By: Monet Valdez
When I started law school, I was certain I would become an immigration attorney. This was based off of my overconfidence that I knew all I needed to know about my legal interests to make this huge decision. I decided to apply at PIAC because I realized I did not know enough about other public interest areas. I knew that I was a social justice warrior and that my goal with a law degree was to help others. I thought PIAC could expose me to different social justice issues and help me build a roadmap of goals.
I’m glad to report that is exactly what I got out of PIAC! Prior to this internship, I had not really thought about different areas, other than immigration, where I might be able to affect change. I boxed myself in to this tunnel vision. After meeting a few PIAC attorneys with diverse backgrounds and practice areas, I really started to see beyond immigration law. My interest in housing law grew, as well as a passion about government oversight and regulations.
I appreciate the opportunity that PIAC gave me to work on my writing skills and get immediate feedback. The writing style that I got to employ writing for the PIAC Blog was much different than what law school allows for. It was incredibly helpful in the development of my writing to be able to cater to a different type of audience. Any law professor will tell you that feedback and critique to your writing is essential to become an effective legal writer, but it is often left out how painful this process can be. Our supervising attorneys made sure this was about communication, tips, and a collaborative effort.
PIAC also helped my professional network grow exponentially. After attending an event for the soft launch of a new legal impact group, Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance, I was introduced to many diverse leaders of the same community I have also spent time advocating for. It has been a wonderful experience to be a part of a group of leaders and attorneys that have a passion about making time to help and advocate for others.