Clifford McCarthy

Name: Cliff McCarthy
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Year of Participation: Summer 2019

What was the most valuable thing you learned or accomplished in the program?
While at the ACLU, I learned that the rights of people in the United States are not guaranteed. Rather, the "guarantees" found in the federal and state constitutions are tools that organizations like the ACLU use to realize and protect people's rights. Our system of governance relies in large part for its success on the constant pressure created by the ACLU and others. Equally eye-opening was the realization that this kind of work is actually work. It takes collaboration and patience and diligence-, but it actually gets done and people are doing it. I saw in the ACLU a North Star ideal to guide me in my legal career.

What have you done since being involved in the ACLU program?
After graduating from Maine Law, and passing the bar exam, I began working at the law firm of Jackson & MacNichol in South Portland helping military veterans get their disability benefits. Though the work is not rooted in civil procedure like at the ACLU, I get a sense of satisfaction in knowing that there are real people with real problems for whom I am working.

What are your plans for the future?
Though I have not determined my long term future plans, in the short term, I would like to continue working at Jackson & MacNichol helping in any and all ways I can.