Although this is my last week at MALDEF, I have gained valuable skills and a wealth of information thus far that will certainly enhance my undergraduate career. This would not have been possible without my supervising attorney serving as my mentor since my first day as an intern. Working alongside my supervising attorney, who specializes in education cases, has taught me how important it is to be clear and concise when drafting letters and legal memorandum. Although citing cases and laws in letters posed a challenge for me, my supervising attorney always takes time out of her busy schedule to give me tons of feedback and allows me to turn in revised copies instead of making the required edits herself. Additionally, my mentor always gives me updates on the progress of cases and explains the role my work has played in the outcome of cases. Not only has my mentor helped me adapt to a legal working environment and understand the legal underpinnings but she is also always willing to give advice about law school. My mentor prompts discussions with me ranging from study abroad experiences to the struggle of living in a Latino household. Having these conversations definitely makes me feel more comfortable in the environment and has pushed me to think critically about situations I’ve sometimes never considered.
Besides having a great mentor, my work peers have been very supportive throughout my time at MALDEF. I shared an office with two other interns; a graduate student at University of Connecticut and a law school student at IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law. Both of their academic experiences and knowledge were beneficial as we worked on projects together dealing with education cases. Besides the interns making the work environment more stimulating, we bonded over being first generation college students and shared fun moments as we grabbed lunch together or made Starbucks runs. These two interns, along with the other five interns in the office, all had very interesting experiences and viewpoints, which led to thought-provoking discussions. I am looking forward to keeping in touch in with them when my internship is over, and I cannot wait to hear about their future endeavors. My internship has helped me develop academic and professional skills needed in any legal setting while at the same time helping me expand my network and build meaningful connections.