When students cross disciplines to work on community issues, they benefit from the firsthand experience and serve the public good.

Enriching The Student Experience

Brown secured a résumé boost for her career and, just as important, compesation for her clients.

ON AN OTHERWISE ORDINARY May day in an Arapahoe County courtroom, four immigrant day laborers saw a wrong righted when they won $15,000 in damages and back wages from an employer.

Their moment of triumph came courtesy of DU students at the Sturm College of Law and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.  

Working through DU’s Civil Litigation Clinic, law student Katie Brown was the face of the case, logging 100 hours of intensive preparation. (The clinic takes on relatively expeditious but less-lucrative cases—cases often declined by attorneys because they require plenty of outside-the-courthouse research.) 

The case was referred to Brown by Korbel School students working with El Centro Humanitario, which promotes the rights of day laborers and domestic workers. As part of the DU Just Wages Project @ Korbel, students have been researching wage theft and interviewing workers, employers and lawyers about their experiences. These efforts have often helped workers recoup wages outside the courts, but some cases are destined for the docket. 

With this case, Brown secured her first courthouse victory and the résumé boost that comes with it. Just as important, four laborers were finally compensated for their work.