Third Judicial Circuit Chief Judge David Hylla has announced a partnership between the courts and the pre-law program at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that will provide undergraduate student interns to assist court patrons at the Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville.
The students will be available in the main lobby and in the Law Library in the lower level of the Madison County Courthouse to help members of the public locate the correct courtroom and offices and manage some paperwork for their court appearances.
“We are very pleased to have pre-law students placed in the courthouse as interns,” Hylla said. “This program will be a long-term benefit to members of the public who need help while at the Madison County Courthouse and underscores our commitment to our community by providing educational assistance to students at SIUE.”
The students help staff the main floor information desk and guide individuals to the correct courtroom or to the Self-help Center. The selected students are trained on the court’s rules for assisting self-represented litigants and advised about the levels of information that can be provided. They can then assist court staff to help residents with paperwork for orders of protection or other legal needs. The students receive three credit hours through the pre-law program and work with the JusticeCorps Fellow stationed in the Law Library along with existing court staff.
“For our students to have this experiential learning opportunity is critical for their decision-making process for potential law school attendance,” explained Dr. Ann Dirks-Linhorst, Pre-Law Internship Coordinator with SIUE. The students will provide services to the community while receiving a hands-on learning experience they cannot duplicate in a classroom.
The public is encouraged to ask for assistance at the main floor information desk in the Madison County Courthouse and at the Self-Help Center in the lower level between 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Visit the Madison County Law Library or contact Lauren Jansen at (618) 296-4772 or [email protected] to seek further information.