Courtney Chenette, 3L, was featured in the most recent edition of National Jurist magazine. The article focused on her decision to “dedicate her life to advocating for young survivors of violence” and her law school path to make that decision a reality.
Chenette, who experienced an assault as a teen, recognizes the difficulties that survivors like her face and has focused her education and career on providing resources to those in need. For the past two summers she interned with Day One, a nonprofit that provides legal representation and education to young survivors of domestic violence in New York City. “Outreach and education is what is going to make communities safer for young people,” she says. “It starts with a dialogue about self-respect. It doesn’t just start when you are 18.”
While at Pace, Chenette worked with the Family Court Legal Program through the Pace Women’s Justice Center. The program allows students to work directly with clients, under the supervision of an attorney, and provided Chenette with court room experience. She says, “Walking into a court can be overwhelming for a law student. It’s exponentially more overwhelming when you’re entering the court system as a survivor of violence – especially when you’re a young person.”
On her future, Chenette is open to what may come her way, but wants to work toward improving her community. “Helping other women who experience violence has been both a challenge and a calling every step of the way,” she says. “I feel very empowered to be in a place in my life where I can give back to that community.”