Erica Deters

I went to law school with the words of Clarence Darrow in my mind and heart: “As long as the world shall last there will be wrongs, but if no one object and no one rebelled those wrongs would last forever.” At OJPC I was given the huge privilege to advocate on behalf of people who for all purposes are forgotten about.

Erica Deters
Erica Deters, Class of 2014, Salmon P. Chase College of Law

As a legal intern at OJPC, I learned that people are everything. Every case that I have handled during my externship has involved an individual who was found guilty of a felony.  Every case has taught me that one, two, or even three bad choices do not make the person.  I would consider some of my clients to be the nicest people I have ever met. Their strength of character and bravery to come forward and speak out against wrongs when they are constantly treated as scum is astonishing.  Every time I get the privilege to interact with a client, I come back with a new appreciation for humanity.

This ability to see someone on a human level is a gift that I was given because of my experiences at OJPC. Not only have I been able to hone my legal skills by writing appellate briefs and doing depositions, something few law students are given the opportunity to do, I have constantly been reminded that a person is the culmination of many events, not just one.

This gentle reminder allows me to see that people can change for the better, and it has given me the motivation to fight harder for those individuals that the world forgets. To say that my experiences at OJPC are transformative would be an understatement. I cannot thank David Singleton, the staff at OJPC, and most importantly OJPC’s clients enough for all the amazing opportunities they have given me. I am a better person and law student because of them.