I think this internship has been a very great experience for my development.
Before this internship, I wasn’t fully aware of what that was or what it meant to be a “human rights lawyer,” but what I did know, was that’s what I wanted to be. But how can you want to be something of which you know not much? Well, there are some things that we are drawn to in life—either as a result of our education, our community environments, our homes, our role models, etc.—and for me, human rights became that passion. I won’t go into how that began because then I would talk about the Armenian Genocide and I talk about that way too often, but I will talk about how amazing I feel this internship has been in helping me define human rights law and helping me further solidify my belief that this is indeed what I wish to do with my life.
I believe it is very important to wake up every morning and be happy to go to work—to have a passion that you work towards each day furthering and fulfilling. Here in the law clinic where I work, I get that feeling. I get the feeling that the people here love what they do, and they are happy, and most importantly, I feel that I would feel that way too if I were to do this every day. I have always believed that I am special (not because of anything I did but more because my mother tells me that every day and I’m starting to believe it), and I don’t mean to be conceited, but what’s wrong with believing you are special? Sure, you should be humble, but if it can get you somewhere important (since confidence is key,) then I say it’s important to think that way of yourself. Anyway, the point of that was that when I’m here, I can see myself in the shoes of the lawyers I work with. I can feel that if I go into this field, I will do something special. I can have a connection with my clients in a way that I want. You know, law has always been something I’ve wanted to do—I want to be a lawyer like Matthew Mcconaghey in A Time to Kill, where he gives an AMAZING closing argument and wins the case for a black man in the south where that has never happened before. I want to give a killer closing argument and be a litigator who helps people and connects with them—this is what I believe I can do in this field and I am so glad this experience has been nothing but inspiring.
My experience there was kind of difficult the first week. The woman who had been doing all the work I was about to do was leaving for a month, I didn’t know where anything was, I had to print things from the X drive (#1, I am terrible with computers–what is an X drive??? #2, How do I find what I need in the X drive? There are a bajillion folders in there!), I had to bind evidence packets, etc There was just a lot I needed to do and I like to be shown how to do things more than once and the worst part was that I LOVE asking questions, but the girl to whom I could direct all my questions was away in Amsterdam!! I remember writing everything down word for word of what she said that first week our time there overlapped so that I could do everything right. Looking through my notes from the beginning of the internship, it’s amazing to see how nervous I was, but what is more amazing, is how one grows and learns from those experiences. I really think that learning to figure things out on your own, and not asking a question every time you are unsure about something, is a lesson in itself and leads one to be more self-dependent. I am very glad for that skill and I think that was the most important skill I learned there. I am thankful for that.