MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Graduate student Hannah Jack is making her mark as the first social work intern in the law clinics at the West Virginia University College of Law.
While earning her Master of Social Work from the WVU School of Social Work, Jack is helping the law clinics serve clients holistically, including connecting them to resources to improve their quality of life. She also consults with law students working in the clinics on topics such as communication and stressors in their relationships with clients.
“I hope to pave the way for this kind of partnership to continue in the future and to demonstrate the role a social worker can play in helping the law clinics provide legal resources,” Jack said. “This role holds opportunities to collaborate with a variety of people: lawyers, clients and even other social workers.”
Jack is supervised by Nicole McConlogue, associate professor of law and clinic director. She sees the potential for social work graduate students to enhance the legal representation the clinics already provide.
“We are West Virginia's only law school, and the Clinical Law Program serves as one of the state’s major legal services providers,” she said. “As such, many clinic clients have multiple and interrelated legal and non-legal needs that would benefit from having a social worker present.”
McConlogue said social work graduate students will help clinic clients address the root causes of their needs while teaching law students about the connections between social and legal needs. They could also perform community needs assessments, strategic planning and engaging in client and community activities such as mediation, outreach, education and individual and/or group counseling.
“Social work graduate students can also help prepare law students to serve clients suffering from trauma and mental health conditions,” she said.
Jack has prior experience working in the law. One summer as an undergraduate, she worked for 1999 WVU Law graduate Tasha Catrow, owner of Catrow Law, PLLC in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
Jack is from Shepherdstown, West Virginia. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Professional Writing and Women and Gender Studies from WVU. She is a graduate assistant at the Downtown Campus Library.