Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in El Paso, TX
What was the most surprising thing you learned at your job?
The most surprising thing I learned was how collaborative the organization was and how closely everyone works together. The attorneys are very open, friendly, and willing to really give their time in order to help hone student skills. Though at times the work could be intense and serious, the environment was very relaxed and supportive. I really felt I was making a meaningful impact and that my work was appreciated.
What do/did you like most about your job?
“I enjoy being able to do work that helps someone in need. In class, it’s hard to see the impact of reading cases in real life but working on a specific case pertaining to a real person who needs help changes everything. The stakes are high and it makes me feel like I am really impacting this person’s life. It served as an incredible motivator to work hard and do the best I could for each client.”
How do you think this experience has helped you in your career path?
I have always seen myself doing public interest work. Now that I have had a hands-on experience, I know this is what I want to do. There is so much work to be done to help people or groups who are underserved by the for-profit legal profession. I am very excited to explore opportunities in public interest law!
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at this job?
Being organized is the key to success. There are no easy, straightforward days. When you plug one hole in someone’s case, another one opens. Deadlines for different aspects of a person’s case are constantly moving (especially when COVID hit). Staying organized and sticking to a plan is very important.
Did your job change in a virtual workplace? How did you interact with your co-workers?
Every day I FaceTimed with my supervising attorney. Sometimes we organized calls in the morning so I could be assigned tasks for the day, and other times it was in the afternoons so I could share what I had been working on. We used email and a file sharing program called Box to distribute materials and for formal communications. We used WhatsApp to talk and text each other throughout the day with little questions and comments.