As the COVID-19 outbreak spread through Michigan and across the United States, rising second-year law student Maiya Moncino worked to create a centralized volunteer effort to assist individuals affected by the pandemic, a community effort now known as the COVID Corps.
“The goal of COVID Corps is to address needs created by this situation, to help create infrastructure, and to fill any gaps,” she said. “I think there’s a lot that law students can do now—there’s going to be a huge amount of legal problems that stem from the pandemic.”
Moncino first reached out broadly to her classmates, and held an initial phone call at the beginning of April. The group has since recruited more than 250 students, and now includes students from the Law School as well as from the broader University of Michigan community. The Corps is organized into four task forces: housing rights, decarceration, workers’ rights and small business support, and voting rights.
Moncino noted that COVID Corps has brought students together during a time when they are physically separate. “When you’re in school, it can feel like we’re not in the real world. I think it speaks pretty highly of the Law School’s reputation that our volunteers are getting projects that have a real impact. It’s a good reminder that we’re all being trained to serve as advocates—and this is a really great time to show up for our community.”