4 young people dressed in dark, professional clothing stand in front of double, glass doors with NYLAG stenciled on them.This summer, NYLAG hosted a group of student interns who were a bit younger, but no less enterprising, than our general intern class. We partnered with Legal Outreach, which places high school students from underserved communities at law firms, financial institutions, government agencies, and legal services providers to expose them to the practice of law, enhance their desires to pursue higher education and encourage their pursuit of legal careers in the public interest.

NYLAG was honored to host Julliana, Kaitlyn, Ryan and Susan, in our continuing quest to nurture the next generation of lawyers using the power of law to help New Yorkers in need combat social and economic injustice. Caprice Jenerson, Director of NYLAG’s Pro Bono and Volunteer Unit, organized a 4-day whirlwind tour of our practice; the students met with 13 attorneys working across 9 practice areas and special projects, including family law, employment law, LGBTQ law, elder law, and immigration law.  They also met with attorneys and staff to discuss corporate and nonprofit board membership, volunteer management and pro bono engagement.  To culminate their internship experience, the students took a field trip to Manhattan Housing Court where they observed a client interview and oral argument.

Prior to coming to NYLAG, the students spent four weeks at large NYC law firms and fortune 500 companies.  “My time at NYLAG has taught me so much.  I have a better understanding about different practice areas and what a public interest lawyer does.” explained Kaitlyn.

“I am really happy that I was placed here for an internship.  Being at NYLAG showed me a whole different world as many practice areas they specialized in.  NYLAG work really diligently on trying to help the people in need and that is really admirable,” Susan said.

At the end of the week, the students recounted discussions with NYLAG attorneys about cross cultural lawyering and cultural humility.  They learned not to make assumptions about the client but try to find ways to connect and develop trust.

“Interning at NYLAG is one of the greatest internships that has been provided. Getting to meet face to face with lawyers who have devoted their time to helping underserved people is super amazing.  This internship gives a great showing of what it means to be a selfless lawyer,” said Ryan.

The students, who are rising sophomores at various high schools, are interested in attending a myriad of top tier universities. NYLAG attorneys couldn’t help but share their college advice:   be open-minded and explore college majors before declaring; build a resume with meaningful community service; and show off your individuality in your admissions essay.

“These four days at NYLAG further motivated me to pursue a career in law and sparked an interest in public interest I never knew I have,” said Julliana.

NYLAG hopes to follow these students and watch them SOAR!