MIRC Internship Exit Memo - Ann Arbor 2016

MIRC Exit Memo

Sam Kulhanek

Summer 2016

As an undergraduate student studying Spanish and Foreign Service with the intention of attending law school in the future, spending the summer working as a law clerk at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center in Ann Arbor was an invaluable experience. From day one I was directly communicating with clients in both Spanish and English and assisting the attorneys with various tasks. I was exposed to various aspects of immigration law including U-Visas, VAWA cases, asylum for both adults and unaccompanied minor children, and naturalization. I frequently attended immigration court in Detroit, assisting with case management and client interpretation, and was also able to attend different training sessions to learn about other aspects of the public interest law world. I met clients from around the world and was able to have a part in their cases, learning about what they’ve been through and how much MIRC’s representation is valued by them. By the end of the summer I had learned an incredible amount about our immigration system and my Spanish had developed considerably.

I think the most valuable part of my time at MIRC was simply being able to experience the day-to-day life of a public interest attorney. Seeing first-hand what a typical case load looks like and consists of and what this type of work entails gave me a realistic look at what my future could look like. I ended the summer more determined than ever to apply to law school and pursue public interest law, hopefully to one day work in immigration law at an organization like MIRC. It was clear every day that the work being done at MIRC is vital for clients, especially those who have limited options in terms of legal resources. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone interested in immigration law or anyone who is passionate about migrant advocacy.