https://acluva.org/

ACLU of Virginia

Advocacy Intern

May - August 2021 • Richmond, VA

What I liked

I loved working through all of the weekly assignments and learning about different criminal and legal systems throughout Virginia! Being given bite-sized assignments that fit into a larger campaign really made me feel like I was contributing to a larger, more significant goal; it made me feel like my contributions were really valued. Also, it was fascinating to be given specific topics to analyze, as I really felt like I developed a deeper understanding of certain specific aspects of a bill or a criminal/legal institution and was able to explain it to others, while also realizing how said aspects appear on and affect local and state communities. In short: I definitely walked away feeling like I learned new things, in terms of content, professional development, and more!

What I wish was different

N/A – overall, interning here was an amazing experience. Given the circumstances of the pandemic and remote work, everything ran really smoothly as my internship progressed. I don't think there's anything I would've changed.

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask questions and provide feedback! Seriously, this is something I really wished I owned and stepped into as an intern. If you're afraid of coming off as unintelligent or asking dumb questions, that's valid, but have no fear at all: asking for questions, content, and feedback isn't only encouraged, but it's also valued and VERY much used. Don't feel afraid or ashamed to speak up - your voice and opinions are just as valid (and needed!) as anyone else's.
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Diversity Legal Aid

July 2019 • Richmond, VA

What I liked

I get to submerge myself in the court system and help immigrants translate english to spanish or spanish to english so that their court cases are successful. I feel fulfilled.

What I wish was different

nothing really, everything has been great!

Advice

Plan your time accordingly when it comes to translating legal documents, they can take much longer than you expect. Don’t get emotionally attached to the court cases either, you can only be successful in helping others if you take care of yourself.
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