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Public Interest Law Project

Nicole Johnson

October 10, 2011

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Legal Aid Services of Oregon Farmworkers Project

As an intern for the Farmworkers program I had the opportunity of working closely along side a well-seasoned lawyer who has focused her career serving mainly Migrant Farmworkers. I began the summer with a two-day training provided by Legal Aid and Oregon Law Center giving the breath of the main statutes protecting Farmworkers. We then began outreach. During outreach we visited many migrant camps throughout Eastern Oregon, distributing information covering Farmworkers legal rights. It was a great way to put in practice the skills I learned during my first year as well as develop an understanding of Farmworker issues and the legal means used to address those issues. When not doing outreach, I had the opportunity of doing research on various issues including migrant education, OSHA, and ethics. Additionally, I worked on writing a template of a pleading to be used for future cases regarding pesticide exposure. I also accompanied the Farmworker lawyer in Pendleton to several meetings and presentations given by experienced professionals in their fields.

As a side note, living in Pendleton in the summer was also very rewarding in that Pendleton houses the State Courthouse for Eastern Oregon and there is a relatively good sized legal community of people who are all very friendly in that small town way, many of whom meet every Friday at Farmers Market for drinks and interesting conversation.

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