OCS Student Spotlight - Michael Perez
Texas Civil Rights Project – Alamo, Austin and Houston

How did you get your job?

I was able to secure my summer placement at the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) through the 2020 Public Service Career Fair.  The fair provides students with opportunities to apply, interview, and meet with a variety of organizations specifically looking for student law clerks.  The best advice I can give to incoming 1L’s looking for a clerkship is to make sure you have an OCS approved resume and a polished writing sample at your disposal before the start of your second semester. 

What did you like most about your job?

The work undertaken by TCRP focuses on immigration reform, voters’ rights, as well as racial and economic justice.  The organization overall is small, but because of the size I was allowed to contribute on projects that have the potential to not only directly impact people, but also policy.  The ability to help with reform was what I liked most about my job.

How do you think this experience has helped you in your career path?

This experience has really allowed me to hone my writing and research skills. 

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at this job?

The most valuable thing I learned is flexibility.  There is always the possibility of emergency litigation and deadlines can be moving targets.  Priorities change frequently.

Did your job change in a virtual workplace?  How did you interact with your co-workers?

Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, my clerkship was entirely virtual.  Zoom and Google Meet was my primary modes of communication with colleagues and supervising attorneys.  I am thankful that the use of these tools allowed me to work remotely.  However, I have realized that virtual workplaces do have some shortcomings.  While a substantial portion of communication is derived specifically from what is said, it is much more difficult reading non-verbal cues.  This is especially true when there are multiple participants on video calls.  Video conferencing requires a higher level of attentiveness and directness compared to in person face to face interactions.

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