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Interns reflect on their summer at PJC

September 1, 2015: Over the past few months, the Public Justice Center hosted three summer-long interns, as well as two others for portions of the summer. The interns came to the PJC from a variety of different backgrounds, but one thing they have in common is that each intern had a wonderful experience working with the Public Justice Center. Below, a few of the interns describe their summer experience.

Cheyenne Smith, Development and Administrative Teams
University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Sondheim fellow

During the Baltimore uprisings in April, I found myself constantly wondering how to address the systemic issues that accumulated and eventually resulted in public protests. I was disheartened by the feeling that the issues facing people of color and low-income citizens are too entrenched in society to have a solution. However, from my first day at the Public Justice Center, I began to have hope. From hearing the history of the organization to witnessing their successes throughout the summer, I realized that this organization and others like it are working to challenge the inequalities that occur all too often in the community.

The PJC helps clients with issues regarding housing and workplace justice. Seeing how skewed these processes are against low-income citizens and speaking with callers from the community truly opened my eyes to what occurs on a daily basis. The PJC is refusing to let these injustices go unnoticed. After my summer, I have hope knowing that, slowly but surely, systemic issues are being addressed. There are people in the community fighting for the underrepresented populations to ensure that they are provided with proper rights and resources.  When I graduate, I want to be an advocate for these communities. I hope to continue work in the nonprofit sector in Baltimore and, along with the inspiring people I have worked with this summer, build a just society.

Hannah Cole-Chu, Workplace Justice Project
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

I’ve had a great summer. I had a lot of prior experience doing intake and direct client work, and I was looking for an internship where I got to do research and writing. And I got to do just that – research and write about issues that impact low income workers. In addition to that, though, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about PJC’s other projects: human right to housing and civil right to counsel in particular. I wasn’t expecting to be so interested in those areas of the law, but PJC’s attorneys are so committed to their work that it’s hard not to be. Finally, PJC is a great place to work – the staff is hardworking but remembers to celebrate each other and their successes.

Charisse Lue, Human Right to Housing
Univeristy of Baltimore School of Law

I am so fortunate PJC has given me the opportunity to intern here for the summer. All the PJC projects are interesting, worthwhile and having the opportunity to learn from such talented lawyers doing great work is an invaluable experience. Throughout law school I have had many chances to refine my research skills, however most graduating law students do not have any clinical experience. Because of PJC, I now have clinical experience conducting intakes with clients faced with notice of eviction. My time working with the Human Right to Housing Project not only taught me housing law, eviction court and how to gather pertinent information from clients, it also taught me how to apply the law quickly and in a critical situation, such as rent court. The staff here is happy to share their vast knowledge of the law and their passion for justice is contagious. Again, thank you for a great summer!

Myra Hyder (not pictured) assisted attorney Camilla Roberson with the Health and Public Benefits Project. She is an undergraduate at Columbia University in New York.

Lorena Albornoz (not pictured) interned with the Public Justice Center in the Human Right to Housing Project. She assisted staff in the rent court office and conducted research for the attorneys working with the project.

Thank you all for your time and hard work as members of the Public Justice Center community!

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