Hannah Klinnert

Intern Name: Hannah Klinnert '15
Major: Communication Minor: Political Science
Intern Title/Name of Organization: Mid MN Legal Aid, St. Cloud, MN

How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process?
I had heard of MN Legal Aid through charitable contributions. After researching the organization, I contacted the St. Cloud office and inquired about possible volunteer/internship opportunities. After I sent my resume and communicated via e-mail and telephone, I had a short interview. I started a week later.

What were some of the highlights?
Because Legal Aid has multiple concentrations, I had the opportunity to learn about a variety of fields. While I worked primarily in health care, I also spent time in immigration and family law, among others. I had ample opportunities to observe meetings and intakes with clients.

What was a "typical day" like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
A typical day included hours of paperwork. I went through cases and organized files, updated information within their software, and drafted letters to clients. Every activity included attention to detail. There was no room for error.

What were some of the challenges of your internship?
The most challenging aspect was my lack of experience. My legal experience was next to none. Every activity I did required extra training-which is expected in an internship. Because details were so important, I always triple checked my work.

What did you learn?
I learned how to jump into a new environment and adapt. I had limited experience within a legal office however I studied, researched, and worked hard. I learned how to pay attention to details and work efficiently at the same time.

What advice would you give to other students interested in internships?
The best advice is to take initiative. I never woul dhave had this experience if I would not have contacted MN Legal Aid. During my internship, if I didn't pay attention to my surroundings and ask to observe proceedings, I would not have had the opportunity. It was on me to make it the best experience I could. Also, remember one needs to put time and effort into the experience to make it worthwhile. The effort is on the intern.

 (February 2015)