Participant Profile: Rochelle Sparko
Where I work
North Carolina Justice Center
My job title
My job function
I represent low income mortgage loan borrowers facing foreclosure in civil case raising claims stemming from defects in loan origination, loan servicing abuses, and defending borrowers in foreclosure proceedings.
Description of employer
The North Carolina Justice Center is the state's leading progressive advocacy and research organization. Our mission is to end poverty in North Carolina by ensuring that every household has access to the resources, services and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.
Interest in public service prior to Georgetown Law
Prior to enrolling in GULC, I was passionately interested in access to health care and contemplated pursuing a degree in public health, but settled on law.
Specific event, class or professor who inspired me to enter into public interest/government employment
It was my first internship that inspired me to pursue a public interest careers. I spent my 1L summer intering for the National Partnership for Women and Families working on health policy issues. While there, I realized that I could use my legal education for things that I felt were worthy and interesting.
Steps taken while at Georgetown Law to pursue a career in public interest
During my time at GULC, I interned for several public interest organizations; Legal Aid, Health Assistance Partnership and Center for Reproductive Rights. I also took classes in substantive areas that interested me, and took the Legal Ethics class focusing specifically on public interest issues. I worked closely with OPICS staff on my resume and job search.
My involvement with OPICS while at Georgetown Law
OPICS staff helped me draft and edit my resume, helped me to find organizations with which to apply, helped find me contacts in the fields I was interested in; basically they were amazing. OPICS was there for me after I graduated as well. When I decided to move all the way across the country, the staff helped me retool my resume, and helped me make contacts in North Carolina.
My experience with public interest positions since graduating Georgetown Law
I have loved my work. I find it meaningful to help people who would be without access to the justice system without a public interest attorney. The people I work with are passionate, intelligent and fierce about their work.
How LRAP benefits enable me to remain in a public interest career
I wouldn't be here without LRAP. I funded my legal education by borrowing, and without LRAP, would have had to take a job paying a great deal more than any public interest firm can afford.
What I like most about my position
Helping people keep their homes.
What I am most proud of in relation to my work
When I win a case, it means that a family keeps their home, their stability, and part of their identity that would otherwise have been lost.
My overall opinion of LRAP
It is amazing. Without LRAP, I would not be able to afford to do the work I do. It is wonderful to have the support of the GULC community for public interest work.