,
But worried ‘bout her goals.
Retire early, be comfortable,
Pay the bills, live for thrills.
Worry not for want and needs,
And take care of her home.
Then she learned of TDFs [Target Date Funds],
Target date funds to save best.
Suits your lifestyle and your age,
Can get it through your 401(k). Continue reading
By: Qudsia Shafiq, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern
In Fall 2016, I enrolled in the business arbitration practicum without any prior knowledge about FINRA, arbitration or the securities industry. After one semester of the Business Arbitration Practicum course and two semesters of the Investor Advocacy Clinic, I can confidently say that this was the most impactful experience during law school because of what I learned.
By Eric Peters , Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern
My decision to join the Investor Advocacy Clinic was driven by two goals: 1.) utilize my financial education in a real-world, legal environment, and 2.) help those who could not afford legal representation. As this semester’s work in the Clinic is coming to an end, both these goals have been accomplished. With the guiding hand of Professor Iannarone, I have made significant progress in developing my professional identity, skill set, and now feel prepared to enter the legal profession with confidence. Professor Iannarone’s wealth of knowledge and willingness to assist and guide her students throughout the process of a FINRA arbitration has been an invaluable tool and helped me make strides towards becoming the lawyer I want to be.
By: Lynn M. Mckeel, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern
As the semester draws to a close and I complete the first half of my Clinic experience, one aspect of the clinic stands out. The Investor Advocacy Clinic describes itself as a resource for injured investors who may seek recourse in FINRA arbitration proceedings. However, it is so much more than just a FINRA clinic. Throughout the semester the interns were exposed to a variety of instances of investor peril. Yes, we reviewed potential FINRA claims, but we also reviewed cases under investigation by the Georgia Secretary of State; participated in an SEC meeting; created educational tools for investors; and even participated in FINRA arbitration proceedings. This diverse smorgasbord of assignments made for a completely unique and ever changing Clinic experience.
At the forefront of our tasks was the analysis and evaluation of potential FINRA claims. Because of the Clinic’s limited resources we must use the utmost scrutiny in evaluating a potential client. In a perfect world with a more cushioned budget, the Clinic could help everyone who has been so selfishly defrauded. But with heavy heart we must apply a strict level of scrutiny to investors who have already been dragged through the ditches. Sometimes these evaluations may take weeks or even months before a determination of eligibility may be assessed. The time between intake and eligibility determination is a very intimate and personal experience. As Clinic interns we must discuss very private matters with eligible clients and review sensitive financial documents for hours on end. This process allows for a smooth transition from potential client to represented client. However, it also allows for a level of disappointment from both the investor and the Clinic if the grievance is deemed ineligible for our services. One thing is for sure, the students who participate in these evaluations are more educated, more experienced, and more prepared for the work and expectations of private practice. Continue reading
By Megan Makuck, Fall 2017 IAC Student Intern
There is an old saying that goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I think the same can be said for experience compared to a textbook, and my time in the Investor Advocacy Clinic this semester is no exception. Starting at orientation in August, everything was overwhelming. The learning curve was steep and there were countless times I did not even know what to ask about what I did not understand. But jumping into it with an open mind a strong team of students by my side, I quickly learned the ropes of the day to day in the clinic. I learned lawyerly skills that are not in a textbook. I learned how to work in a law firm setting; I learned how to speak to clients; and I learned the importance of working with a team for tedious and large cases.
By: Paul Blackstock, HeLP Clinic
Parents filing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability claims on behalf of their children may be asked whether their child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan at school. These educational tools often indicate the level of help a child requires based on the severity of the child’s medical condition(s). Although both IEPs and 504 Plans create formal plans for the child, these tools are often given different weight by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Continue reading
By: Brendan Cotter, HeLP Clinic
As we clinic students enjoy our week-long Thanksgiving break, I hope everyone can catch up on sleep and spend some time with their families for those who are able. Reflecting on my experiences this semester, I came to the timely conclusion that I, and likely many other fellow students, faculty, and staff, have much for which to be grateful. It may sound cliché, but in light of what I have seen while working at the HeLP Clinic, I feel Thanksgiving comes at a perfect time for some self-reflection on appreciating what our lives have offered us thus far.