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Pearl leans on a balcony overlooking the Austin skyline

Intern at MALDEF

How did you get your job?

Prior to attending St. Mary’s University School of Law, I served as a legislative director in the Texas Senate. Throughout my time at the capitol, I learned that many of my colleagues and mentors had at some point in their careers worked at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). I have been grateful to work alongside and learn from these former MALDEFians, who shared with me that many of their skills were strengthened and/or developed at MALDEF. I made it a personal goal to spend the summer after my 1L year working for MALDEF. I reached out to the intern coordinator about my interest in applying, and completed the application process.

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

My experience with MALDEF was inspiring, but it did come with some challenges, and those challenges only strengthened my commitment to public service. Entering law school, my intentions after graduation were to continue creating policy at the legislature. MALDEF currently offers both policy and litigation experience. Since I already had some policy development experience, I chose to challenge myself and learn more about litigation. The staff at MALDEF broadened my perspective on how to interpret the law, and allowed me to spend my summer strengthening my litigation experience, particularly with the ongoing DACA case.

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

The most valuable piece of knowledge that I have taken from my experience with MALDEF is affirmation that hard work will always pay off. Many of the attorneys here have similar backgrounds and are currently fighting some of the toughest battles of our time. I am humbled and grateful to have worked alongside these individuals and be reminded that hard work, sacrifice and dedication will always pay off.

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