Legal Aid Intern, Undergraduate Student Legal Aid Office

Major:  Criminology and Criminal Justice (B.A.), Economics (B.S.)

Minor:  Spanish

Class Year: 2022

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What was a typical week like in your internship position?

I worked 6-8 hours per week in the Legal Aid Office on campus and attended weekly meetings for the internship course and completed supplemental assignments. During a typical shift, I conducted intake appointments with clients, answered the phone, responded to emails, and helped clients schedule appointments. I would interview each client, brief the attorney on the client's problem and questions, and then take notes on the attorney's advice to the client. After their meeting, I followed up with clients and tracked their cases until they were resolved.



What do you enjoy most about your current position?

It was very hands-on, and I felt like I got more substantial experience than I would have gotten at another law office where I might have been doing things like filing, copying, scanning, etc. I also really liked the fact that I was helping students in my own UMD community. One of the best parts of this internship was just learning from the attorney who seems to know everything about everything!



How did your coursework help you in your internship?

I had good background knowledge about the criminal justice system from my CCJS classes, which was helpful to contextualize the advice the attorney gave clients who were going through the court system.



How did you locate your internship position?

I saw it advertised on campus and on the ECON Undergraduates email list.



Advice for students:

If you're looking for an internship, I highly recommend scrolling through departmental blogs and Careers4Terps. There are a lot of on campus opportunities, which are great because you don't have to worry about transportation, and you can usually get academic credit for your internship. Before you accept an internship, make sure it fits in your schedule. You should account for any extra work you'll have to do outside of office hours as well. As for making the most of your internship, you should actively seek out opportunities to become more involved and take on projects that interest you.


Anything else you want to share with students about your experience?

You do not need to be interested in being an attorney to apply for this position, and it is open to all majors. Applications for the spring typically open in October, and applications for the fall typically open in April. The internship is a semester long, and outgoing interns have the opportunity to apply for a paid position as a Student Advocate. I have been working as a Student Advocate for the past two years, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career.