Law student interned with House Oversight panel

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

After completing a summer legal internship supported by the Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, 3L student Marisa Hamel is sharing her experience by participating in the new Levin Center Student Group at the law school. The group will host a panel on Careers in Government this fall.

“Our goal is to introduce students to Oversight and careers in public service,” she says.

Always been drawn to public service in her freshman year at Michigan State University, Hamel worked for a nonprofit lobbying group that helped get education reform passed for community colleges in Maryland. “Being a part of changing policy solidified my goal of going to law school,” she says.

“Public interest law is rewarding to me because I’ve been afforded the opportunity in life to get a legal education, and I feel strongly compelled to use those talents for bettering people’s lives.”
She appreciates Wayne Law’s rich tradition of public service in Detroit.

“My classmates and I are not only making an investment into our careers, we’re investing in our community,” she says. “I see a lot of volunteering and activism from our small community and I draw on my classmates for inspiration and energy.

“Wayne Law offers so many opportunities to make connections and get practical experience that we need to be good lawyers. I’m excited to see where we all are in 20 years, and what we do inside and out of the legal community.”

Among her extracurriculars, Hamel says the Free Legal Aid Clinic has taught her much in terms of practical skills, client management and professional responsibility.

“I cannot overstate the importance of the work FLAC does for indigent family and elder law clients in Detroit,” she says. “I joined the student board because FLAC has existed as a student-run clinic in Detroit since 1965 and it’s important to me that it continue that way. We have an extremely dedicated board.”

Hamel also is a member of the Wayne Law Mock Trial team that she refers to as “a powerhouse of future litigators.”

The team recently finished a five-day workshop course in trial advocacy and evidence that Hamel helped lead as Workshop Coordinator.

“It was motivating to revisit the foundations of trial preparation and watch the progress junior members made in just a few weeks,” she says.

Last year Hamel was on the Texas Young Lawyers Association competition team in Akron, Ohio, that made it to the semifinals, beating Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Case Western.
“This year our returning members have our sights set on traveling to Texas for the finals,” she says.

A native of Cortland, N.Y., where her parents still live, Hamel currently makes her home in midtown Detroit around the corner from Eastern Market.

“I go to the Saturday market religiously,” she says. “Much of my free time I spend cooking new recipes and I hope to publish a cookbook someday. I love trying new restaurants that are popping up in Detroit.”
She also is a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit and last year met her 13-year-old Little Sister.

“She is an absolute joy,” she says. “We do everything from work on homework together, to getting outside together, and we’re going to see the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this fall because she loves music and plays in the school marching band.

“I hope to inspire her like my female role models inspired me over the years, and help her be the best possible version of herself.”