Leadership Fellows Summer Experiences
|Summer Experience Profiles|
|L. Collin Cooper|
Leadership Fellows have an opportunity to serve in a public sector organization through a summer externship offered with course credit and a scholarship covering the tuition for the externship course and living expenses.
The following is one in a series of self-reported descriptions of the fellows' summer employment experiences.
Shoshana Fried '13
Name of Employer:
Pisgah Legal Services
Name of Position:
First Line Supervisor:
Domestic Violence Attorney
Pisgah Legal Services Overview:
Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) is in Asheville, North Carolina and has various departments, which include foreclosure prevention, landlord-tenant issues, consumer law, domestic violence, and immigration. PLS has about 18 full time staff attorneys and about 300 volunteer attorneys who take a few cases a year on a pro bono basis.
I was assigned primarily to work under one attorney on the domestic violence team. My supervisor was one of three managing attorneys at the office. I also spent two mornings a week working with a bilingual court advocate on some immigration issues, but only as they related to domestic violence.
I spent about half my time working directly on cases. This involved initial client intake, evidence gathering, and trial preparation. I spent about 20% of my time on research. The research was usually related to a question that a client had. For example, one client asked if and how she could garnish child support from her ex-husband’s disability payment. I spent about 10% of my time drafting court orders. I drafted a few motion to modify custody orders and one notice for service by publication. The remaining 20% of my time was spent on immigration work. PLS has a battered immigrant project, where we help undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence obtain legal status. Since I speak Spanish, I spent some of my time interpreting for an immigration attorney during client intake. By the end of the summer, I was able to conduct these interviews without the attorney present. I also completed two UVISA applications this summer, which is the visa that is available to victims of domestic violence.
Though I was primarily assigned to one attorney, I worked on projects with 4 different attorneys and two court advocates throughout the summer. Each person had a different strategy and style, which was a great opportunity for me to learn and see the law from different perspectives.