4.02.2009

Regent Civil Litigation Clinic Alumna Continues to Impact Community

The truth.

It’s what Regent Law alumna Melinda Inman (‘08) says was her reason for pursuing a law degree. And it is her experience with the truth that many indigent people don’t have a voice in the legal system that motivated her to participate in Regent Law’s Civil Litigation Clinic.

When she was 13 years old, her father was indicted on federal drug charges. Illiterate, with only a second-grade education, he went through the court process completely ignorant of the system. He is now serving a life sentence plus 25 years.

But that experience sparked a desire in Melinda to give uneducated people a voice.

“[The Clinic] was especially designed to help indigent persons deal with civil matters that affect their lives tremendously. In such situations, they need someone who understands and cares about their situation,” she said.

Exciting opportunities in court and meetings with clients were accompanied by routine duties such as making phone calls, tracking medical documents, and updating files, but all of them gave Inman a taste of life outside of school.

“The principles in class can only be applied if you know the court procedures,” to which she adds, “I worked on a case the entire semester, but it all hinged on one day in court.”

Inman is now building on what she learned through the Clinic. She opened the doors to her own general practice recently in South Carolina, and is busy representing people she is passionate about.

“The Clinic gave me the opportunity to show care and compassion to the ‘least of these,’ which is important because normally indigent persons see themselves as powerless, and you have the chance to empower them.”

A local South Carolina newspaper picked up on Inman’s inspiring story and the impact she is making through her practice. Read that article here.