(pictured with EEOC Chair, Jacqueline A. Berrien)
I knew I wanted more than the traditional law school experience when I came to ASU. I wanted law school to relate to the complex questions of culture and class struggle that I witnessed growing up along the U.S./Mexico border. I wanted to ensure that my legal education would provide ways to address the intersection between the law and the way the law is actually applied. From the beginning of your experience with the Work-Life Clinic, you are made to think differently about the way the law works. Although guidance is given by the dedicated Professors and staff, from Day 1, you are put in the driver’s seat of your clinical experience. The one-on-one interaction with clients and often their concerned family members teaches you first-hand about how to communicate with people, how to develop an analytical framework before applying it to real-life situations, and more importantly the ethical obligations to your clients and the commitment you have made to the equitable practice of the law.
The Clinic also gave me the opportunity to directly address Federal policy surrounding issues of military veterans and service members, assess the needs of military families living and working in Arizona through community education efforts, and develop valuable skills in legislative research and policy work. It was a priceless experience to be able to meet and discuss work-life policy issues related to service members and their families with Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. With Chair Berrien and others, I participated in thoughtful discourse on new ways in which employment protections and civil rights in the 21st century should be applied to complex issues facing service members and their working families. I never would have been a part of this once in a lifetime experience but for the dedication of the WLLPC in addressing the most pressing Federal policy affecting individuals in the workplace.
All law students should take advantage of a clinical experience. My doctrinal classes are the foundation of my legal training, but my experience in the Work-Life Clinic at ASU was and always will be the heart of it.