Justice Center News

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.

Summer Interns Reflect on Lessons Learned and Memorable Experiences

by Michaela Fleischer and CBJC Staff October 7, 2022

This summer, the City Bar Justice Center (CBJC) introduced ten talented undergraduate and law school students to our hands-on internship program. Gaining experience across projects and departments, our summer interns made valuable contributions to our work, advancing our efforts to provide free, critical legal assistance to New Yorkers of limited means. We thank our 2022 summer intern class for their support with administrative, operations, and programmatic functions to fuel high-quality legal services delivery. Many interns remarked on the ways their hands-on involvement effected change and made a difference for clients, furthering their commitment to social justice. The following reflections from our summer interns highlight their most rewarding experiences at CBJC as well as lessons learned.

Jennifer Meer, Rising 2L at University of Michigan Law School
Homeowner Stability Project Intern
“I had a wonderful summer interning for the Homeowner Stability Project with Scott, Young, and Sofia at CBJC. I enjoyed interacting with clients (engaging in court hearings and settlement conferences); conducting research on NYC partition actions; and preparing documents, such as heirship deeds and answers. I loved learning about housing law and legal issues, such as investment scams, that are specific to NYC. Getting practical, hands-on legal services experience was rewarding and informative. I enjoyed learning the intricacies of the legal process, such as language to use in court documents and how to read/understand complaints.”

Julia Fay, Rising 2L at Columbia Law School
Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project Intern
“I’ve loved my time interning at CBJC. I began this summer hoping to build my skills and confidence with respect to client work and legal research, and I’ve gotten all that and more out of this experience. The mentorship and support of the folks at FedPro was wonderful, and I feel prepared to carry these skills into my remaining years of law school and the rest of my legal career.”

Leilani O’Sullivan, Rising 3L at Brooklyn Law School
Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project Intern
“During my internship with CBJC, I developed important skills that are relevant as I get close to completing my law degree. In working with Fed Pro, I worked closely with litigants across all stages of litigation, allowing me to hone in on specific practice areas that interest me. I gained meaningful experience in pro se legal work, which is important to me as I begin applying for clerkships. Finally, this internship reaffirmed my commitment to public service.”

Lily Gottlieb, Rising Senior at Barnard College at Columbia University
Legal Clinic for the Homeless and Administration Intern
“I found my experience interning at the City Bar Justice Center to be enjoyable and rewarding. Over the course of the summer, I gained valuable insight on a variety of civil legal issues experienced by New Yorkers, as well as the ways in which CBJC programming works to mitigate these challenges. Moreover, I honed my writing and research skills and even developed a greater interest in public service. It was a pleasure getting to work alongside the dedicated and friendly staff members and summer interns at CBJC.”

Matt Picon, Rising 2L at NYU Law School
Planning and Estates Law Project Intern
“At CBJC, I gained countless skills that will help me succeed in my legal career. This summer, through research, intakes, and client meetings, I strengthened my knowledge acquired as a first-year law student. The PELP team trusted me with valuable projects that fueled my professional growth. My colleagues provided me with constructive and thoughtful feedback. I will take the many lessons I learned at CBJC with me.”

Natalie Klein, Rising 2L at New York Law School
Cancer Advocacy Project and Elderlaw Project Intern
“This summer I learned how important life planning documents are for individuals to keep a record of their future wishes, and the significant attention to detail required to draft these documents. The most rewarding part of my summer at CBJC was the opportunity to work directly with clients, helping them draft their advance directives and execute their documents. Having a real impact on our clients’ ability to document their wishes and providing them with peace of mind for the future has been a phenomenal experience.”

Rahmel Robinson, Rising 2L at Brooklyn Law School
Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and Consumer Bankruptcy Project Intern
“The best and most rewarding part of my internship was the unique opportunity to interact with clients. Whether it was a NELP entrepreneur with a small business or a CBP client with a consumer problem, listening to their ideas and stories made me feel grounded and reminded me of why working on their behalf is so important. Additionally, their energy, candor, and engagement inspired me daily to push through the day.”

Rey Llena, Rising 2L at New York Law School
Veterans Assistance Project Intern
“CBJC allowed me to apply my legal education to real-life situations and enhance my lawyering skills, from conducting client intake interviews to research and writing memorandums to assessing potential outcomes. This summer, I expanded my understanding of the interconnectivity between different bodies of law and the realities of how they transpire in various jurisdictions. Yet, what meant the most was the incredible support from my team that empowered me to realize I am truly capable of this work.”

Sarah Han, Rising 2L at Columbia Law School
Immigrant Justice Project Legal Intern
“This summer, I learned how stressful and challenging it can be to navigate this country’s complex immigration system. I am grateful for the opportunity to help immigrants achieve a sense of stability and comfort through efforts to reunite families and support clients in finding new homes in the U.S. I gained valuable skills in building relationships with clients, which will be extremely helpful in my career as a lawyer.”

Valentina Banellis, Rising Senior at Hunter College
Neighborhood Entrepreneur Law Project and DEI Committee Intern
“I learned so much about communicating with staff and clients at CBJC. My work with NELP and the DEI Committee involved extensive outreach where I learned about the unique legal issues impacting different NYC communities. Through my work with NELP, I learned about the wide range of legal issues small business owners face and had the chance to interact with energetic clients who were enthusiastic about their small businesses!”

Recent posts