Monday, December 4, 2023
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FAMU Law, Wells Fargo Bank Team Up to Help Black and Minority-Owned Businesses

Dean Deidré Keller, FAMU Law and Candice Simmons, V. P. Community Relations Central Fl, Wells Fargo

Florida A&M University College of Law and Wells Fargo Bank announced two exciting Fellowships to benefit law students and the community. The $110,000.00 grant from Wells Fargo Bank will be used to address some of the ongoing economic inequities in our community.

Economic Justice Initiative
Starting in 2022, twenty FAMU Law Economic Justice Fellows will be selected over a two-year period to provide transactional legal support to Black and minority-owned businesses, especially businesses located in the Parramore community.

The Economic Justice Initiative will include a fellowship and legal clinical program through which law students will offer Black, minority-owned, and other underserved small businesses with free transactional legal services and counsel. It will also provide support to individuals from underserved communities and nonprofit organizations working in those communities.

Racial Justice Consortium Fellowship
As Racial Justice Fellows, law students work under the supervision of a public interest legal organization through an anti-racism initiative with other Florida law schools. The consortium was developed following the death of George Floyd and the social justice protests nationwide.

The Racial Justice Fellows are Terry Bensen, third-year student, Las Vegas, Nevada and Cassidy Mauth, second-year student, Clermont, Florida. Fellows receive $5000.00 scholarships while working with local organizations focused on fighting inequities. Bensen and Mauth, who were selected from a pool of applicants, are currently supporting the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) and Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS). These two Racial Justice Fellows will set the standard for the next group of Economic Justice Fellows, who will begin work next year.

“We thank Wells Fargo Bank for making these initiatives a reality,” said Deidré Keller, dean of FAMU Law. The FAMU College of Law is committed to investing in our community, and with support from partners such as Wells Fargo Bank, our students will be better equipped to be true change agents. They are Rattlers for Justice.”

Once selected, Economic Justice Fellows will work in FAMU Law’s Legal Clinic or extern with grassroots, community–based organizations to provide legal support, counsel, and representation on critical economic issues, including small business organization, regulatory issues, contract drafting and review, employment issues, financing, and other transactional matters. Each Economic Justice Fellow will receive a stipend of $5000 per semester and will be required to work 20-25 hours per week.

FAMU College of Law intends for the Wells Fargo Economic Justice Fellowship Project to become a model that can be replicated in other under-served communities.

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