Hannah Tuohy ’22, Legal Aid Society, NYC

My name is Hannah, I am a rising sophomore at Skidmore College. Thanks to the Summer Experience Fund, I had the opportunity of interning with Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit. The unit I interned for, Special Litigation and Law Reform, was a branch under the Juvenile Rights Practice. Special Lit noticed patterns of inequalities that our juvenile clients faced and fought for change through systemic and policy reform. Special Lit was small unit staffed by incredible attorneys that have all practiced within the Juvenile Justice and Juvenile welfare systems. One of the greatest parts of this summer experience was the opportunity to be in a legal environment surrounded by passionate and skilled attorneys. Previously, I had been interested in pursuing law school following my time at Skidmore. My experience with the attorneys I worked alongside this summer, absolutely solidified that interest.
While this was predominantly a nine to five office job, my day looked starkly different each week. I attended many legal trainings that educated me about aspects of the law I had never explored before. I monitored legislation Legal Aid Society had supported in the past legislative session. I attended City Council hearings. I did a lot of legal research, put together memos for attorneys and consolidated client information in preparation for a number of cases. I sat in on interviews with our clients. The most impactful experiences I had this summer were our days in Family Court. I had always been interested in litigation specifically and jumped at the opportunity to observe a complex case one of the attorneys in the unit had been working on. Witnessing the process first hand and being in the courtroom setting ignited my interest in the law.
In addition to the Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit, I also spent some time working for the Kathryn A. Mcdonald Education Advocacy Project. This project provided legal and social assistance to Legal Aid’s juvenile clients when education was a factor in their case. Again, this unit was staffed by brilliant attorneys who cared deeply about the work they were doing. I did both the work for the Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit and Education Advocacy Project from one of Legal Aid’s Manhattan offices. Although I was based out of that office, I was often working in the field, everywhere from children’s facilities, city clerks offices and town hall to family court.
This internship at the Legal Aid Society was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience with Family Court and the state legislative process. This summer was an incredible learning experience that would not have been possible without the Summer Experience Fund.

This entry was posted in North America and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.