Alexis Franklin has spent the last three years working for those who might otherwise not have a voice.
Franklin, who will graduate from the Rutgers Law School at Camden on Thursday, May 19, has been an advocate for the underprivileged during her time on campus. These experiences include helping with on-campus programs such as the Child and Family Advocacy Clinic and the 501(c)(3) Pro Bono Project and spending this academic year as an intern in U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s congressional office.
Franklin, a single mother with daughters ages five and nine, graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with the “grand plan of working for two years and then going to law school.” Life intervened. Franklin married and had her first daughter while working as a paralegal in a toxic tort firm that successfully sued the oil industry for contaminating water supplies across the country. But law school was still her dream. Though this California native had only applied to law schools in her home state, Rutgers discovered her through the Law School Admission Council’s candidate referral service.
She remembers asking her mother when she first heard from Rutgers “Would it be crazy?” to move across the country with two small children to begin law school. “It was quite a journey,” she says.
Helping ease the transition for Franklin and her daughters was her decision to enroll in the Jump Start summer class in 2013. Jump Start gives admitted first-year law students the opportunity to learn core subject material before their first semester officially begins.
“Jump Start was great. It was nice to ease into law school since I had to get so many things together when we first got here.”
She quickly did so and immersed herself both in her studies and the many advocacy programs that Rutgers Law School offers its students as a way to gain hands-on experience while helping those in need. She became involved with the Child and Family Advocacy Clinic, representing children in child abuse and neglect cases in Family Court in Camden. Franklin also volunteered with the 501(c)(3) Pro Bono Project, where students under attorney supervision assist regional community organizations with forming nonprofit corporations in order to attain tax-exempt status under the IRS tax code.
For her fellowship with Warren, Franklin worked with the director of oversight and investigations on research projects examining student loan servicers and the deregulation of the trucking industry.
Franklin is currently working as a law clerk at a southern New Jersey firm and plans to take the New Jersey bar exam this summer.