“I started pro bono work to fulfill my bar eligibility required to sit for the bar examination. With due time I discovered my passion for my work and serving the community selflessly. That’s when I took the pledge to contribute my pro bono hours during my short period at Berkeley law.
My first project was an independent project with LawHelpCA where I had the opportunity to directly connect with the people who needed legal assistance and legal guidance. That built my communication skills while interacting with people and at the same time maintaining my professionalism.
I was also a part of SLPS with BIG Immigration law project: BorderX project and Border butterflies. Being a non-immigrant it wasn’t easy for me to enter the States despite having a valid visa status. I realized how challenging it could be for those struggling to get a valid visa status or asylum. That’s when I decided to pursue my career in immigration law. Thankful to Berkeley Immigration Group for providing me this pro bono opportunity. While working on this project, I learned how to draft parole requests, outreach, and collect exhibits.
Currently, I am interning with East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Berkeley. It’s my field placement. However, I work extra hours to accomplish my pro bono hours with high distinction. This Non-profit organization provides legal and social services, community organizing, and transformative education to support low-income immigrants and people fleeing violence and persecution. Here, I work on asylum matters and attend asylum and immigration court hearings.
An important piece of advice or suggestion to my fellow students would be to engage yourself in one or the other pro bono opportunities, especially LL.M. students. Since our program is only for a few months, it is hard to grab internship opportunities during the period. Through pro bono project opportunities, you could enhance your practical experience by directly working with the community and learning ground-level work.”