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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Student Profile - Sarah Fine

April 08, 2018

Sarah Fine is a 3L at Lewis & Clark Law School. She began volunteering at NCVLI as a 1L and took the Victims’ Rights Litigation Clinic in her last semester of law school. Read on to learn more about Sarah in her own words.

What has been most surprising about victims’ rights that you have learned this year?

How uncommon the knowledge of crime victims’ rights is! One day in class, Meg told us that by virtue of enrolling in the Crime Victims’ Litigation Clinic, we had become national experts in crime victims’ rights. It was very humbling.

How has working on victims’ rights issues impacted you?

It’s made me grateful for the power I have as a lawyer to strongly impact a person’s life in their toughest moments. Being able to be a vulnerable person’s sword and shield is the great privilege of my life.

What would you say to a new law student thinking about getting involved with victims’ rights?

Do it! This field is endlessly rewarding, and truly needs you.

What would you say to (choose one: judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, legislator) about the importance of victims’ rights?

To forget about or ignore the crime victim’s experience is to create injustice by default. A crime victim is only involved in the criminal justice process by their own faith and good will. We need their participation, and we must show our gratitude by—at the very least—considering their best interests.

What would you say to (choose one: judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, legislator) about the importance of victims having their own lawyers to protect their rights?

The field of crime victims’ rights has only emerged in the last 10-15 years. How can we expect laypersons, often in the worst times of their lives, to correctly and strongly assert their own rights in ways the majority of attorneys don’t understand?