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The Justice Center News blog features our advocacy on issues affecting low-income New Yorkers today and the latest CBJC happenings.  For press releases, click here. For publications, click here.

cbjc summer interns 2018

Saying Good-Bye to CBJC’s Summer Interns

by Anna Sitley, Intern August 16, 2018

This summer, the City Bar Justice Center welcomed seven undergraduate and law school students to assist with our work serving low-income and vulnerable New Yorkers. This week, we say goodbye to the 2018 summer intern class. Each of these interns provided a helping hand on their respective projects; through performing legal research, helping out with legal clinics, and doing client intakes, among other tasks. They also got the opportunity to have lunch with the project directors every Friday to ask in depth questions about the work they do, and got to visit both the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) courthouse and housing court. Here are each of the interns’ experiences, in their own words:

“My time at the City Bar Justice Center has been a humbling experience. I always knew I had an interest in public service, but law school sometimes has a way of making students lose sight of the forest for the trees. My experiences working with the Elderlaw and Cancer Advocacy Projects have been invaluable in honing my client-interaction skills, and it was thrilling to be able to provide assistance to so many low-income New Yorkers in need of legal assistance. My time here has reminded me of why I decided to undertake law in the first place, and reinforced my desire to use my education in service to others.”

Trevor Conlow, Cancer Advocacy Project and Elderlaw Project Intern

“This summer, I was a law intern with the Community Economic Development (CED) Unit at CBJC. This Unit includes the Homeowner Stability Project, Consumer Bankruptcy Project, and the Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project. Working with these three projects allowed me to see how legal service providers can contribute to the economic development of communities by empowering low and moderate-income clients to reach financial stability. Navigating foreclosure proceedings, bankruptcy law, and all the legal aspects to starting a new business can be incredibly complex and intimidating. Working with CED clients this summer made me realize just how valuable organizations like CBJC are to people who might otherwise have to face these challenges on their own.”

Margaret Suh, Community Economic Development Unit Intern

“I spent the summer at the Pro Se Legal Assistance Project in the EDNY federal courthouse. The individuals who walked through our doors are members of New York’s most marginalized populations. Some are homeless, many are mentally ill, and most are living in poverty. Despite their circumstances, these pro se litigants still feel empowered to seek justice. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with these clients over the past two months. Even though we cannot promise them that they will win their cases, we serve as an outlet so that they know someone is finally listening”

Brennan O’Toole, Federal Pro Se Project Intern

“Working for the CBJC’s Immigrant Justice Project has been an invaluable experience. I was always interested in immigration due to my unique heritage and in law school I took an immigration law class, which gave me my first glimpse of asylum law. At CBJC, I was able to assist asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their home countries. Helping them apply for various forms of immigration relief has been extremely rewarding, especially given our current immigration landscape.”

Shabhia Akter, Immigrant Justice Project Intern

“My internship has been a truly eye opening experience. The sheer volume of calls that the legal hotline takes on a daily basis is astounding. I personally have taken phone calls from people with all different types of issues and from all different cultures; it is a reminder that behind every legal issue, there is a person who is experiencing these problems in real time, and may have nowhere else to turn. The hotline is unique in this area because of the near limitless subject areas of the issues they are able to advise with over the phone. I also had the pleasure to work with the Planning and Estates Law Project (PELP). The coordinators of PELP along with Libby Vazquez as their director (who also directs the hotline), and the PELP panel of attorneys are extremely dedicated to make sure that their clients can leave their clinics and appointments with the tools and advice they will need to navigate through the often very complex problems that come with someone’s death. Working with both of these projects at the CBJC is something I will cherish for the rest of my legal career.”

Johnathan Passaro, Legal Hotline and Planning and Estates Law Project Intern

“Spending my summer at the City Bar Justice Center has been such an enriching experience. I worked as the administrative intern, and through that was able to able to perform legal research and write memos for a variety of projects. My time here has taught me so much about the legal profession, and has given me insight on what the actual on the ground work looks like for those dedicating themselves to helping others. In such a tumultuous political climate, coming to work here every day was incredibly grounding and witnessing the work of such dedicated attorneys and project directors was truly inspiring. The City Bar Justice Center is an amazing place and I’m very thankful for my time here.”

Anna Sitley, Administrative Intern

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