Jacob Shawback

Intern name: Jacob Shawback

Year: Junior

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.

(Spring 2016)