Phil the Squirrel Climbs to Freedom Thanks to Clinic Students
After a recent rain storm, Phil the Squirrel needed help. He had fallen down into the small patio outside Georgia State Law’s Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, which is located on the lower level of 85 Park Place and is surrounded by slick marble walls.
The poor squirrel was unable to escape so two clinic students, Misty Gann (J.D. ’19) and Elijah Davis (J.D. ’18), decided to help Phil, so named in honor of the clinic, out. Gann updated the law school community on Phil’s situation via posts on the Student Body Association’s Facebook group.
Gann, an animal lover, helped Phil the Squirrel out because another squirrel in the same predicament had died last year when it could not escape.
Gann loaned the clinic a Have-a-Heart animal trap hoping students could catch Phil and then release him into Woodruff Park. However, Phil managed to elude being caught by the trap twice.
The first time, he got the food out of the trap without triggering the doors. The second time, the doors were closed, but Phil was not inside. The students set the trap a third time, but realized that Phil might not fall for the trap and devised a second escape method.
So, students got a small rope ladder for the squirrel, but Phil did not show any interest in using the ladder. They joked that it looked like Phil may never leave, after all he was being treated like royalty. “Phil was very well fed,” Gann said. “Every time, I went outside there was additional food that must have been put out by another student or professor.”
Eventually, Nicole Iannarone, assistant clinical professor and director of the Investor Advocacy Clinic, tied a donut to the ladder. The students believe the donut ultimately led to Phil finding the ladder and escaping.
“It was fun to watch the squirrel constantly outsmart the trap, but I think we are all glad it was able to escape after a little vacation near the tax clinic,” Davis said.
Gann agreed. “The whole experience was fun, both the HeLP Legal Services Clinic and tax clinic had several professors and students participating in the rescue of Phil. It was awesome to see everyone have something in common to chat about.”