Illustration of Duke Law clinics
Photo Credit
Nadya Noor

Law Clinics Benefit Everyone Involved

Duke Law School’s 11 legal clinics enable students to hone invaluable practice skills, help close the justice gap for clients and communities in need, and cement a lifelong commitment to service.

When his daily runs took him through downtown Durham in mid-April, Kevin Cergol ’20 sometimes passed makeshift food stations set up by the Durham Neighbors Free Lunch Initiative, where volunteers wearing masks and gloves prepared to hand out boxed meals to adults, teens, and small children. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic was causing economic shocks and a spike in local food insecurity, and Durham Public Schools had ended its free lunch program after a worker had fallen ill. In the midst of the mounting deprivation, though, Cergol would allow himself a small sense of satisfaction: A student attorney in Duke Law School’s Community Enterprise Clinic, he had helped his client, the sustainability nonprofit Don’t Waste Durham, become the fiscal sponsor of the initiative.

“It was great to handle a transaction that helps feed people,” he says. “I wasn’t cooking the meals but I felt a very strong connection to the project. And I found myself inspired less by the minutiae of the work, but more by what I was helping create.”