Annie Farrell '21 interned for Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miami, Florida during the 2020 summer term. The following is an excerpt from her internship report.
This summer, I was honored to be a Children’s Legal Program Intern at Americans for Immigrant Justice in Miami, Florida, a bipartisan nonprofit dedicated to protecting and promoting the basic human rights of immigrants in Florida and on a national level. AI Justice is the only organization authorized to provide legal services to children detained in local shelters about their basic rights and screen their cases to identify those eligible for relief from deportation. The team also serves non-detained immigrant children living in South Florida with a parent or guardian and others in foster care. My co-workers were women and men who have played a critical role in shaping laws, such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and educating our nation’s leaders about critical issues impacting immigrant children through Congressional testimony and groundbreaking reports. While challenged by COVID-19 safety limitations that resulted in a remote internship, my time with AI Justice was an eye-opening experience that improved my deadline writing and editing skills, my project management abilities, and my understanding of the impact of immigration policy on the lives of asylum seekers in the United States.
Translating case documents from Spanish to English and organizing an online filing system were among my day-to-day duties, but I also was tasked with creating a comprehensive manual for pro bono attorneys on how to successfully represent unaccompanied immigrant children in state and immigration courts. Additionally, I created citations for a national report on the treatment of minors by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, and contributed to and signed a response for the proposed federal asylum rule changes that impacted Central Americans seeking refuge in the United States. I was entrusted with these important tasks and treated as a team member by respected attorneys and legal caseworkers who are on the frontlines of immigration policy and practice.
The communications kills I honed and the legal insights I gained from my co-workers and their tireless work during my internship will continue to benefit me in my academic pursuits during my final year at Dartmouth, as well as my extra-curricular roles as an associate editor with the Dartmouth Law Journal and president of the She’s the First. This experience has solidified my plans to enroll in law school after graduating from Dartmouth. Although I’m uncertain about what kind of law I want to explore, and what my final career aspirations might be, the collaborative nature of the AI Justice team and how it kept human impact at the heart of its work left a lasting imprint on me. It also has opened my eyes to the importance of empathy in practicing law and drafting policy.
The Rockefeller Internships Program has funding for Dartmouth undergraduate students to help defray the cost of living expenses associated with a full-time, unpaid, leave-term internships in the fields of public policy, public affairs, and social entrepreneurship.