Intern name: Jacob Shawback
Major (s): Political Science & Hispanic Studies
Title: Immigration Intern
Place of internship: Kim Hunter Law P.L.L.C.
How did you find out about the internship and what was the application process like?
Through the Jackson Fellows program I interned at Kim Hunter Law P.L.L.C., a law firm specializing in family-based immigration, in Saint Paul. While at Kim Hunter Law I assisted in research for the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, a consortium of immigration lawyers that provides free legal services to newly arrived mothers and their children currently held in family detention centers. In addition to contributing to this project, I assisted with the day-to-day duties of the law firm. Through this internship I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding the current immigration system and the legal framework surrounding it.
What were some of the internship highlights?
The experience of working on the nation-wide CARA project, as well as at a small social justice oriented law-firm in the Twin Cities, ignited in me a passion for social justice work. If it were not for the Jackson Fellows program I would not have had the opportunity for personal and professional growth that I experienced this summer.
What was a typical day like? What were some of your major responsibilities?
There was no "typical day" at the office and often times I found myself doing something new every day, particularly in terms of research. That being said, some of my "typical" duties included:
- Assist with country conditions research
- Draft cover letters
- I-589 Asylum Research
- I-601 and I-601A Family Hardship waivers
- I-360 Petition for Special Immigrant
- English-Spanish Translations
- Assemble table of contents for legal briefs
- Front office duties
What were some of the challenges of your internship?
At first there was a steep learning curve, especially given the complexity of U.S. immigration law. To overcome this challenge I asked questions, and asked often.
What did you learn?
I learned so much during my internship that I am still processing all of the things I experienced and learned. I think the two biggest things I learned from my summer internship, however, are: 1) I truly want to be a lawyer, and 2) how to answer the phone in a high intensity environment - it is more difficult than it sounds. Going forward I know the skills and knowledge I gained during my internship will help me in law school and beyond.
What advice would you give other students interested in internships?
Get involved with a club or organization on campus, attend events that interest you, and visit career services for help with resumes. Employers are looking for actively engaged and involved students.