Equal Justice Works Fellow, Equip for Equality (Chicago, IL)
Daniel Hochbaum is an Equal Justice Works fellow sponsored by the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery. He runs the Learning Disabilities Project within Equip for Equality’s Special Education Clinic. The project Daniel runs is designed to represent low income and minority students with Learning Disabilities in Chicago. Through the project, he provides self-advocacy assistance to teach families about their rights, community outreach in Chicago’s neighborhoods, and direct representation to families at special education meetings and in other legal proceedings.
While at Loyola, Daniel focused his studies in education and special education law and volunteered with public interest organizations in the city. Daniel graduated from the law school in 2012 and earned a certificate in Child and Family Law. He attended Loyola following his graduation from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
In July 2013, Daniel was awarded the Kimball R. Anderson and Karen Gatsis Anderson Public Interest Law Fellowship by the Chicago Bar Foundation in recognition of the exemplary service he provides for low-income families.
The aspect or aspects of the work you find most satisfying:
As part of my project, I have the opportunity to follow up with former clients months after we have helped them with their initial concerns. One very satisfying aspect of my work is the opportunity to follow up with a client and learn that the advice or advocacy I have provided is helping the student to make progress and achieve real academic gains.
How Loyola supported you in your career development:
Loyola supported me in my career development by offering a wide variety of courses in education and special education law and by helping me establish contacts and internship opportunities in the field. In particular, the Education Law Practicum placed me at agencies where I was fortunate to be mentored by extraordinary attorneys and gain practical experience. These placements also helped me to form a relationship with the office that I ultimately began working at after law school.
Advice to Loyola students seeking opportunities in the field:
Be sure to take advantage of internship and externship opportunities. The more cases you handle before leaving law school, the better prepared you will be on your first day as an attorney. Also, try to learn the law from experts not only at school but through CLEs and webinars on special education law.