In my first two weeks of working at Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back, I have attended numerous Continuing Legal Education (CLE) webinars, which attorneys attend to learn more about a specific topic and gain CLE credits. Through these CLE webinars, three basic characteristics about the law have stood out to me: it is constantly changing, it takes many forms, and it is complex. Because of this, attorneys really never stop learning the law. As someone who plans to attend law school in the future, this encourages me that I will be able to find some area of law that I am passionate about and enjoy practicing.
On a different note, something specific that stuck with me from an eviction webinar was the procedure for carrying out an eviction. Regarding evictions, Florida is called a ‘pay-to-play state’ because in order to mount a legal defense to an eviction, a tenant must deposit the rent they owe into the court registry. If they cannot do this, they default and automatically lose the suit. This strikes me as having the potential to be very unfair. What if a tenant can afford to pay rent in order to fight the suit or hire an attorney to help them, but not both? They may have to fight the suit without the legal knowledge and guidance of an attorney or simply accept that they will lose the suit and try to figure out a new living situation. This opened my eyes both to the fact that the systems within which lawyers operate are not necessarily just and to the importance of organizations like Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back that provide clients with pro bono legal services.