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Law student to run London marathon

Peter Durbin | Thursday, March 21, 2013

While many Notre Dame students make final preparations for the Holy Half Marathon this weekend, one Notre Dame law student across the pond prepares for another, much longer run.

Second year law student Beth Scarola plans to run the London Marathon next month to raise money and awareness for the International Justice Mission (IJM), a cause she said she strongly supports.

Scarola, who is studying abroad in London this semester, said she wanted to get back into running this year.  After learning she would be in London, she began searching for an organization that would sponsor her participation in the marathon.

“I came across the International Justice Mission and read their mission statement, which was all about human rights and trafficking,” Scarola said.

According to the IJM’s mission statement, the organization is “a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.” IJM’s lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure “immediate victim rescue and aftercare.” The IJM also aims to prosecute perpetrators and monitor the integrity of local public justice systems.

“It was really cool to me because these were lawyers globally who were fighting to help,” Scarola said.

Scarola said she felt the organization’s mission paralleled the Notre Dame Law School’s mission, which strives to prepare “a different kind of lawyer.”
The London Marathon allows charities to apply for ballots, which are used to sponsor runners.

“I approached the organization with the hope of attaining their one ballot,” Scarola said.  “I was interviewed, and was offered the ballot.”

Scarola said she believes her time at the University, both as an undergraduate and later as a law student, has fostered a yearning to utilize her talents for the greater good.

“Being a different kind of lawyer meant using my talents to help people,” Scarola said.  “I was really inspired by the attorneys that work for the International Justice Mission that spend their entire careers utilizing their talents to fight these atrocities.”

Scarola, who plans to raise $6,500 for the organization, said the IJM embraced the Notre Dame Law School’s mission statement as well as her background doing human rights work in the Dominican Republic.

Although Scarola plans to practice healthcare law, she said she the opportunity to raise money for a just cause is still relevant to her.

“This cause is very near and dear to my heart,” Scarola said.  “I’m not going to stop fighting for it, even if that means just running a marathon as opposed to being able to dedicate my entire career to fighting these atrocities.”