Rebecca Holmes, J.D. ’16, has been selected for the Borchard Fellowship. The Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging endeavors to improve the quality of life for elderly people, particularly those who are disadvantaged. The Foundation sponsors and oversees the work of three recent law school graduates every year who desire to pursue an academic or legal career in elder law. During her year as a Borchard Fellow, Holmes will work with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (“SLLS”) to improve housing issues for elderly clients who can suffer health problems from hazardous, illegal living conditions. Holmes intends to expand and create sustainable services through their Medical-Legal partnership with Daughters of Charity health clinics in Jefferson Parish.
During her time at Loyola, Holmes was president of the National Lawyers Guild. In that role, she promoted events highlighting social justice and as a Volunteer Income Tax Association (VITA) volunteer, she provided free tax filings for low-income earners. With the support of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center, Holmes interned at Colorado Legal Services in Denver last summer. She assisted indigent clients in filing for bankruptcy, defending against collection and garnishment, and foreclosure prevention. In her last year of law school, Holmes was accepted to the Community Justice section of Law Clinic where she has been lead attorney on multiple cases defending low-income clients in rental housing disputes. Holmes has also served as co-counsel to clients who have faced housing discrimination. For these and many other social justice initiatives, Holmes was awarded the Louisiana Bar Association’s Law Student Pro Bono award for providing “significant support for legal services to Louisiana’s indigent” (2016).