As a pre-law student and legal studies minor at SU, I’ve found that the more I learn about the law, the more interesting the field has become for me. Increasingly I find myself fascinated by the various manifestations of law in every day life—what I think of as the multiple “faces” of law. For example, law can guarantee rights and freedoms for all on one hand, or it can restrict our options and limit our opportunities on the other; law can protect us from each other and punish those who victimize us; it can render us equal or unequal to others and it can constitute us as particular types of individuals in very consequential ways.
At the beginning of my senior year, I was selected as an Adams Center Scholar, a position that provided me with an opportunity to serve as a paid legal intern at North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) in Sunbury, Pa. NPLS engages the private bar, social services and community organizations, courts, and advocacy groups to effectively help low-income people with their civil legal needs. Services include individual representation, information, referral and advice, community legal education, and support for pro se clients.
As an intern at NPLS, I was frequently called on to shepherd clients through initial and subsequent interviews with an NPLS attorney, court appearances and ultimately on to a resolution. As I gained experience, I was called on to brief cases and write appeals. In addition, I became familiar with the inner workings of the Northumberland County Office of the Prothonotary. Overall, the NPLS internship allowed me to gain considerable understanding of how the legal profession operates at a practical level and to develop confidence in my capacity to work as an integral part of a fast-paced law office.
With commencement just around the corner, I will soon begin my first year of law school at Widener University. As I reflect on the undergraduate experiences that have led me to this point, I feel especially grateful to the Adams Center for Law and Society and North Penn Legal Services for the remarkable insights and opportunities that were afforded me as an Adams Center Scholar.