Ending Discrimination

This summer, I set out to learn more about Massachusetts law and talk to people at MCAD to get first hand experience. My internship had me working closely with the Director of Housing and Testing as well as housing investigators and employment attorneys. Whether I was drafting complaints and letters or performing tests to find evidence of discrimination, I got a chance to learn (sometimes through trial and error) about how a government organization runs. I learned a great deal about the law through drafting legal documents which enhanced my attention to detail and writing skills. I also learned how different federal, state, and municipal organizations work together to uphold the laws.

To students looking to intern at MCAD, my advice would be to learn as much as you can. Ask attorneys questions, go to brown bag lunches and read cases. It was definitely the best part of interning. Not only is MCAD a government organization, but it also deals with legal documents, huge databases, and other closely knit organizations such as the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). I now have a greater understanding of what Massachusetts Discrimination law is, how it works, and how it is carried out. This information is also useful in understanding how law in general works. I learned about the different steps taken at the organization once a complaint is filed, such as investigation, finding, mediation, and possible hearing. The work that interns do is fun and challenging, but the best part is definitely learning and getting to know the employees and interns around you.

 

Interning at MCAD has reinforced my ideas about social justice. Especially when I was on intake, I got a chance to interact with people having a hard time because of the discrimination they faced in everyday life. It doesn’t seem right that someone should have to come to an organization and take time out of their lives to make sure they can feel safe at work or be able to find a place to life. If anything, working at MCAD has made me realize that more should be done to enforce the ideals that the Massachusetts law promotes. Even though I was a small part of the work at MCAD, I felt that I could change people’s lives by writing them a good complaint and helping them through what is at times a very difficult process. Having completed my internship at, I would like to get more experience in litigation and civil rights law to learn what more the law has to offer in order to help people who are treated unfairly.

Until next summer, when I plan on interning somewhere that I can be involved in civil rights, I plan on taking classes to learn more about the law and the history of discrimination in the United States. Additionally, I hope to join an innocence project during the school year. Working at MCAD has definitely made me want to become more involved.

 

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