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For this summer’s independent project, I’m working with an immigration law firm. As part of my first project, I’m making calls to previous clients to make sure they’ve been able to receive any appropriate government aid for these especially challenging times. Because of how time-sensitive this might be, I’m focusing on this outreach first, but later in the summer I’ll be doing research and data management work.

Immigration law interests me primarily because of how familiar the issue is. Much of my family is immigrants, so I’ve seen some of these challenges rather intimately. I can identify, to some degree, with the people who I’m calling, and it’s because of this that the work flows rather smoothly. I’m able to have conversations and offer some help to individuals so similar to my aunts and uncles. I can speak with them just like old friends might. And, if I do a good job, I can hear just how grateful people are from the interaction alone. Not that my work couldn’t be replicated by any other person, but there is a certain satisfaction I hadn’t expected simply from making phone calls.

While I do enjoy speaking with the community, I’m also curious to learn more about the law office and how it works. I’m excited to get to know the attorneys and flex other muscles working on other projects. I’d say I’m also excited just to see how things pan out. I had been worried about what an internship might look like in times of COVID-19. Working remotely made schoolwork a little more challenging, I wondered what it’d do for this type of internship. However, I’ve regained some faith in myself and my work ethic throughout this first week. There’s structure now, something that I hadn’t realized makes all the difference.

Maybe it’s too self-righteous to think about what good things I’m doing, but too selfish to think about what this experience provides me. All I can really do right now is take things at face value. That’s why I can comfortably say I like what I’m doing, but I’m also eager for what the rest of the summer holds. I imagine my feelings about impact and importance might shift as I progress through the independent project.