For Legal Aid Farmworkers
DESCRIPTION OF ORGANIZATION: The Farmworker Unit represents migrant farmworkers throughout the state. North Carolina ranks 6th in number of migrant farmworkers in the nation and more temporary foreign agricultural workers on H-2A visas are employed in North Carolina than in any other state. Most of the work of the Unit's attorneys and paralegals is focused on the employment problems of the workers, who are largely dependent upon their employers for their housing, their jobs, and their transportation to stores, medical providers and other services. The Unit litigates in both state and federal courts on clients' claims under common law and their work contracts, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, North Carolina's Wage and Hour Act, and other statutes.
DESCRIPTION OF STUDENT WORK/PROJECTS: This is a fall externship opportunity only. The extern will have the opportunity to assist the Unit in its outreach to farmworkers during the sweet potato season by, together with Unit staff, visiting workers in labor camps in the evening and giving them information about their legal rights . The extern will also have the opportunity to analyze the legal problems presented by workers and work on preparing their claims for court and/or to work on drafting pleadings for on-going litigation. The extern may have an opportunity to observe a deposition or a hearing and to assist to prepare a client for deposition or hearing, depending upon the litigation schedule at the time of the externship.
COURSE OR OTHER REQUIREMENTS/PREFERENCES FOR STUDENT: Required: Interest in the problems of low-income workers; excellent analytical, legal research and legal writing skills. Preferred: Proficiency in Spanish, experience with interviewing in Spanish. Non-Spanish speaking extern applicants will not have the client contact experience and will not find the externship as rewarding, although they can be afforded the other experiences in the externship.