Midway and so much still to do!

I am now halfway through my internship at the National Immigration Project. I can’t believe that the summer is flying by so fast, but I am very happy with the vast amount that I am learning.

When I applied for WOW, I wrote that “I hope that working directly with attorneys on research projects and legal issues will help me assess the impact I could have with a legal education.” I think I am well on my way to discovering this about myself. Through the research projects that I have done, I have gained the confidence in my critical thinking and attention to detail skills that I know I would need if I decide to go to law school. I have definitely learned a lot about immigration law and the broad scope of careers that I could have with that degree.

This experience has made me more aware of the immigration issues that this country is grappling with, and I am even more motivated to keep myself informed. During staff meetings in which we discuss immigration law issues and its impact on our clients, I am able to participate a lot more than I was at the beginning of my internship. I have also been discussing law school options with the other intern who is a law student, and one of my supervisors, who is a staff attorney.

I really enjoy working on both the legal and advocacy sides of the NIPNLG. During my internship, I have been involved in many projects, but I am especially proud of creating an alert for the National Immigration Project’s website that raises awareness about the current action in Congress about the Violence Against Women Act. It is important for us to encourage our members and the general public to speak out against legislation that could impact them and those around them.

In another meaningful research project, I assisted in the writing of an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case of Chaidez v. United States. The NIPNLG writes these briefs in order to help immigrants win their cases by providing supporting legal arguments.  For the brief, I compiled a list of resources used by my supervisor to strengthen his supporting legal brief. I am proud of it because I spent a lot of time learning new legal research skills.

I also went to a rally for immigrant rights last week in the Massachusetts State House. As you can see below, it’s very convenient to get there and you could practically throw a rock at it from where the NIPNLG office is located!

The MA State House

4 thoughts on “Midway and so much still to do!”

  1. The legal work you have done to advocate for immigrants sounds really impressive. I was surprised how often legal help was a crucial element of the work I did this summer with homeless individuals, so in pursuing a legal career you can definitely advocate for a wide range of individuals. I also worked with several immigrants this summer and saw how their lack of housing or benefits related to their status as immigrants, so the work you do may impact their ability to access basic services in the future.

  2. What kind of work did you do this summer? What organization did you work for? Your example of housing issues related to immigrants provides me with one more example of how closely related immigrant issues are with lots of other important issues that affect everyone today. I have also researched education policy issues concerning immigration in a previous internship. The fact that immigrant status is so closely connected with each of these issues demonstrates that they are an important part of our community and need more attention than what they are currently receiving. Time for some immigration reform, perhaps?

  3. This works sounds very interesting and enriching. I, also, worked with disfranchised communities (some immigrants) and my overall experience was very rewarding. I hope this experience is something you would be willing to share with Brandeis students at some point. I would love to hear other stories in greater detail.

  4. Hi Harold, I definitely want to share my experience with Brandeis students. I would love to talk about it and hear more about your work as well.

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