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New Lawyer Chooses Path
Of Justice, Rather Than Gold

Date: May 16, 2002
By: Martha Ybern
Contact: Carey Hoffman
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Archive: Profiles

For students like Anne Lucas, pursuing a passion comes at a high cost. In this case, she thinks it's worth every penny.

Lucas, a member of the College of Law's Class of 2002, will take part in this year's Hooding Ceremony and then begin a new job in August. She has chosen to eschew work with a traditional law firm to go to work as a housing attorney for Legal Services in the State of Connecticut. That decision will cost her, as her income will only be a third of what she might make at a large firm.

Anne Lucas, right, with Nancy Ent of the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights

Money motivated Lucas' decision - not what she might make, but knowing the overwhelming needs that come to others struggling against poverty.

"Without money it is difficult to get legal representation in this country and without legal representation, it is difficult to advocate for one's rights," she says. "Poor people suffer in this country not only because they cannot protect their rights, but because the law often is not constructed to help them. I went to law school so that I would have the tools to try and make changes in the laws that will aid the disadvantaged."

Lucas's interest in social justice issues can be traced back to her childhood in Hillsdale, Mich. For almost 20 years, her mother was the director of a battered women's shelter there. Watching her mother's work and struggles inspired her to want to work and create laws to help those whose interests are not always protected.

Lucas was drawn to UC by the joint degree program in law and women's studies, a concept originated at UC. She found it to be the perfect combination of focusing on social justice issues through the women's studies master's program and the ability to do something about these problems with the law degree.

Lucas found plenty of outlets for her public service interests at the College of Law. Among the most influential was an experience in 2001, when she worked in the housing department of the Greater Cincinnati Legal Aid Society. There she gained valuable experience interacting with clients on tenant/landlord issues and housing condition cases -- the same kinds of issues she will take on in Connecticut.

Lucas knows what niche she hopes to fill in the law profession, and is looking forward to new challenges in Connecticut. She will be based in the Willimanpic office. Her new assignment has the additional benefit of letting her rejoin her partner, Eric Palmer, a 1999 UC Law School graduate. Palmer currently works in New York as the executive director of the Council on International and Public Affairs.

Click here to read about other UC graduates.

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