UK Law Students Spread Spirit of Giving With Thanksgiving Meals

Photo of Legal Clinic shopping at Lucky's
Photo in Legal Clinic

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2017)  Students in the University of Kentucky College of Law Legal Clinic are known for providing pro bono services to low income community members. A lesser known fact is that each year, the students also provide Thanksgiving dinners — turkeys and all the fixings — to clients and families.

"Helping provide our clients with Thanksgiving dinners encourages us to get involved in pro bono work because it's amazing to see how grateful our clients are to receive the meals," said Whytni Cline, a third-year law student who volunteers in the clinic.

In the UK Legal Clinic, law students advise, counsel and represent those who are unable to afford outside counsel.

"These students are learning how to practice law, and are also learning the joy of helping others for free," said Allison Connelly, director of the Legal Clinic. "They're seeing how other people struggle to put a roof over their heads and how hard it is sometimes to make ends meet."

And so the tradition began to make the holidays a little easier for their clients, especially those who have children.

This week, students will deliver Thanksgiving meals to eight families in Lexington. But that's not all the families will receive this holiday season.

After raising money to purchase the food, a student in the clinic suggested they shop at the grocery store she frequents — Lucky's Market. They were pleasantly surprised when the manager offered to donate all the items needed — turkeys, sides and pies — for all eight families.   

"It was just a great opportunity to say thank you to the students and a chance to give back and make sure these families have a great Thanksgiving," said Mike Smith, manager of Lucky's in Lexington. 

Thanks to Lucky's donation, the Legal Clinic can now use the money they raised to purchase Christmas gifts for children in each of those families. And the students say their spirit of giving won't stop there.  

"Working in the Legal Clinic and with Lucky's Market has encouraged me to personally set a goal for myself each year to provide pro bono help to the less fortunate in my community," Cline said.