I have been enjoying my internship so far, my involvement and the tasks I am given were beyond what I expected. I thought I would be doing more administrative tasks during the internship, which I have but I have been given a lot of opportunities to work with clients one on one, which I have been enjoying. I remember one day I helped a couple prepare for their marriage green card interview. The whole process took around five hours; I interviewed each person individually and then went over any inconsistencies afterward, which meant I spent most of my work day talking with the clients.
The environment at the Legal Aid Society is a bit more relaxed too which I enjoy. Initially, I was very nervous that the work environment would feel pretty stiff especially since we are located in this big building right in the financial district of NYC but all the attorneys and staff have been so nice and welcoming. We had an Immigration Unit summer outing recently at Clinton
Hall which was a lot of fun! I was able to meet a lot of new people including some of the other interns who I have not met in person before. A lot of the other interns are in law school and so I was able to hear a lot of stories about the professors they’ve had and their experiences.
Work feels a lot more different from university life; because of the work I am doing now I can see how it makes a direct impact on our clients. In university the work I do solely impacts myself but at work, my work can impact a lot of other people which can be both exciting and terrifying. I think this excitement and fear keep me motivated and enure that I pay
extra attention to avoid making as many mistakes as possible. At university, I work to receive good grades and at the Legal Aid Society, I work to get people’s legal status so it feels very different. Immigration law also changes pretty quickly so there is a lot of collaboration and emails sent in the Immigration Unit about new court decisions that can potentially impact cases. Now DACA is being heard again soon in court so there is more urgency to renew our clients’ DACA applications as soon as possible. I have also been reaching out to clients to see if they are open to sharing their stories to help the Legal Aid Society add more pressure and advocate for DACA.
Over the course of this internship, I have been building my interpersonal skills lot. I work with a lot of different clients every week, just this week I have had meetings with five different clients where I try to create a comfortable environment as I went over and finalized their DACA renewal applications and answered any questions they had. This internship has also made me more comfortable with having language barriers where I try to form a comfortable relationship with clients and communicate as effectively as possible. The skills I foster here will definitely help me in my future pursuits in becoming an immigration attorney.