My summer clerkship with JIOP was one of the most impactful and meaningful experiences [I had] as a law student. Though I did not realize it at the time, the exposure I received and the knowledge I gained as an intern created a roadmap that led me to my current area of practice. Due to the competitive nature of law school, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to meet or work for a judge, so JIOP opened a door that was not available to me at the time.
Prior to my clerkship, I knew that I wanted to practice in an area related to international law, but I did not know how to make that desire come to fruition. The location of my clerkship (Brownsville, Texas) was in an area heavily impacted by immigration. As a result, the majority of Judge Hanen’s docket was related to immigration matters and federal habeas corpus matters. Prior to my clerkship, I was unaware of these areas of the law, but as I continued to observe these types of cases, I soon developed a passion for immigration law.
Following my clerkship, I became very active with local nonprofit immigration organizations, and today I am an immigration attorney. My ability to practice in the area of my passion is what makes me appreciate JIOP—it creates opportunities for law students to discover their passion and purpose, and it creates an environment to learn and grow as a professional.
JIOP gave me an invaluable opportunity to learn, grow, and explore, and because of that, I am the attorney that I am today. I cannot thank JIOP enough for its work but I can certainly show my appreciation, and it is for this reason that I have chosen to become an active alum and give back to the program. Through my participation, I look forward to helping JIOP continue its work and expand its opportunities and influence.